Real Chords #7 and 8: Bob Dylan, "Jokerman" and "Changing of the Guards"

It's been a while since I've done a real chords post, so I'm due. And given the lengthy delay, I'm offering up a double dose with two of my favourite Bob Dylan songs, "Jokerman" and "Changing of the Guards."

I'll start with "Changing of the Guards," as it's quite easy once you figure out that a capo is in order. The song is in G#, not exactly a friendly key for the guitar. Simply slap your capo on the first fret and bingo: you're now in G, and the easy-strum chords fall neatly into place. Here, then, are the real chords for "Changing of the Guards":

Capo 1

  • Vocal part (verses): G Em G D Em C D Em G D Em C D G
  • Instrumental chorus: (G D C) x3, D G
I should note that my preferred fingering for G is really a G5: from low to high, 3x0033. I find that for the type of music I play, folk-rock, this chord rings out more nicely than a standard G, which would be 320033.
As for "Jokerman," this tune is in Bbagain, not a guitar-friendly key. Capoing at the third fret will put you in G and make the song much more playable. Here are your real chords for "Jokerman," one of Dylan's best '80s cuts:
Capo 3
  • Verse: G Gmaj7* Am7 D G
  • Pre-chorus: Am7 D G Gsus4 Am7 D G C
  • Chorus: D C G G/F#** Em7*** C Bm7 C D G
Notes on suggested fingerings: * = 3x0032, so it's a Gmaj7 with the third (B) missing. ** = 2x0033. This is really a quick, passing chord on your way from the G to the Em7. *** = 022033. Not the only way to play Em7, but in my opinion this fingering suits the chorus of "Jokerman" best.
If you're a beginner who might be wondering how to play some of the other chords, a good resource is the Chord Calculator at Enjoy strumming along with His Bobness!