Changed chords

Good Morning,
I have Justin’s Beginners song book. I am trying to find the sheet music that shows the actual measures for Feelin Alright by Dave Mason. When I find one the chords are totally different than what is in the book. In Justin’s book it shows A and D, but on sheet music it shows C9 and F. Is there a reason why we are taught A and D and not C9 and F for this song. The song is in Stage 1 of the book
Thank You

Good morning John,

The song is taught with A and D chords for an easier version of the song for beginners. For more advanced players the song is played with C7 and F7. Check out Justin’s song lesson which covers from beginner to more advanced level but best to stick with the beginner version if working your way through the beginners course to consolidate the A and D chord.


Hi @Jack255, we are taught A and D because these chords are easier to change (changing from A to D and vice versa) than C9 and F (changing from C9 to F and vice versa).

Nothing big to worry about. The only thing to note is that if you want to play along with the original tune, you can either:
(1) Use the A and D chords, but with a capo on the third fret
(2) Use the C9 and F chords

For a beginner, I recommend sticking with the A and D chords :grinning:


Thank You

Grade 1 does not have C9 and F

There is some theory in the explanation and I recommend Justin’s practic Music Theory Course if you have an enquiring mind and want to understand why and how chords work together.

The explanation involves two aspects - extended chords and the function of chords.

The actual song is in the key of F. The chords within that key are:
F, Gm, Am, Bb, C, Dm, Edim
We can name them using Roman numeral format:
I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, vii

Justin teaches it in the key of D. The chords within that key are:
D, Em, F#m, G, A, Bm, C#dim
We can name them using Roman numeral format:
I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, vii

I have written in bold the 1st chord and the 5th chord in both. The I and the V respectively. These are the ‘heavyweight’ chords in any key. The I chord is the home base, called the tonic. It is where a progression is most at ease, can come to rest with no sense of wanting to be anywhere else. The V chord is the dominant chord, it has the most tension, is not a place of rest and creates a sense of satisfaction when it moves back to the tonic. The chord progression for the song basically bounces back and forward between ease and tension chords, I and V.

You also need to know that chords can be extended. In general, chords are at their simplest level a triad made up of a 1st, a 3rd and a 5th.
Major chords = 1, 3, 5
Minor chords = 1, b3, 5
Diminished chords = 1, b3, b5

When chords are extended in a simple manner, the next obvious note to add on can be a 7th.
Major 7th chords = 1, 3, 5, 7
Minor 7th chords = 1, b3, 5, b7
Diminished 7th chords = 1, b3, b5, b7
There is a further type which applies to the V chord in most cases. It becomes a dominant 7 chord.
Dominant 7 = 1, 3, 5, b7

Beyond the 7th extension, chords can be extended further to become 9th, 11th or 13th chords. We will take the V chord, the dominant, and extend it to become a dominant 9 chord.
Dominant 9 = 1, 3, 5, b7, 9.

A dominant 9 chord still has the same function as a regular dominant triad and a dominant 7 chord. It is the dominant chord and it pushes back to the tonic to create resolution to the tension it contains in its sound. Dominant 9 chords have a slightly different sound to dominant 7 and dominant triads. They are perhaps more jazzy if you will. Their function is the same.

In Justin’s lesson we have a I chord and a V chord.
In the actual song we have a I and a V9 chord.
They are in different keys.
Justin’s lesson is a simplified version in both the type of dominant chord presented (9th chords are tricky to play and not beginner chords) and in the key of the chords (the key of A using D and A respectively is more beginner oriented than the key of F with F and C9).

See this diagram for a side-by-side of the main features described.