"Inside some of these catchy tunes lie really interesting voicings": Learn 4 guitar chords from the Foo Fighters

OTTAWA, ON - JULY 10: Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters performs on Day 5 of the RBC Bluesfest at LeBreton Flats on July 10, 2018 in Ottawa, Canada.
(Image credit: Mark Horton/Getty Images)

If there is one band who aren’t short of a few killer songs in their career, it’s the Foo Fighters. Fronted by multi-instrumentalist and all-around music lover, Dave Grohl, the Foos continue to release album after album of hard-hitting, hook-filled pop rock.

Inside some of these catchy tunes lie really interesting voicings. In recent years they have expanded to a three-guitar lineup which opens up some additional sonic spectrum when it comes to using unique chord voicings to fill out the sound of the songs.

In this lesson we’re going to check out four really cool Foo Fighters chords.

C#min7 (no 5th)


(Image credit: Future)

The track Best of You has become one of the band's most iconic tracks. The first chord in this song you hear is a really interesting chord. It’s harmonically rich and has a very jangly sound.

The chord is actually a variation on a C#min7, but without the 5th interval (The G#) present. The open strings paired with the three fretted notes give this chord a sound that does not actually sound like what we’d expect a minor7 chord to sound like.

D13 (no 3)


(Image credit: Future)

This chord is one of the band's more unusual choices. This chord could have many names depending on how you interpret the notes – which unusually are A B C and D. Based on the key of the song the most logical naming for this would be D13(no3), in essence, a D13 chord without the major 3rd.

This chord is one of two chords that make up the intro to the track Times Like These. The other chord, is exactly the same chord, but you release the 5th fret on the A to an open string making it an Amadd9add11. 

This chord has a jangly sound reminiscent of many '60s psychedelic pop tracks. The b9 interval gives it a slightly unresolved feel, similar to a sus2 chord.



(Image credit: Future)

This is a very unusual chord for the chorus of a big rock song. In the chorus of the track All My Life, you hear this Db/G chord. This chord is based around the C shape of the CAGED system but with the barred finger extending down to cover the G note on the Low E string also.

This is a very rich sounding chord that really fills a lot of sonic space. 



(Image credit: Future)

In the track Learn To Fly you hear this extended E5 chord. Think of this as an Em with the 4th fret of the G added. This note is a B note which replaces the minor 3rd of the chord. This means what you’re now playing is a six-string chord made up of only root notes and 5th, giving you an extended power chord.

This is a great chord to use to bulk out a recorded guitar part without clashing with any major or minor notes.

Leigh Fuge

Leigh Fuge is a guitar player and content creator with a love for all things '80s. When he’s not creating gear demos for his Youtube channel he’s teaching students via his online guitar course Right Notes Music Tuition. Off camera he spends most of his time travelling around the UK performing at functions and corporate events.  www.instagram.com/leighfugeguitar