How To Hear And Figure Out Chords And Rhythm By Ear And Play Along...


Leave A Comment And Tell Me What You Think…

104 responses to “How To Hear And Strum Chord Progressions”

  1. Ken Kyser says:

    Hey Griff!

    I’ve been watching your videos for many years and this was one of the best and most helpful videos I have seen. Thanks!

    Menifee CA

  2. John L. says:

    Griff – Great job explaining what the ear can do for you when you pay attention.
    Excellent way to close out 2022.
    Happy New Year to you and your family.
    Thanks much for sharing your skills

  3. david everyday says:

    great lesson I have trouble strumming, this should help me a lot Thanks

  4. Werner Lesar says:

    Great Lesson. I have heard this before, I’m sure but not as a concise concept. Have tried to do this many times to inconsistent levels of success.

    Would love for you to take this to next step from chords to scales (i.e. strumming to solo / lead licks).

  5. Bill says:

    Excellent video, with clear explanations of what we feel, but did not have clarity on what was going on. Thx

  6. Johnny Kee says:

    I’ve been playing guitar since the late ’50s and have a fair sense for playing by ear. But I have never thought about it the way you have explained it. It all makes sense. So, great job. Thanks!

  7. Tom says:

    Wow!!!!! This makes so much sense, Griff!!! Really like the progression through a song by starting simple. Is it a similar method if it’s a minor key?

  8. Dave says:

    I wish this lesson had come with my first guitar for it covers the basics that I missed back then.

  9. Jack Flash says:

    I have been dilligently working on my strumming. Your Strumming and Mastery course is great and I am still working on it. I also have some strumming song books but have to pick songs out to just practice changing the cords. That seems to be what is catching me. Great lesson…I needed it

  10. Sam Noble says:

    That Hass to be one of my favorite lessons ever. Makes so much sense. And lots of fun. Thanks so much Griff

  11. juan says:

    great lesson on the figuring out a song i know its not as easy as you made it look it will take time to completely understand it.thank you so much

  12. Niel says:

    Griff, I’ve never really focused on this technique and I love it! I listen to music much of the day anyway, so now I’m picking up a guitar and finding the pattern and chords. Great idea.

  13. Bruce Langsteiner says:

    This makes perfect sense and fits so well with the theory behind the 12 bar blues. I, IV, and V chords. Makes it come together, regardless of the song.

  14. ken plante says:

    sorry misspelled last comment meant to say thanks Griff help a lot

  15. ken plante says:

    this help a lot think Giff

  16. Jenna says:

    Thanks for this lesson Griff! I think it will help me improve strumming. Very well explained!

  17. Laurel Marshall says:

    THANKS for a great lesson, Griff! It was fun & I learned some theory (think of THAT!!).

  18. Johnny says:

    Great lesson Griff, Thank you.

  19. Paul (Australia) says:

    Thanks, Griff. Another great lesson and very helpful. Best ever. Great explanations.

  20. Margie Dyson says:

    Hi again, just read through all the comments and had another penny dropping moment.
    Thanks to Julian Wilson who said use 2 x 3 = 6 to remember the minor chords. I am in my 70s and always had to go through the positions in my head to remember the minor chords. Now I can just apply this – so easy to remember now!

  21. Margie Dyson says:

    Just had a penny dropping moment! Thanks Grif!

  22. Richard Sharp says:

    Perfect, right on, this great stuff. I need this.

  23. Ernie B says:

    Brief…given the amount of material packed inside. Your finest of all that I have watched so far,. in terms of time invested and enduring benefit received…a master reductionist who gets quickly to the bottom line of help and benefit. Thanks Griff.

  24. Doug says:

    Excellent lesson!! It took me a long way toward understanding cord progressing. Thanks!!

  25. Dick Spindler says:

    Been playing guitar for the better part of 30 years, but still review each of your lessons and explanations. Always good to refresh the old memory. Good stuff.

  26. James says:

    Thank you Thank you Griff! Great lesson, This concept has opened me up to all kinds of new possibilities and understandings to making my own music too.

  27. Don says:

    Griff, awesome lesson. This pulls together nearly all the theories and basics you’ve already provided. Now it requires us to use common sense and pull that knowledge all together to figure it out on our own. What a great way to approach music and songs. Thank you so very much!!!

  28. Robert McCarthy says:

    Important information, clearly explained. A very valuable lesson here. Thank you, Griff.

