Blues chords for Amazing Grace

A few people on YouTube asked for the sheet music for my Amazing Grace recording. I don’t think I could ever transcribe it fully, but I can give you a rough idea of the chords I was playing. Let me know if the formatting doesn’t work well for you, and I’ll maybe upload it as a PDF instead.

Chords

Intro:
 D  G/D  D
 D  Em7  D/F#  G
 G  D/F#  Em7  D

  D           D/F#
Amazing Grace, 
F#m7(b5)  G7(add9)  D
   how  sweet the sound,
D/C#  Bm7      G#m7(b5)   A
That saved a wretch like me...

G13/B  Cdim7  A/C#
..................

  D             D/F#
I once was lost
F#m7(b5)  G7     D
but      now am found,
D/C#   Bm7       GMa7 A7  G
  Was blind, but now  I  see...

G  D/F#  Em7  D
...............

Playing tips

The chords I’ve given are just a representative sample of what I was playing in the video. I played around with some variations between verses, and you should try to do the same. It’s very important to go with your instincts and play what you feel, not what what you think.

With that said, the half-diminished seventh chords (F#m7(b5) and G#m7(b5)) are vital to the feel of the version I played. However, they’re just stepping-stones in the progression. Try to hit them cleanly and confidently, and then move on with equal confidence. In particular, the F#m7(b5) needs to be quite brief.

The bass notes are also fairly important in supporting the harmonic structure. I’ve given a few pointers, but you’ll need to keep it moving in places as you transition between chords. One thing I recommend trying is putting a quick G in the bass right before you step onto the G#m7(b5).

A particularly nice place for a bit of variation is the last A7 chord. Try augmenting the triad sometimes — i.e. raise the E (the 5th) to an F. This gives it a satisfying minor kick shortly before the final resolution, because the F is the minor third of our root key (D).

Finally, a quick note in case you’re not familiar with it — the GMa7 is a G major triad with a major seventh added. That means you’re adding an F#, rather than an F (which would make it a G7). Hopefully everything else is fairly self explanatory.

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