Chords in E minor for “Lights” by Ellie Goulding

I worked on this with Morgan Oakes today. It’s the chord progression for Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” transposed from G#m to E minor. It would be far easier to play it on guitar in this key and capo four. Or, even better, don’t capo it if you want to sing it in a lower key than Ellie.

She commented that it was just the same chord progression over and over. Even if it’s the same chord progression over and over, if you’re working with other musicians who want to play the song with you, there’s a lot of information to get across to them.

In this case, you need to at least tell your fellow musicians what the four chords are that you’re going to play over and over. We added a strumming pattern, tempo, and an ending that Morgan came up with that is different than Ellie Goulding’s version.

We transposed this down to Em from G#m as it fit Morgan’s range and vocal strengths better.

Whiteboard Song Map: Danny’s Song

This is the first in a series of what I will call Whiteboard Song Maps. I write thousands of them (not exaggerating), and up until the end of 2019, I thought they were illegal to share. Turns out, you can’t copyright chord progressions. YAY!! So I am free to publish as long as I don’t include lyrics.

It’s the first thing I do to learn any song, and I help all my students, voice and piano, write these kinds of charts. Dominick Gregoretti was the first one to say, “Song map” in my hearing. I’m sure he wasn’t the originator of the term, but I was grateful to learn it from him, as it is a more accurate description of what it is. Every keyboard player on the planet will complain about them, but I still find them useful in many situations.

I did this one in a lesson with Nina Martin, whom I adore, and we were glad for the simplicity of it. For the life of me, though, I cannot find the sweet little live version we found on Spotify with just Anne Murray accompanied on guitar, no instrumental solo or anything. Anne does it in E, but we found that Nina’s voice sounds better in the higher key of G, thus the key change.

Please use to your heart’s content and let me know whether these kinds of charts are helpful to anyone. I would also be willing to redo it in Anne’s key of E or Loggins & Messina’s original key of D. Corrections are welcome!