  29. Hotrod says:

    What a great lesson! It’s all simple stuff in that it is based on a great deal of stuff already learned and experienced, but it “pulls it all together” and applies that information very effectively to enhance one’s guitar playing ability.

    So nice when something that seemed like an impossible uphill struggle turns out to be so much easier than it seemed when you first started playing!

    Spare a thought for the newbies who are struggling trying one chord after another without much idea of what scale a tune is in, or what chords to select from.

  30. John Gibbs says:

    great choris I am bouncing different chord shapes with same lessons. Ties really mess with me though…if you you land on 4 and then yer right is what stood out the most about this course…interesting

  31. Ray Flanigan says:

    Hey Griff,
    I purchased the DVD SET several years ago and have misplaced dvd 1. Is there a way I can replace it. 68 years old and have time now, but lost my 1st DVD. Got them ole Where the hell is my Griff DVD Blues!

  32. Hi Griff,
    I already knew this stuff but I have to say that you explained it really well.
    This is stuff as a songwriter I should have learned as soon as I picked up a guitar but didn’t.
    I read an interview years ago that all you really need to know about music can be written on one sheet of paper – and the guy never actually said what it was!
    Years later I realised it was pretty much what you said on this video.
    I also know that 2 times 3 equals 6 – I used that to remind myself that 2,3 and 6 chords are all minor.
    When you realise that ‘keys’ are all about this same relationship in a higher or lower sounding ‘register’ most of basic music theory is at your command.
    Keep up explaining stuff like this – it cuts decades off people’s learning curve.
    When you write a set of lyrics and you start on the ‘home’ or key chord and move to any of the other chords you can’t be harmonically incorrect.
    So long as you finish with the 5 chord going back to the 1 it’s in the bag!
    Bravo Maestro!

  33. Fantastic video! Very useful and usable information. Thank you!!

  34. Griff,
    You’ve given me gold, again and again, but this lesson is platinum. Thank you!

  35. Alexander Mowatt says:

    Griff thank you for this lesson as always. Ironically enough I have purchased so many of your courses and advised others to do so too. I have studied them all, and certainly improved in my mind at least on my earlier playing skills as a direct result of your material. Theory, timing etc are paramount to getting ‘it down’ as is said by others – not me given my age n all. Thank you again.

  36. Hi Griff, says:

    Really good lesson! Very helpful for my song writing as well. Thanks a lot.

  37. What an awesome video. I got a lot out of it. Thank you says:

    I enjoyed this video.

  38. Richard says:

    Have been working on your theory course and have been pounding away on these concepts, and this just brought it all home in a most practical way. These “aha” moments are priceless. 3 months ago I would have skipped this video as being above my ability to grasp, not anymore. You are a fine instructor indeed.

  39. Chris CLEMANS says:

    Griff you just clarified something that has been a bit of a roadblock I play by ear and use a pick and fingers anyway I just tried it and wow litebulb thanks again Griff

    • Ronin says:

      A bit narrow.. functional and should be rated “G” for general audiences.. was expecting an “R” rating for relatable. I admire teh attempt… but I struggle with blues tunes and try to capture their key… chords are acustic of course, another reply noted… finding correct tones is a more useful exercise. tell us how to discern pentatonic scales from a tune.. it’s a blues thing, remember?

  40. DaveyJoe says:

    Cool stuff,Griff! Thanks!

  41. anthony p szydlo says:

    I think that You could have talked a bit more on finding tones and position on fret board . Just for the new watchers .

  42. Big Al says:

    Handy info Griff. I for one would also be interested in your lyric setup on the iPad and how you have it organized in some future lesson.

  43. Keith says:

    Hey, Griff….great lesson. You’ve managed turn turn the light on to what has been a dark and mysterious talent up to now. I think I might be able to finally work this music thing out! Thanks

  44. jim stone says:

    Great lesson. This is all well and good for songs with the basic chords. What about songs using variations of the chords such as suspended chords or add chords.

  45. Jim (UK) says:

    Hey Griff, great lesson.
    I’ve not really understood music theory and have tried to get my head around it, this lesson has really given me something to work on – a nice introduction that I can actually understand.
    Brilliant thanks 🙂

  46. FerneCheyne says:

    I see your page needs some unique & fresh articles.

