Free online guitar lessons from Vancouver teacher Blue Morris

Skinny Love - Birdy Guitar Lesson

Skinny Love by Birdy album coverHere's a guitar lesson on how to play Birdy's version of "Skinny Love." I have the chords written out below which are the correct chords for the song (there are many incorrect versions online), and I've done it with CAPO 4 so that you don't have to use any barre chords.

A really nice way to play Birdy's version but on guitar is to use a simple arpeggio pattern to create the kind of piano sound she has on her recording.

To do this, hold down each chord with your left hand while your right hand picks out the individual notes in the tab below. Let each string ring throughout each measure.

Skinny Love guitar arpeggio

Em slash B chord on the guitarIn the chorus Birdy plays an inversion of Em. Inversion means that you have a note that is not the root note as the lowest pitch of the chord. In this case, the Em/B is an Em chord but with B as the lowest pitch. This is easy to play on guitar like this: x22000.

Here's how to apply the arpeggio pattern to the chorus. The C chord gets two measures so just repeat the pattern twice. The Em/B is one measure and since the lowest pitch is now B you get to pluck the same fifth string to start your arpeggio pattern for that measure.

Skinny Love chorus for guitar

Skinny Love Guitar Chords

And finally here are the full chords and lyrics for the song, arranged for CAPO 4 so you don't need to use any barre chords.



Intro: Am, F, C (2x)

Am              F                  C
Come on skinny love just last the year
Am              F                  C
Pour a little salt we were never here
      Am         F               C
My my my – my my my – my my my my – my my ...
                F       Dm                  Am 
Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer

Am          F               C
I tell my love to wreck it all
Am                F                C
Cut out all the ropes and let me fall
      Am         F                C
My my my – my my my – my my my my – my my ...
                F  Dm             Am
Right in the moment this order's tall

   C                        Em/B             Am
I told you to be patient I told you to be fine
    C                       Em/B             Am
I told you to be balanced I told you to be kind
          C                                  Em/B            Am
In the morning I'll be with you, but it will be a different kind
           C                                     Em/B          Am
I'll be holding all the tickets, and you'll be owning all the fines

Am            F                   C 
Come on skinny love what happened here
Am           F                C
Suckle on the hope in lite brassiere
      Am         F             C
My my my – my my my – my my my – my my ...
          F  Dm                    Am
Sullen load is full so slow on the split

   C                       Em/B             Am
I told you to be patient I told you to be fine
   C                       Em/B             Am
I told you to be balanced I told you to be kind
    C                           Em/B               Am
Now all your love is wasted then who the hell was I?
Cause now I'm breaking at the britches
          Em/B              Am
And at the end of all your lines                                          

C                   Em           Am
  Who will love you?  who will fight?
C                   Em       Am
  And who will fall,  far behind?

Am              F       C
Come on skinny love ........

Am, F, C (1x)

      Am         F             C
My my my – my my my – my my my – my my ... (x2)

Outro: Am, F, C (2x)

Decemberists - June Hymn

The light is getting dark now by the time my students leave after lessons. It feels like only a few weeks ago there was still sunshine coming through the windows as we played.

So much for summer. Here's a great song to remind us of those sunny days. I couldn't find accurate chord sheets for this song online so here it is: "June Hymn" by he Decemberists

The Dsus2/4 chord is a D major chord with an added 2 and a 4. The way to play this is to take a standard C-chord shape and slide it up two frets, like this: X54030

The Decemberists - June Hymn


Intro: G  C  G  C

G                  G/F#           Em   
Here's the hymn to welcome in the day,
G           G/F#           Em
heralding a summer's early sway and all the bulbs are coming
C   C/B      Am       C/B
in        to begin
    C                 C/B             Am                Am/G     D/F# (x2)
The thrushes bleating battle with the wrens disrupts my reverie again

Read more: Decemberists - June Hymn

Glen Hansard - Say It To Me Now - chords

Here's another great song for which there are no accurate chord charts that I could find online. This song is from the wonderful movie called "Once" featuring Glen Hansard.

The original song looks like it's in an alternate tuning, but using Capo 4 in standard tuning can get you very nice results and that's what I'm posting here below

Glen Hansard -- Say It To Me Now


C   Cmaj7  C7   Am (x2)

                   C         Cmaj7                C7      Am
Scratching at the surface now,     and I'm trying hard to work it out
                         C    Cmaj7         C7           Am
So much has gone misunderstood,    and this mystery only leads to doubt

And I didn't understand,
Em                                  F
   When you reached out to take my hand
Em                               Dm
    And if you have something to say, 
    You better say it now...

C                                   (Caug)
     Cuz this is what you've waited for
Am                         F
Your chance to even up the score
C                        (Caug)
     And as these shadows fall on me  
Am             F
now I will somehow (Yeayeah)

C                                (Caug)
     Cuz I'm picking up a message Lord
Am                                     F
    And I'm closer than I've ever been before
C                               G
    So if you have something to say
              F    G
Say it to me now
              F    G
Say it to me now
              F    G
Ooooh  Oh Oooh Oh

OUTRO:  C  Csus2  C  G/B  C

Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye - Chords

In preparing music for the Motown Burlesque show I've been looking up chords for some great songs. But of course the Internet is not a trust-worthy source. But it's always a good place to start. I have to correct chords for songs for my gigs (and my students) for about half of what I find on the internet.

Here's a great song that had numerous versions online and ALL were wrong. And it's really too bad because this chord sequence is so cool! Many people are writing I-VIm-IV-V but it's I-IIIm-IV-V and that's partly what makes it sound so great becuase it's not the standard '60s ballad progression.

Everyone also missed that F major chord in the bridge.

Lets Get It On -- Marvin Gaye

[Intro guitar:]

Eb         Gm   Ab     Bb7
I've been really tryin', baby
Tryin' to hold back these feelings for so long
And if you feel, like I feel baby
Come on, oh come on,

             Eb  Gm  Ab  Bb7
Let's get it on
Lets get it on
Let's get it on
Let's get it on

Read more: Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye - Chords

Adam Cohen "What Other Guy" - Guitar Chords

One of my students requested to learn this song. I hadn't heard it before tonight but I love it. It's funny just how much this sounds like his father. But I think it's a beautiful, simple song, with lovely lyrics.

I didn't find any correct chords on-line so I thought I would post on my blog the chords that I'm hearing in this.

(This is all relative to Capo VI:) It sounds like he is having some fun with the C chord. He is adding the 9 (a D) to the chord, and he is not playing the high E string, so the chord ends up something like this: x3203x. He also turns it into a Cmaj7 chord in the intro just by removing the D note on the B string to reveal the major 7th: x3200x.

Cadd9: x3203x
G: 32003x
Em: 022000
D: xx0232
G/F#: 2x0003
G/B: x20003

Capo VI

Cadd Cmaj7  G

Cadd9                               G
    I know what you look like in the morning
Your kisses are soft and warm
I can draw you with my eyes closed
See you with nothing on but the radi-o
I know how many years of French you took
Your favourite movies, your favourite books
I know what really gets you going... glowing

  Em             D                      Cadd9
I know where you go with your beautiful friends
  Em            D          Cadd9
I know what you taste like when the night ends

Read more: Adam Cohen "What Other Guy" - Guitar Chords