1980s Songs Volume 1

1980s Songs Volume 1

What's included

  • All tab
  • Chords
  • Chart
  • Guitar pro files


Full Lifetime Access to this package

Our 1980s Songs pack now includes 15 of the most popular songs of the decade, at least according to some of our members!


  • Lesson 1: There She Goes

    The late 1980s brought us a one-hit-wonder out of Liverpool, The La’s. You may not remember the band but *There She Goes*has appeared in numerous movies over the last 20 years. It is a good example of using lots of guitars to create a bouncy, jangly texture with the added plus of a catchy melody. In this short guitar lesson we look at strumming the rhythm guitar part as well as a segment on incorporating the opening lead into a strumming pattern.

  • Lesson 2: One Guitar Lesson

    This short lesson on One, by Metallica goes over the opening riff and how it is incorporated into the rhythm guitar parts for the vocal sections of the song. It also includes the variations on the riff that occur later, the power chords used in the chorus, tab to the rhythm parts and some of the lead sections, as well a separate segment on a bit of the history of the band and the times.

  • Lesson 3: Redemption Song - Guitar Lesson

    Redemption Song is a great example of how a very simple chord progression and strumming pattern can be combined into a very powerful and moving song. This Bob Marley tune uses just a few open chords, a basic strumming pattern, and an opening melody to practice single-note playing, making it very playable by beginning guitar students.

  • Lesson 4: Stray Cat Strut - Acoustic Guitar Lesson

    The Stray Cats came on the scene in the early 1980s with a sound that was more 1950s and brought new life to the Rockabilly style that was so popular then. They found better acceptance in the UK than the US before an American record company would talk to them but then had quite a string of hits over the next few years. *Stray Cat Strut*is one of their signature songs, and although Brian Setzer is partial to the electric guitar, it transfers very nicely to the ‘unplugged’ version that Neil does in this lesson. The lesson goes over the rhythm guitar accompaniment to the vocal sections, as well as acoustic versions of all the main leads.

  • Lesson 5: Blister In The Sun Guitar Lesson - Violent Femmes

    Blister In The Sun is from 1982, the Violent Femmes debut album. The song is a short, catchy riff in the key of G, with some fast strumming over easy chords. This is a good song to work on a relatively easy set of techniques that are made difficult because of the speed involved.

  • Lesson 6: Take On Me

    Many songs of the 80s were driven by keyboard riffs and a synthesized, electronic rhythm feel. A-Ha came out of Norway and added a pyrotechnic vocal element to the mix and produced *Take On Me*. This song, which only needs to be heard once to become unforgettable, is probably not one many people would think about playing on the guitar, and one segment discusses arranging keyboard pieces for guitar in general. The lesson includes a basic rhythm guitar accompaniment as well as a chord solo of the intro, which incorporates the rapid keyboard riff into a strumming pattern.

  • Lesson 7: Wanted Dead Or Alive - Guitar Lesson

    One of the biggest bands of the 80s, Bon Jovi, featured some good songwriting and some great guitar playing, mostly from the team of Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. Their 1986 album Slippery When Wet included *Wanted Dead Or Alive*, which had a very distinctive opening run played on a 12-string guitar. Other than that it is a pretty basic strumming song with some syncopated chord changes and a slightly bluesy fill played as part of the vocal hook.

  • Lesson 8: Crazy Train (IRL)

    This lesson is part of our Intros, Riffs & Licks Package.

    Crazy Train was released in 1980 by Ozzy Osbourne on his first solo album Blizzard Of Oz. It is based on a simple riff that uses an alternating picking technique with power chords and a short scale-based run. This lesson is part of our Intros, Riffs and Licks Series, and really addresses only the opening riff.

