Lesson Plan


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Lesson notes

Chicago (We Can Change The World) is a song written by Graham Nash for his 1971 debut album 'Songs For Beginners’. It is also included on the CSN&Y album ‘Four Way Street’.

The title and lyrics refer to the anti-Vietnam War protests that took place during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the subsequent trial of the Chicago Eight, later Chicago Seven.

During this trial Black Panther leader Bobby Seale was gagged and chained to a chair in the courtroom, and this is where the song starts.

In the lyrics Nash pleads with bandmates Stills and Young to ‘come to Chicago just to sing’ at a benefit concert for the Chicago Eight defense fund. Crosby had time off and wanted to go as well, but the others weren’t able to make it because of prior arrangements.

‘Rules and regulations, who needs them?’ is the only line Nash has ever regretted writing, since he feels that we of course need them. Instead he now often sings: ‘some of those regulations, who needs them?'

This lesson teaches an arrangement in the key of Am, based on how Nash plays it on the piano. It uses several of the same voicings, but an octave down. Others are the same, and for that higher up the neck.

We take a look at the picking, which is all in home position, and should be doable for any guitar student.