You have to give credit to pop-music songwriters. They know how to conjure up hooks that pull you in and lead you to the land of guilty pleasure that you swore you had abandoned. Take the song “God Is A Woman” from the vocal queen of pop, Ariana Grande. She can deliver real vocal supremacy that is more than enough to perk your ears up. But, in the over-produced world of pop music, there’s always more.
From the start, “God Is A Woman” is a hook monster. The guitar enters immediately with jazzed-up arpeggios loaded with a “Black Hole Sun” vibe that instantly resonates with anticipation and drama. The mastermind of this musical addition must be credited with knowing how the concept of cross-genre composition works. Hats off to foresight!
There are five chord forms in this song. Each will require just a little woodshedding to get under your fingers. They are and they aren’t barre forms. I’d rather call them “jazz grips”. Once you get these under your fingers you will be well on your way towards supercharging your chord knowledge and performance on the guitar.
I recommend playing this on electric guitar, however there is no reason you can’t play it on acoustic. It will be a little more of a struggle of course but, the guitar is a challenge no matter what you wish to do beyond the typical capo up and play easy chords method that is infecting the YouTube airwaves.
I have included a link to the tab here as well as the YouTube tutorial. Have fun my guitar friends!
Guitar Pro PDF
God Is A Woman
“God Is A Woman” Tutorial
Less definitely is more when you are trying to get a message into a song. The less clutter instrumentally, the less business in the harmonies and sections the better. It enables the vocal part to stand out and brings every nuance to the forefront. On “Depression and Obsession” by the late Alternative, Hard Rock, Nu-Metal, Rap, and Hip-Hop-influenced artist, XXXTENTACION (Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy), this is certainly the case.
Take a somewhat rough acoustic guitar part, mix it with a tight beat and let the vocals do the rest. I’ve gone to great lengths to make this tutorial as close as possible to the original. This is not an “Easy Guitar” version, which serves collect views and deceives many to believe that anyone can strum along captured the vibe of a song that is far deeper than they could ever imagine. No, this version shows the rough edges and the way to play it with expression.
You will use only three chords throughout this song. But, in these three chords be prepared to dig deep if you want to bring life into this magnificent, minimalistic expression of darkness and pain.
PERFORMANCE NOTES: I’ve decided to use Drop-D tuning for this version. The reason is that I hear the lowered sixth string ringing out in two specific places. It makes the chords slightly more difficult to play but, I feel that to be authentic in replicating other’s songs, you should attempt to get as close as possible. The only chord that may take more work is the GMaj7. For that chord try to land your pinky first. It will take slow practice but, that chord shape comes up a lot in an Am/G context in many songs.
Here is the tutorial:
Depression & Obsession Tutorial
Here is the PDF of the tab:
Guitar Pro Tab
This is the electric guitar part for the song, “Love Lies” Original Video “Love Lies” written by Khalid Robinson, Normani Kordei Hamilton, Jamil Chammas, Ryan Vojtesak, and Tayla Parks.
This is a very clever and fun guitar part. If you want the guitar to pop out of a mix this is the textbook way to do it. Take three chords, and arpeggiate them using a Fender Stratocaster set for position 2. That gives the guitar a “mellow bite” that is perfect for parts you want the listener to focus on.
Here is the guitar tab for the song. I’ve included the very brief legato run that occurs in measure 5 during the intro. Take your time with this as it may be a little tricky at first, especially the changes during the pre-chorus and chorus.
Here is the link for the guitar tab:
Love Lies Guitar Pro Tab
Here is the kink to the YouTube tutorial:
Love Lies Tutorial
“Find Me” Guitar Tutorial
XXXTentacion has once again placed the guitar front and center in another of his mixes. The young man continues to use the instrument that was missing in the genre since the days of the famous collaboration with Run DMC “Walk This Way”.
X’s guitar is very unlike Joe Perry’s as there are no wild guitar solos and few power chord excursions. What there is though is pure rhythmic and melodic contours that light up his music.
For this song you will need a clean electric and delay. Check out the tutorial and I’ll have more to say here.
“Find Me” Tutorial
“Find Me” Guitar Pro Score/Tab
“Góðan Daginn” – Acoustic Guitar Tutorial (Part 1)
There is no way to do a thorough job on a song as long and dense as this one. Therefore, I will break it up into three videos. This first installment covers the Intro and Verse. Those sections alone take :45 seconds. Imagine that, a real introduction. Most pop songs are heading into the chorus by now.
The acoustic guitar score is brilliant in its non-stop arpeggiated beauty, It serves as a guide of sorts for the massive orchestration that eventually surrounds it. For those of you in the upper-intermediate playing range, this will further develop your playing in terms of what I like refer as “note streaming”. That being a constant flow of notes that are rarely interrupted (if at all) by stops or pauses. This is the perfect introduction concentrated guitar playing. Stay focused and keep your movements even and on the beat.
While not too difficult to play, you must take care to not become complacent and sloppy throughout. It’s very easy to create a lot of string chatter on this part. Make sure to lift your fingers and move quickly and accurately to the next chord. I also recommend using a pick on this but, you should do what comes natural to your playing style. Looking forward to completing this gem!
