Learn how to play Starman on one acoustic guitar!
‘Starman’ is a single off the legendary and groundbreaking album ‘Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars’ by David Bowie.
There are some very unique chords played in ‘Starman’, the Bbadd#11 being what stands out the most.
Spy Tunes version is a one guitar arrangement. To make the arrangement sound as full as possible, other chord shapes have sometimes been used compared to the original.
The most obvious example of this is the initial open Gm shape that start off the Verse.
Starman chord progression
‘Starman’ is in the key of F, not a very common key for songs written on the guitar. The key of F is much more common on the piano, which hints what instruments the song was written on.
The Intro start off with the unique Bb#11 chord.
| Bb#11 | Bb#11 | Fmaj7 | Fmaj7 | x2
The Verse is more traditional as it use a II – I – V progression, like this:
| Gm | Gm | F | F | C | C7 |
| F Ab Bb | x2
| A | A11 |
Only the A11 is the slightly “out there” chord used here.
In the Chorus we get a couple of slash chords, here’s the progression:
| F | Dm | Am Am/G | C C7 | x2
| Bb Bbm | F D7 | Gm C |
Following the Chorus theres an Instrumental section that goes like this:
| Bb | F | C | F | Bb | F | C |
You get the strumming pattern as well as full TAB of what happens in the song when you take the full Intermediate Guitar Chords.
Starman chord extensions
Use the video lesson to work out how to fret the unique chord shapes, this is how they’re built:
Bbadd#11 – This is a normal major chord with an added #11, you find it as an open E string.
Fmaj7 – This is just an F chord with the maj7 added on the top, open E string.
Gm – This is the open position Gm shape, very unusual, Bowie doesn’t use this shape but I like it!
C7 – This is dominant 7 version of the V chord.
A11 – This is a slightly modified version of the standard 11 chord shape, usually you don’t play a root on the top string.
Am/G – This is an Am chord with its 7th in the bass. Compare with Sunny Afternoon.
D7 – This is a standard open position D chord which has been extended to a dominant 7.
All these chords are not part of the F major family, some go outside of the key.
Get the full lesson for ‘Starman’ in the Intermediate Guitar Course.