Updated: October 7, 2020 by Richard Cole
Fire and Rain from James Taylor is one of those songs that can really hit you where it hurts the most.
The music is full of emotions, and Taylor’s lyrics don’t leave much to be said. With that said, it’s no wonder that many people want to learn how to play this song on an acoustic guitar.
For such a powerful tune, it’s actually not all that complicated. All you need is a working knowledge of several basic chords, and a bit of sense for the rhythm.
In this article, we are going to take a look at which chords you need to know in order to play this song, and how to progress through the transitions smoothly.
Let’s crack on
First thing first, you are going to need a capo for this song. The capo is going to go on the third fret of the guitar. Once that is all set and done, we can move on to the intro. The intro of the song consists of a four chord progression.
You will need to play these chords in the following order:
A G D A A E G A
Once you’re done with the intro, we move to the first verse. For the verse, we will be using chords Em, D, A, Asus2, E, and G.
Just a side note, when we say play chord G, that means that you will grip the shape of a G chord on a third fret from the capo, just like you would if you didn’t use the capo at all.
The chord progression for the first verse goes as follows:
As you can see, it’s not overly complicated. The chords are pretty much basic stuff, and the progression is clean. The chorus is where thing get a bit interesting. We are going to need a Bm chord in addition to the ones we’ve mentioned already.
The progression for the chorus goes as follows:
So a pretty repetitive section with the addition of the Bm chord and the A7 at the end. The A7 really helps accentuate the transition of from the chorus to the second verse, even though it might be tricky to grip right after standard A chord.
Second verse follows this chord progression:
E – G – G – D
Again nothing too hard. After the verse comes another chorus and then we go into verse number three.
For this verse, you will follow this chord progression:
Finally we have a outro which consists of G-Em-A played three times. Now that we know the chords, let’s take a look at how to strum these chord progressions. To fully get the feel of the song, you’ll need to play it along and try to follow what Taylor’s doing.
The strumming pattern isn’t too complicated, but it has pauses in certain places which you can only learn by listening to the song.
To sum up
Hopefully this article helped you understand the chord to Fire and Rain, and get the chord progression down. Just practice while playing the song in the background.
If you want to be more precise, you could play someone’s cover as they usually come down to a single guitar. It will be easier to hear what’s going on this way.