Here are your links:
Sigur Rós – “Góðan Daginn” Youtube Tutorial
“Góðan Daginn” Guitar Pro Tab/Score
Sigur Rós Website
“Indecision” by the 19 year old rapper XXXTENTACION is easily one of the most angry displays of angst and rage that’s come from an artist in years. This is “real feel”.
The reasons for such emotional displays are well-known by his fans. One thing is unmistakeable, this troubled, young man is one clever musician who knows how to creat a vibe that gets traction, and respect.
The music is dark and brooding, with a falling, chromatic bass line leading you astray. With this dark-minor dirge, XXXTENTACION drags you into a world of his own with the guitar becoming a willing ally in his misery and revenge-filled cries.
The guitar part is not difficult to perform technically, but the vibe is. It’s a one shot ode to life in the life of crime and swagger. Sounding “very” improvised this short but potent part is fun to play as one can feign anger and injustice from the perspective of, “Hey, glad it’s not my life, but I can pretend.”
To properly capture the emotion of this song use a messy-sounding overdrive setting on your amp and hit the strings like the hours are counting down and the bills are due. You can then unashamedly drench the guitar solos in reverb and play with the upmost feeling.
“Indecision” Electric Guitar Tutorial
Acoustic Guitar Tutorial for “It’s Strange” original by Louis the Child (Feat. K. Flay).
For this tutorial I think it’s fair to warn you that you’d better be ready to work that right hand. Guitarist Ashley Juno is a firecracker of a player and is off the charts on this one minute barrage.
Handling both electric and acoustic guitars with ease this young lady is breathing fire into the word of pop and rock covers. She plays with an creative aggression not seen for a long time. Finally!!!!
I have provided the tab and tutorial for the first two measures! What? Why only two measures? Well, there is so much going on that I was not leaving any detail out of this wild acoustic guitar display. The into consists of only two chords, D Major 7 and an E minor 7. They are root 5 structures and will certainly get you up to speed on the shapes.
The challenge will be in the right hand. Well, I’ll have more to say about that soon!
“It’s Strange” Guitar Pro PDF
“It’s Strange” – Youtube Tutorial
“Perfect” Guitar Tutorial
This guitar tutorial for the song “Perfect”, written by Ed Sheeran, should present few problems if you are an intermediate and aboveplayer. The song is exclusively played in the arpeggio style using the well-know I – vi – IV – V chord progression.
This progression is still used today as almost a novelty (an insult if there ever was one) and has succumbed to the “extremely tired” I – V – vi – IV juggernaut that has produced so many lightweight pop offerings due to its ease of play and perfect fit for simple melodic doodling.
The song is in A Flat Major but of course, I’ve placed a capo on the first fret and played as in G. Hey, why struggle? I used a pick on this guitar part even though Ed favors a finger style approach on just about everything he plays. Additionally, I used my Taylor Koa instead of an electric.
Keep your wits about you at the end of the chorus as the little interlude is the halfway point of the song. I’ve fingered that with all open strings after the root notes (although the D chord has the typical F# in the bass).
“Perfect is a great song and an even greater collaboration with star-struck Ed Sheehan more than holding his own (relative to his genre) with the master vocalist Andrea Bocelli.
“Perfect” Guitar Pro PDF
The new album by controversial rapper XXXTENTACION is full of surprises. You wouldn’t recognize him if you know anything about his past releases.
This song is both lyrical and downright gripping. Who else could mix acousitic guitar and piano with such minimalist skill than X.
Then there are the lyrics…
Ohh, ahh, ahh
She showed me the thing love can’t forget
How we fell in love, ohh
I made a list of my regrets
And you were first love, ohh
Oh it hurts, I can’t forget
How we fell in love
Made a list of my regrets …
It would be great if X keeps on this track.
Here is the guitar pro score and video for anyone wanting to play a duo or (if converted a bit) solo arrangement/accompaniment to Ayalya (Outro).
I may tweak the tab a bit more to finish up a couple loose ends.
Alana (Outro) Tutorial
The chords that Justin Bieber plays on his solo acoustic performance, “Love Yourself (Live – #OneLoveManchester) are some of the hardest to see that I’ve run into. I’ve received more that one request to clarify my fingerings of the chords. So here goes:
First of all, Justin has his guitar tuned down 1/2 step, which is a common pattern I’ve seen from him over the last year.
Therefore, tune to Eb tuning. Now the confusion begins. Justin plays in what appears to be the key of F# minor. However, being that we have tuned the guitar down 1/2 step, the “sounding” key is really F minor. Ugh!!! Now what?? Well, don’t panic, just play the forms where I show you to play them and have a blast. Do not become thrown by the sometimes confusing theoretical details of keys and tunings, although you will want to take care of this gap in knowledge eventually.
Justin’s chord pattern is fairly basic, however if you have not played block/barre forms you may be a little confused. Basically, Justin plays, F minor 7 – F minor/Ab – C minor 7. Practice the following chords slowly and carefully. Do not become frustrated as they are very useful chord forms for many songs.
Here are your fingerings:
And there you have it. If you need further clarification on these chord forms let me know.