Learn How To Play Red
Chords and Guitar Lessons
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In the course & Complete song
Red is a single by Daniel Merriweather, produced by the hugely successful Mark Ronson.
This song is in the key of E major and only uses the I, IV, V, and VI chords throughout the entire song.
To spice things up and compensate for the lack of huge production, curtesy of Mr Ronson, open strings have been incorporated into the one guitar arrangement.
These open strings create some unique extensions to the chords.
The intro/instrumental section is harmonically super simple.
| E | Eadd9 |
The verse only adds one chord, spiced up with a couple of extensions it looks like this.
| Asus2 | Asus2 | E Eadd9 | E | x2
The bridge introduces some new chords, taking the song to chord VI for the first time, like this.
| C#m | Bsus4 | Asus2 | Asus2 | x2
The chorus is very similar to the verse, just swapped around with a VI chord snuck in.
| E | E | C#m | A | x2
| E Eadd9 | E Eadd9 |
Extend chords using open strings
There are another couple of chord progressions in the song before the m8 and during the outro that hasn’t been listed above, too many little details to get into here.
What’s really unique about this one guitar arrangement is how some of the chords in Red have been extended.
Using the same open strings throughout, we get different extensions depending on which chord is used.
For example, the C#m with an open B and E string produces a C#m7 but over an A chord, you get an add9 extension.
You’ll get to the bottom of this concept when you take the intermediate guitar course which is great as it can be applied to other songs too.
Red – Step 1
The tempo has been lowered from 92 to 78 BPM and the overall feel is very different from the original.
Go to Red Step 1.
Red – Step 2
Both these sections use the same chord progression that moves from chord VI, down to V, finishing on chord IV.
Go to Red Step 2.
Red – Step 3
Chorus 1, 2 and the outro chorus are fully transcribed, including TAB loops to help you practice.
Go to Red Step 3.
Red – Step 4
Instead of reading and copying me exactly, just play along with us and see if you can keep up. Achieve this and you’ll be able to play this song on your own.
Go to Red Step 4.
Red – Step 5
As well as looking at the rise and fall of the S-E P R, we work out how to best learn, understand and use the modes.
Go to Red Step 5.
Red – Step 6
First, we compare it to Ionian, only one note differ. More importantly, we have to hear the difference when using these two scales in the same key.
Go to Red Step 6.
Red – Step 7
This is the mode for chord IV, the chord I feel is the essence of this particular song.
Go to Red Step 7.
Red – Step 8
By digging this deep we can create improvisations that follow the same feeling as the song has. Could this be the secret to making great music?
Go to Red Step 8.
Go to Red Lyrics.
After a few more collaborations with Ronson, they finally made a solo album for Merriweather that was released in ’09.
The intermediate songs require you to learn barre chords and pentatonic scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fretboard.
Go to Intermediate Guitar Course.
Intermediate Acoustic Songs
A Change Is Gonna Come, American Pie, Angie, Babylon, Blowin’ In The Wind, Dreadlock Holiday, Fast Car, Hey There Delilah, I Can’t Stand The Rain, I’m Yours, Kiss Me, Mad World, Red, Starman, Sunny Afternoon, and Whistle For The Choir.
Go to Intermediate Acoustic Songs.
We’ll use this to map out the entire fretboard. Everything becomes easier to visualize once this foundation is laid.
Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.
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