Card Games That Develop Music Skills

Every deck of Guitar Cards comes with instructions for three games, designed to help you get playing chords and writing songs fast.

Riff! is for beginners, and teaches chords while introducing keys.
Song Seeder is for players who already know a few chords and want to start writing their own songs.
Nashville Hold 'Em is like Texas Hold 'Em, but every set represents a musical concept!


2 - 6 Players

RIFF! is an exciting, suspenseful game that's similar to Snap. Build your collection into a full key before anyone else to win!

Setup: To begin, shuffle the deck and deal all the cards out to each player face down.

Play: Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, players take turns adding a card from their own deck to the central stack. Cards must be turn over quickly, so that everyone sees the card at the same time. If a note on the played card matches a note from the previous card, like the G’s below, players try to be the first to yell RIFF!


If the Riff! call is correct, the caller wins both cards. Each player keeps won cards in a collection, face-up so all players scan see.

Kings: Whoever plays a king may steal any card they wish from one of the other players collection and add it to their own.

Jokers: Anyone who plays a Joker is given a card from each players collection.

The game is over when a player collects three red cards in a row, matched with three corresponding white cards - a musical key.



Song Seeder

1+ Player

Setup: First, choose your instrument - this game is designed to help you write songs and understand keys with guitar, piano or other instrument.

Choose a card to be your song key. C, G and D major are all good choices to start off with. Set it in the key position in the layout below: This is your song key chord.



Then, look at the rank of your card, and find all the other cards in the deck with a neighbouring rank. If you have a C or a G major key, this means some of your neighbouring cards will loop “round the corner” between the Queen and the Ace, like a clock.

So,  if your chosen key is a C major (red Queen) then find all Queens, then all Jacks and all Aces. If it’s a G major (red Ace) find all Aces, Queens and 2’s like below:

Once you have your deck, shuffle it, and then deal six cards face up into the other spaces right of the key position. This layout is your song seed. You can play the top cards as a verse and the bottom cards as a chorus, beginning with the song key chord each time. The aim of the game is simple - start a great song! Feel free to move cards around or add cards from outside the key.

If you’re playing Song Seeder with two or more players, try inviting them to move cards as you play to alter the song as you go. Shuffle remaining cards from your song key and lay them out to craft a hook, a solo or a bridge. When you have the start of a great song, take a picture of the cards as they were laid out so you can remember what chords you used.

The reason this game works so well at making songs is that you only have chords in the same key (the centre rank). In a musical key all chords share the same seven notes - the notes in the scale of the key.