How to Play Guitar Chords Like Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen is one of his most well-known songs. This beautiful tune can be played easily with basic chords that newcomers to music can quickly grasp.

An effective technique in this song is using relative minor chords to build tension before transitioning into dominant chords; this adds dimension and character to your music.

C Major

C major is a tonic chord, serving as the basis upon which other chords can be constructed. As such, it appears in many songs, from pop hits such as Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ to classical works such as Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

At first glance, this chord stands out due to being a triad – three notes played simultaneously – making it very simple and accessible for players of different octaves to replicate and learn.

As with other chords, it can help a player become familiar with moving around the fretboard, so it is wise to practice both its open version and barred version (Example 2a and 2b). Each version features unique characteristics that may help transitioning between chord forms; open version has two Cs and two Es, while barred one features single C on string 1 and single E on string 2, adding distinct tones to this chord shape.

G Major

G Major is a diatonic key with one sharp (F#). Its chord progressions can be used in jazz music, classical music and other genres.

This key is popular with beginners because its chord shapes are easy to spot and its sound has a pleasant open quality. Furthermore, there is a broad selection of chord progressions as well as a well-known scale which novice musicians can utilize when harmonizing.

Play G Major by fingering its basic chord shapes. Begin by playing G with your thumb, A with your index finger and B with your middle finger; then slide your thumb underneath your middle finger to play C – this pattern of whole and half steps is what allows all major scales to sound so similar.

E Major

The E Major chord shares similar intervals to its C Major counterpart, but with one notable difference – its minor third. This gives it a more melancholic sound due to the perfect fifth note; however, unlike some other types of minor chords it doesn’t produce dissonant or discordant notes like some others do. Like its C counterpart it also contains an sus4 chord (or augmented fourth chord), which adds tension or more dramatic tone into chord progressions.

Musicians rarely employ one major scale when writing songs; instead they often move between chords within a key to create unique soundscapes for each tune they write. Therefore, it is worthwhile learning other types of 7 chords such as dominant and diminished 7 chords as well.

F Major

Triad chords are the easiest type to form. Each note in this type of chord is separated by an interval known as the third and create a harmony. As it stands, this makes a triad an accessible way for beginner musicians to create melodies quickly.

As you progress through the scales, you will become more acquainted with the intervals that comprise these triads. Understanding their functions allows for quicker decisions on adding or subtracting notes to chords as you learn what each one does best.

Playing an F major chord, adding minor intervals can give it a more melancholic sound and add another dynamic layer to a song, especially if they come immediately before or after another chord. This can add another dynamic layer to a tune!

Am Major

Intervals form the backbone of scales and chords. While major and minor scales feature different intervals, all intervals can be altered by adding or subtracting half steps; for instance, adding another half step could turn a perfect fourth (five half steps) into a major sixth chord.

Minor scales contain fewer intervals than major ones, which tend to give them a melancholic or solemn sound. But music using minor scales doesn’t necessarily need to be dark and brooding!

Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” provides an outstanding example of how simple harmonic tools can help create mood. Alternating major and minor chord progression creates a slow tempo that pairs perfectly with his vocal melody.