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How to Play Africa Chords by Toto on Guitar

Africa by Toto is one of the most iconic songs of the 1980s, featuring a catchy melody, a memorable chorus, and a distinctive keyboard riff. The song was released in 1982 as the third single from Toto’s fourth album Toto IV, and it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1983. The song has been covered by many artists, such as Weezer, Ninja Sex Party, and Leo Moracchioli.

If you want to learn how to play Africa by Toto on guitar, you will need to know some basic chords, strumming patterns, and guitar techniques. In this article, we will show you how to play the song in the key of A major, which is the original key of the song. However, you can transpose the song to any other key that suits your vocal range or preference.

Chords

The chords used in Africa by Toto are:

Album: Toto IV (1982)
 
[Chords]
B/F#  224442
A/E   002220
 
[Intro]
A G#m C#m
A G#m C#m
A G#m C#m
A G#m C#m
 
[Verse 1]
B                   D#m     G#m
I hear the drums echoing tonight
B/F#              A/E           C#m         G#m  A  G#m C#m
She hears only whispers of some quiet conversa - tion
B                D#m           G#m
She's coming in, twelve thirty flight
        B/F#        A/E                  Bsus/F#            G#m  A  G#m C#m
The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me toward salva - tion
B            D#m               G#m
I stopped an old man along the way
       B/F#         A/E           Bsus/F#          G#m    A  G#m C#m
Hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melo - dies
B            D#m         G#m                  A                  C#m
He turned to me as if to say “hurry boy, it's waiting there for you”
 
[Chorus]
F#m           D              A        E
Gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
F#m                    D              A               E
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
F#m          D          A      E
I bless the rains down in  Africa
F#m             D               A              C#m  E  F#m  E/G#  A
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had...
    A G#m C#m
Ooo Ooo
    A G#m C#m
 
[Verse 2]
B             D#m            G#m
The wild dogs cry out in the night
   B/F#               A/E              Bsus/F#  G#m   A G#m C#m
As they grow restless longing for some solitary compa-ny
B           D#m              G#m
I know that I must do what's right
           B/F#        A/E         Bsus/F#            G#m     A G#m C#m
As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Ser - engeti
B         D#m                G#m
I seek to cure what's deep inside
G#m                A                 C#m
Frightened of this thing that I've become
 
[Chorus]
F#m           D              A        E
Gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
F#m                    D              A               E
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
F#m          D          A      E
I bless the rains down in  Africa
F#m             D               A              C#m  E  F#m  E/G#  A
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had...
    A G#m C#m
Ooo Ooo
    A G#m C#m
 
[Interlude]
B    D#m      G#m   B/F#
A/E  Bsus/F#  G#m   A  G#m C#m
 
[Bridge]
B   D#7  G#m                   A                 C#m
            “hurry boy, she's waiting there for you”
 
[Outro]
     F#m          D               A        E
It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
F#m                    D              A               E
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
F#m          D             A   E
I bless the rains down in Africa
F#m          D             A   E
I bless the rains down in Africa
F#m          D             A   E
I bless the rains down in Africa
F#m          D             A   E
I bless the rains down in Africa
F#m          D             A   E
I bless the rains down in Africa
F#m             D              A               C#m  E  F#m  E/G#  A
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had…
    A G#m C#m
Ooo Ooo
    A G#m C#m
 (Repeat and fade)

Strumming Pattern

The strumming pattern for Africa by Toto is:

  • Down Down Up Up Down Up

You can use this pattern for most of the song, except for some parts where you need to change the rhythm or mute the strings. For example, in the intro and the verse, you can play the first chord of each line with a single downstroke and then mute the strings with your palm. Then, you can resume the strumming pattern for the rest of the line. This will create a contrast between the keyboard riff and the guitar chords.

Intro

The intro of Africa by Toto consists of four lines of chords that repeat twice. The first line is A C#m D E, the second line is A C#m D F#m, the third line is A C#m D E, and the fourth line is G A. You can play each chord with a single downstroke and then mute the strings with your palm. Then, you can resume the strumming pattern for the rest of the line.

Verse

The verse of Africa by Toto follows the same chord progression as the intro, except for the last line. The last line of each verse is G A D E. You can play each chord with a single downstroke and then mute the strings with your palm. Then, you can resume the strumming pattern for the rest of the line.

Pre-Chorus

The pre-chorus of Africa by Toto changes the chord progression to F#m D F#m D F#m E D. You can play each chord with a single downstroke and then mute the strings with your palm. Then, you can resume the strumming pattern for the rest of the line.

Chorus

The chorus of Africa by Toto changes the chord progression again to G A C D G A F#m Bm G A C D G A D E. You can play each chord with a single downstroke and then mute the strings with your palm. Then, you can resume the strumming pattern for the rest of the line.

Bridge

The bridge of Africa by Toto changes the chord progression once more to C#m Bm C#m Bm C#m Bm A E F#m D F#m E D E. You can play each chord with a single downstroke and then mute the strings with your palm. Then, you can resume the strumming pattern for the rest of the line.

Conclusion

Africa by Toto is a classic song that you can learn how to play on guitar with some basic chords, strumming patterns, and guitar techniques. You can play along with the original recording or use a backing track to practice your skills. You can also sing along or improvise your own solos over the chords. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy playing this timeless tune.

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