Animated Fast Car tab by Tracy Chapman on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This is a beautiful little acoustic guitar piece. It's not too hard, but you definitely need some grounding in fingerpicking and holding chords. Use the Core Skills Fingerpicking section to get up to speed on that if you are a beginner. Tracy Chapman plays Fast Car with a capo at fret 2, like we show here.

The good thing about this song is that it is basically just 1 little acoustic riff, constantly repeated. This is later followed in the choruses by strumming through some common chords.

Intro - The song starts with this very famous little acoustic riff. It's very short and repetitive. The riff repeats after this little slide down. Just keep practicing this first part over and over. Go as slow as you need until your fingers get used to it. Then build up speed.

You may recognise the first 2 chord shapes (C maj7 and G major). The switch between these chords is fast, and you'll need to give it some practice. It's important to switch to the G major shape using the fingers shown, because that way you can get the slide up to fret 9 sounding correct. Notice that you slide up to fret 9 and then pick the strings only once your fingers have reached fret 9 - not before. This subtle little trick provides part of the magic of this riff.

On the third time, she changes the riff slightly to play this lovely little variation. Then she plays the standard main riff again one last time. That is the end of the intro, and then Tracy starts singing the verses.

Verse - At this point she starts singing, and the guitar riff changes slightly. It's not important to change riffs here, you can just keep playing the earlier riff if you like. They're nearly identical. The only difference is that she picks the strings a little differently. And there are 2 ghost notes played on the open G string. Ghost notes are very quiet notes, barely audible. Just pick them very gently. The first ghost note is here and the second is here.

Just keep repeating this riff until the choruses...

Chorus - The chorus is very straightforward. Just strum through the following chord shapes:

C major (remove 1st finger while strumming) - G major (remove 1st finger while strumming) - E minor - D major

Then play these 3 chords twice: C major - E minor - D major

And finish on E minor - D major

Then just go back to the main verse riff again. This is all you need to play the whole song through correctly.

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