    Writing manually is time consuming, but there is solution for this
    hard task. Just search for – Miftolo’s tools rewriter

  47. Michael Chappell says:

    Hey Griff, Great lesson and I’m already trying it and it works.

    Michael-Sydney-Australia March 2016

    • Michael Chappell says:

      Hey Griff, a great refresher since 2016, I have been doing this and it works great. Even if I listen to the original song a few times and then do it to figure out the chords it simply just works. Then I might learn the song and convert it to my Ya Ya cover version. All good.
      Michael-Sydney-Australia-March 26th,2021

  48. Gerald says:

    What a fantastic lesson. A teacher with a bird’s-eye view of music who can simplify it in this way. I have since been listening to music, identifying the key and assembling the chords. Wonderful!

    • David Rosen says:

      This super helpful.
      As a semi-retired (English) teacher myself, I’ve got to say, you are a remarkably brilliant instructor –
      Thank you so much for sharing your musical gifts

  49. david moon says:

    Griff- I would just add- LISTEN TO THE BASS. The root is almost always in the bass, and it is usually “walking” to the next chord.

  50. Jon Leet says:

    Griff – this is the single most illuminating lesson that I have watched – I now know which chords with which! This answers a lot of questions for me. Say Hi to Tim Butterworth – we miss him on the east coast.

  51. Dutch says:

    Griff, You’re too young to have known “Brown Eyed Girl” for 30 years. LOL

  52. Hey, your G-jam track a while back how can I down load the jam track,I have some other one’s but not this one it’s 3:23 minutes long, thanks’

  53. Robert says:

    Terrific lesson Griff. Does that beard you re growing make you play and teach better?

  54. Legoge47 says:

    Playing by ear is okay, but I would rather use a pick or my fingers.

  55. Jeffrey Goblirsch says:

    Griff Very well done! It’s one of though’s videos you have to download & listen to it again & again! Pick up something new every time you play the video. Get one of though’s song down & you will impress your family & friends & give you some confidence in your Guitar playing! Jeffrey Goblirsch

  56. Spenner says:

    Thanks Griff,that was very useful.Excellent teaching.

  57. Kimball says:

    Griff, that made clear sense of a confusing process.

  58. Kimball says:

    Griff, that made sense of a mystery. Thanks.

  59. Drake J. says:

    Thanks Griff, I had to figure out my own way, back in 64 when I started playing guitar . I did it a little differantly, I went for the chord, instead of the single note . It was basically the same thing though . At that time I was not aware of the change in pitch of the recordings on the radio . I still do it that way, just now with the aid of either looking for a book, or on line, just to get some of the odd chords, like (sus2- or +9, as the full major or minor just dosen’t quite sound right ! Any way, great lesson, and video, thanks, and keep them comming !

  60. Staggerleon says:

    Once again Griff, I think you have been reading my mail!… Great lesson right when I needed it… Thanx again for all you do

  61. Graeme H says:

    Thanks Griff, what a great video. Forever grateful for all your lessons.

  62. Greg says:

    Thanks Griff, starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel

  63. Randy says:

    Griff, thanks for taking the time to do these videos, I never get tired of them, they keep me moving forward

  64. John says:

    Thanks, Grif. I’ve never trusted my ear before but you broke it down & I think I might be able to handle it. I have a habit of over complicating but I,IV,V & happy or sad I can do & even the ii,iii,vi with some patience. Thanks again.

  65. Griff: Thanks for another great lesson. I look at the Strumming and Rhythm course and – viola! – you have grown taller!! you now are higher than your hair!!! Seriously, thanks for the ongoing great information and commitment. Always great stuff from you.

  66. Ravi says:

    Are you Tapping into this PowerHouse of Musical Knowledge? Well, you should be. The Universe is Bending over backwards to give it to you through Griff. Take it while you can and enjoy!

  67. David Dupont says:

    Great video! – can you do a similar on songs in minor keys?

  68. Erik in NJ says:

    This is one of the best videos you have sent out and should be required viewing for everyone. Would love to see you build a course out of this where you work through some complete songs! I’ll drop you an email with some further thoughts.

  69. Lonnie6a says:

    Been waiting for this video because most of my playing in church ministry. Revoked around finding the right chords thanks for this video

  70. Critter says:

    I rate how useful a lesson has been for me by how many light bulbs come on in my head (usually one).
    This is my first ever three light bulb lesson.
    Thanks Griff.

