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Learn signature chords from Queen, Steve Cropper, Dave Grohl, James Brown and Butch Walker songs

Butch Walker
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Following our recent artist chord lesson, we've raided more back catalogues for rhythm inspiration – and we've come up with another rich selection of goodies for you to learn.

Csus2/#4

Chord

(Image credit: Future)

Employed by super producer Butch Walker (Green Day, Fall Out Boy) on his first solo album, this chord sounds sad and hopeful at the same time, which makes it ideal for plaintive ballads. It’s a tense collection of notes, so it tends to work best when arpeggiated or gently fingerpicked.

Chord

(Image credit: Future)

A/C#

chord

(Image credit: Future)

This looks like a powerchord stretched a fret too wide, but in context you’ll hear it as an inverted major chord. It’s the magic in Queen’s One Vision, and it’s a great passing chord between two powerchords. Try it between D5 and B5.

Chord

(Image credit: Future)

Em/G

Chord

(Image credit: Future)

Steve Cropper played on every Stax soul hit from Respect to In The Midnight Hour with an economical rhythm style and simple chord shapes. Many of his trademark shapes use only the middle notes from barre chords. This is a handy minor triad.

chord

(Image credit: Future)

D13

Chord

(Image credit: Future)

Another Dave Grohl open string special, this immediately recognisable shape kicks off Times Like These. Chords like these are great because they’re unique to guitar. Their quality comes from the combination of fretted and open strings. The same notes played on piano would not have the same effect.

Chord

(Image credit: Future)

Eb13

chord

(Image credit: Future)

This chord is essential to James Brown’s Sex Machine, which makes it possibly the funkiest chord of all time. The main riff alternates between this shape and Eb9. Original guitarist Catfish Collins emphasised the top three strings, so leave out the lower notes if the stretch is too much.

Chord

(Image credit: Future)

Learn 5 signature chords by Foo Fighters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Periphery, Sheryl Crow and Crowded House

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