How to Play Guitar Chords Like Valerie

Valerie is an acoustic song that will work well for female singers, with its easy chord riffs that can be picked up quickly on an acoustic guitar.

Chord progressions provide melody with structure by emphasizing specific combinations of chords in a given key, as well as through their order which help convey various musical emotions.


A scale is a collection of notes organized in an organized sequence. Their order is determined by intervals – the difference in pitch between adjacent keys – with F# being sharp and Bb being flat, respectively; rules govern when one should be raised or lowered accordingly.

Scales are commonly described as having a pattern or formula; there are various ways of describing this structure – the most frequently employed terms being semi-steps, whole steps and half-steps.

Major scales tend to be octave-repeating, meaning the same pattern of notes appears across all octaves. This is because each key contains tonic, dominant and subdominant notes which form part of its core – the first three scale degrees – making changing keys only alter their relative order without altering their relationship to each other.


Riffs are short series of notes used by musicians to accompany or lead songs, from chord progressions to single lines played with an identifiable rhythm. Riffs may also be used to create guitar solos and improvise.

Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” provides a classic example of a guitar riff: its opening riff is easy for beginners to learn on either acoustic or electric guitar, providing an introduction to open tunings as well as Keith Richards-style hammer-ons and pull-offs.

Valerie, from Valerie June’s sophomore album The Order of Time, requires more skill to play effectively as it features power chords and advanced techniques like palm muting. However, it’s an ideal song to learn for those looking to join a band or jam with other guitarists; furthermore it can serve as an effective means of practicing fretboard techniques and the CAGED system – indulging further will add another piece to your repertoire that could prove essential in becoming a professional musician.


Licks are enjoyable-sounding phrases or runs you can incorporate into your guitar solos as part of a licks are fun-sounding phrases or runs that you can add as part of their solos. While usually based on scale patterns, licks may include elements like bends, slides and hammer-on/pull-offs for added improvisational elements. By practicing variations on one lick at a time you can improve your ability to perform it spontaneously (something all guitarists need).

Licks don’t typically set the chord progression, but can add character, color and emotion to a melody. Some iconic players have created stunning licks which may appear untouchable at first. Over time though, you will learn their techniques and develop your own versions that sound just as great!

When learning a new lick, start by finding its root note on the fretboard and playing variations – such as one octave higher or lower from its original position – of it to help fast-track learning while making it simpler to switch keys easily.


Chords are an integral component of most songs for both experienced and beginner guitarists alike, making learning their basic forms paramount. Beginners may find open and power chords easier as these only require two fingers at first to play.

The diagram above demonstrates how to form a basic C major chord on guitar. Each fret has been labeled, which corresponds with which finger should press them: index finger #1, middle finger #2 and ring finger #3 are recommended as your starting points; adding in pinky adds additional depth but is optional.

Noticing how the intervals of this chord differ from those found in a triad, this gives each chord its unique sound; for instance a major chord generally has an upbeat and happy tone while minor chords often possess more melancholic undertones.