  71. Dave says:

    Excellent not too technical, down to earth with a fireside chat kind of feel lesson. Thanks so much Griff for going above and beyond…again!

  72. Great video, I’ve always had trouble trying to play along with recordings. This should go a long way to increasing my song list. Thanks

  73. Rene Beauchamp says:

    Nicely done! Clear and fun to listen and learn too! Thanks Griff

  74. Bert says:

    Great lesson. It is supported by your excellent guitar theory course
    The picture and sound quality is very good also.

  75. faus says:

    Thanks for making your lessons easy to understand, Great Teacher

  76. Mark from Murrieta says:


  77. Legoge47 says:

    I enjoyed this one! I do have a question. I’ve noticed in listening to some songs that the bass guitar sounds “sharp” or slightly out of tune compared to the other instruments on some songs, Just wondering why? Thanks.

    • Mark from Murrieta says:

      Many reasons; the tape machine was a bit fast, the main instrument was a bit sharp and everyone tuned to that, they purposely tuned up, they purposely speed up the track to “sweeten” it up a little. In contrast, many songs by SRV are a 1/2 step lower to loosen up the strings.

      • Legoge47 says:

        Thanks. I notice it a lot on some of Herb Alpert’s songs and also much of the bass lines on Motown songs from the 60s.

  78. Steve says:

    Griff… Must tell you, I have played off and on for 40 years and could never figure out songs. Your method just gave me a leg up. I will never forget this approach. Thank you very much for your help.

  79. Tommy C Dublin says:

    I get a lot of stick for trying to promote the type of Theory knowledge and practical application you;ve just given Griff. Everyone who wants to play any instrument should know this – and not be afraid of it. So hats off to you for pushing past the objectors!! I find it a bit easier to match the Key/Chord by running the high E string (from the Nut upwards if looking for a minor chord match; from the 12th back towards fret if looking for a Major chord match – I guess you’ll know why….your ear will hit the relatuve minor root first in one direction, and the Major root first in the other direction!! But genuinely, you deserve great credit for this and many of your other ‘shares’. kind regards, Tommy C Dublin

  80. Johnnie says:

    Excellent video

  81. JR London says:

    So clear, so relevant and soo easy to grasp. Well done Griff. On the money once again!

  82. Gordon says:

    This was a great lesson! I have always said I never had any ear for music. I understood the happy vs the sad sounds, but was never able to use that knowledge to help play a song! Does this lesson ever open my eyes to how to do that!!!
    Thanks Griff!

  83. Walt says:

    Long video and worth it’s wait in gold! I’ll watch it multiple times to really try to understand it!



  84. Jim Clarke says:

    Concur with all the others.

    I’m 58, played mainly classical and have bought variety of your blues courses (also very good), but never understood that either.
    As PS: Buy “Tennis Elbow” strap, very cheap precaution, use when playing. Will stop you getting this, very annoying when you can’t play for some time

  85. Mickey says:

    Brilliant. Thanks Griff. You convey information so incredibly well. Thank you again

  86. John says:

    With that lesson, it’s like a light bulb turned on it my head (finally)! Thanks Griff

  87. David Hubbard says:

    Best video EVER.

  88. Les says:

    This is brilliant it explians such a great amount, I cannot wait to try this out.

  89. Jim says:

    Might just be the best theory lesson ever put on the Internet. Been playing over 30 years and wish this little lesson had been available when I started. Thanks!

  90. Andy says:

    nice one mate

  91. Robin says:

    I don’t have an ear for music at all.. but listening and seeing your video makes me hopeful in playing my guitar that I have had for 40 years and just cant play

  92. Pat Beaumont says:

    Great lesson, best explanation and method of figuring out the chords and rythym I have ever come across! Thanks a million Griff.

  93. Rich says:

    Great video. Your guitar theory course works perfectly with this.

  94. tony says:

    I am happy You made this video it helps make sence of alot of stuff that maybe hard to understand . There are some out there that are gifted and do not need this . I once sat with my acoustic and put on the first Marcy play ground recording and learned to play the entire thing without this theroy . Glad You made it clear that the first cord is not always the root.I am going to try this with a song by the eagles that I am unable to find written out wish me luck.

  95. Jeremy says:

    This is my all time favourite video.
    Thanks Grif.
    This one just has so many goodies in it!

  96. RADU CALIN says:

    This is one of the best guitar lesson I have ever learned.Thanks Griff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *