Learn how to play Roxanne on one acoustic guitar!
‘Roxanne’ was The Police first single, it was written by Sting who eventually left the band to pursue a solo career.
Originally a new-wave/punk-pop band, Sting later settled down and wrote more jazz influenced material as he surrounded himself with the best session guys money could buy.
A prolific song writer we can all learn plenty from how he pens a hit song, be it an early or late composition.
Roxanne Chord Progression
Roxanne’s Verse chord progression descend from VI – V – IV – III – II, before it moves up again from V to VI.
To get the key right, place a capo on fret III and think as if in the key of Em, like this:
Em – D – Cmaj7 – Bm7 – Am7 – D7 – E7sus4
The last chord is neither major nor minor, so when the Verse starts again you really feel the minor chord.
The Chorus is a simple I – IV – V. That’s G – C – D if you put the capo on fret three.
You’ll get the full strumming pattern, all the TAB and every lick you see in the video when you take the Advanced Guitar Course.
Roxanne in the guitar course
Spy Tunes version of ‘Roxanne’ is somewhere in between the original recording and one of the many acoustic versions Sting himself has played at various gigs.
When you take the Advanced Guitar Course we go all the way with ‘Roxanne’ as we learn everything in the video using complete TAB.
As well as this we also improvise over the Verse progression using a new mode for every chord.
The song never actually change key, it does however clearly move from a Minor Verse (Aeolian, chord VI) to a Major Chorus (Ionian, chord I).
This is possibly the simplest but also hardest way to write a song, few artist can do this well, Sting is the master.