Fast Car Chords

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“Fast Car” chords are displayed right here. Tracy Chapman released this song in 1988 on the eponymous album. Let’s take a look at the chords:

Fast Car Chords

Standard Tuning

The Cmaj7 chord in the verses is actually the following pattern:
Cmaj7 | C | Cmaj7
For a better readability, it's referred as Cmaj7.
Prefer finger-picking on this song.

Intro: 
Cmaj7 G | Em D Dadd11 | Cmaj7 G | Em D Dadd11 (2x)

Verse 1:
Cmaj7          G
You got a fast car
Em                 D   Dadd11
I want a ticket to anywhere
Cmaj7           G
Maybe we make a deal
Em                    D   Dadd11
Maybe together we can get somewhere
Cmaj7             G
Any place is better
Em                      Dadd11
Starting from zero, got nothing to lose
Cmaj7                 G
Maybe we'll make something
Em               D   Dadd11
Me myself, I got nothing to prove

Instru 1: 
Cmaj7 G | Em D Dadd11 (2x)

Verse 2:
Cmaj7          G
You got a fast car
Em               D   Dadd11
And I got a plan to get us out of here
       Cmaj7              G
I been working at the convenience store
Em               D   Dadd11
Managed to save just a little bit of money
Cmaj7                  G
We wont have to drive too far
      Em                  D   Dadd11
Just cross the border and into the city
Cmaj7      G
You and I can both get jobs
    Em                  D   Dadd11
And finally see what it means to be living

Instru 2: 
Cmaj7 G | Em D Dadd11 (2x)

Verse 3:
        Cmaj7        G
You see my old man's got a problem
   Em                   D   Dadd11
He live with the bottle that's the way it is
            Cmaj7           G
He says his body's too old for working
     Em                 D   Dadd11
His body's too young to look like his
   Cmaj7             G
My mama went off and left him
     Em                        D   Dadd11
She wanted more from life than he could give
         Cmaj7                  G
I said: "Somebody's got to take care of him"
    Em               D   Dadd11
So I quit school and that's what I did

Instru 3: 
Cmaj7 G | Em D Dadd11 (2x)

Verse 4:
Cmaj7          G
You got a fast car
           Em                   D  Dadd11
But is it fast enough so we can fly away
Cmaj7               G
We gotta make a decision
Em                           D   Dadd11
We leave tonight or live and die this way

Instru 4:
Cmaj7 G | Em D Dadd11 (2x)

Chorus 1:
Em   Dadd11        C
I remember when we were driving, driving in your car
    G
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
Em
City lights lay out before us
         D
And your arm felt nice wrapped round my shoulder
    C  Em       D
And I... had a feeling that I belonged
    C  Em      D                           C           D
And I... had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

Instru 5: 
Cmaj7 G | Em D Dadd11 (2x)

Verse 5:
Cmaj7          G
You got a fast car
    Em                       D  Dadd11
And we go cruising to entertain ourselves
    Cmaj7              G
You still ain't got a job
      Em               D  Dadd11
And I work in a market as a checkout girl
Cmaj7                   G
I know things will get better
Em                    D  Dadd11
You'll find work and I'll get promoted
Cmaj7                G
Well move out of the shelter
Em                  D  Dadd11
Buy a big house and live in the suburbs

Instru 6: 
Cmaj7 G | Em D Dadd11(2x)

Chorus 2:
Em   Dadd11        C
I remember when we were driving, driving in your car
    G
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
Em
City lights lay out before us
         D
And your arm felt nice wrapped round my shoulder
    C  Em      D
And I... had a feeling that I belonged
    C  Em      D                           C           D
And I... had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

Instru 7: 
Cmaj7 G | Em D Dadd11 (2x)

Verse 6:
Cmaj7          G
You got a fast car
    Em               D   Dadd11
And I got a job that pays all our bills
    Cmaj7             G
You stay out drinking late at the bar
    Em                            D   Dadd11
See more of your friends than you  do of your kids
C                    G
I'd always hoped for better
        Em           D  Dadd11
Thought maybe together you and me would find it
C                      G
I got no plans I ain't going nowhere
   Em                   D   Dadd11
So take your fast car and keep on driving

Instru 8: 
Cmaj7 G | Em D Dadd11 (2x)

Chorus 3:
Em   Dadd11        C
I remember when we were driving, driving in your car
    G
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
Em
City lights lay out before us
         D
And your arm felt nice wrapped round my shoulder
    C  Em      D
And I... had a feeling that I belonged
    C  Em      D                           C           D
And I... had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

Instru 9: 
Cmaj7 G | Em D Dadd11 (2x)

Verse 7:
Cmaj7          G
You got a fast car
          Em                    D  Dadd11
But is it fast enough so you can fly away
Cmaj7               G
You gotta make a decision
Em                            D  Dadd11
You leave tonight or live and die this way

Outro:
Cmaj7 G | Em D Dadd11 (3x)
Cmaj7 G |

Check out the Top 101 songs to play on your acoustic guitar!

Fast Car Guitar Lesson

8 comments

  1. this is awesome, I like how you took it step by step to show the public on how to learn this song. great work and I will refer some of my friends to this link.

  2. Hi Ben,
    Not sure if this is aimed at the more experience guitar player or not, but as a novice player there is a lot of chords shown that I don’t know. Could you post a guide to show how to fret these chords?

  3. Great website, I’m keen to start the guitar, but have only ever played wind instruments (clarinet / sax)… how hard is it to make the shift? Would I be able to pick up the basics from your site, I’m only planning on playing for my own self enjoyment. Cheers, Karen.

    1. Hi KD, thanks for your comment. It will be easier to make the shift if you already know an instrument. If you already play in tune, try to keep the tempo, and know a bit of music theory, that’s a big advantage. Of course, the feeling will be different as you don’t play with the same part of your body. So, maybe at the beginning the progress will be slow. But after some point, you can develop much more rapidly than people who never played an instrument before.

    1. Hey Kody, great that you’re showing some progress! Fast car is a great song to play. If you need any help with it, don’t hesitate to contact me as well. Good luck 😉

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