  • Lesson 9: Put Down That Weapon - Guitar Lesson

    *Put Down That Weapon*is one of Midnight Oil’s topical songs about the effects of war and was released in 1987 on their album Diesel And Dust. It is typical of their sound with a melodic, arpeggio intro, driving bass line through the verse and chorus, some full chord strumming sections, a catchy riff to close the chorus, and a crashing power chord interlude, all of which are covered in the lesson. This song is very special to MattB and MattM, and as such there are a few bonus segments- an intro by MattW, a Fly On The Wall with Neil and Matt working on the song, and a couple of Flip-Out videos of the two Matts going over it.

  • Lesson 10: Carrie - Guitar Lesson

    Carrie is a 1987 hit single and power ballad by the Swedish hard rock band Europe and appears on their album ‘The Final Countdown’. It was written by frontman Joey Tempest and keyboardist Mic Michaeli.

    The lesson takes a look at the acoustic version as performed, for example, on their ‘Live From The Dark’-DVD. It features Joey accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar.

    It covers the progression, which involves many chord changes, 5 basic chords in the key of G, the strumming at the speed of 16th’s, the ‘Wish You Were Here’-fill in the interlude and how he dresses it up a bit.

    The lesson is presented in standard tuning, as performed on the original recording, but on stage the guitar is tuned down a half step.

  • Lesson 11: Babe - Styx - Guitar Lesson

    Styx is an American rock band from Chicago, formed in 1972.

    ‘Babe’ is taken from their 1979 triple-platinum album ‘Cornerstone’ and became their first, and only, US number-one single.

    This lesson covers the chords in the key of D, including several shapes and triads up the neck, the strumming and progression.

    It also takes a look at how to incorporate some of the melodic piano fills, in particular for the intro. This certainly raises the level of difficulty.

  • Lesson 12: Every Rose Has Its Thorn

    Poison was one of the glam/hair metal bands of the 80s who had their biggest hit with the power ballad *Every Rose Has Its Thorn*. Typical of attitudes and trends at the time, the song is a simple chord progression gently strummed with lyrics that can be interpreted many different ways. This 4-chord song is great for beginners as it starts introducing the technique of different strumming patterns in consecutive measures.

  • Lesson 13: When I'm With You

    Sheriff was a Canadian rock band in the early 1980s, best known for their 1982 song ‘When I’m With You’.

    When I’m With You is a power ballad, and released as the 2nd single from their self-titled debut album. A top 10 hit in Canada in 1983, and later upon its re-release (1989) it reached #1 in the US.

    This lesson teaches all the usual suspects like the chords, the strumming combined with some flatpicking, the progression and arrangement.

    Even though the song seems easy to play, there is, which is in general often the case, still more to it. This is what I would call the magic behind the so called simplicity of it all. It’s in the details, and I break down quite a few of those.

  • Lesson 14: Still Loving You - Scorpions - Guitar Lesson

    Scorpions are a German rock band founded in 1965 and one of the longest existing rock bands in the world. They are famous and well known for their melodic heavy metal, including powerful rock ballads.

    Still Loving You is one of those power rock ballads. It appears on their ninth studio album ‘Love At First Sting’ and was released in 1984.

    The lesson is primarily based on how to perform it when it’s just you, your voice and one acoustic guitar.

    The arrangement is done in Dropped D-Tuning, where the guitar is capoed on the 5th fret. It features several chords and chord shapes, melodic picking and a sixteenth note strumming pattern over slow quarter notes.

    There is also a segment which shows how to play it without the capo, both in standard tuning as well as in Dropped D-Tuning.

  • Lesson 15: Drive - The Cars - Guitar Lesson

    The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s.

    Drive is the third single from their 1984 album ‘Heartbeat City’ and their biggest international hit.

    This lesson shows how Ric Ocasek, who wrote the song, performs it by himself. This version is very simple and consists of basically four chords and easy strumming.

    It also covers the album version, which involves more chords and a few differences in the progression. It’s groove/feel is different too, so we take a look at a few possible simple ways to copy it on the guitar.

    For vocal reasons, I prefer to play the song in the key of D and I figured that other female vocalists might wanna do the same. For that a segment of playing in that key is included.