Coldplay has been one of the world’s most popular bands for a quarter century now. The British band has sold over 100 million albums and been a favorite with our TG guitar players, mostly thanks to these fabulous lessons, all done by our Dutch colleague, Vanessa.
The lessons include the song that really launched them, Yellow, along with five others: The Scientist, Fix You, Green Eyes, Warning Sign, and Til Kingdom Come.
Lesson 1: Til Kingdome Come
Til Kingdom Come is a hidden track by British band Coldplay, on their 3rd studio album 'X&Y' (2005). It was originally planned for American country star Johnny Cash to record it with lead singer Chris Martin, but Cash died before he was able to do so.
The tuning for this song would be CACGBC, resulting in gorgeous sounding chords. Martin uses only one shape, a C-shape, all over the fretboard, sometimes with his thumb wrapped around the neck to fret the bassnotes when changing chords.
The strumming is relatively easy, but fast, especially when they perform it live.
There are also a few tricky syncopated chordchanges, which are pretty cool. If it throws off your timing, you could leave those out as well.
The arrangement is somewhat straightforward, but each verse is still a little different here and there. There is even a one measure time signature change.
All in all, not neccessarily an easy song after all. Then again, it's much fun to play and the tuning sounds really awesome.
Lesson 2: The Scientist - Acoustic Guitar Lesson
The Scientist is a piano driven ballad from the immensely popular British band Coldplay. It’s the second single from their second 2002 studio album ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’.
This lesson covers how vocalist Chris Martin plays it on the guitar in the key of F. The guitar should be tuned in fourths, raising the two top strings with a half step from B to C and E to F.
We also take a look at the key of D, with the capo on the third fret, for those who’d like a slightly more simplified version.
Both keys are likely too low for the average female voice, so for that a segment of how to play it in the key of G is included.
Lesson 3: Green Eyes
Green Eyes is a song by British band Coldplay, taken from their 2nd studio album 'Rush Of Blood To The Head', released in 2002.
The lesson teaches the usual suspects like the chords in the key of G (Capo II), the strumming with swing feel, and the progression.
Note that Chris Martin, the band's frontman, tunes his 1st string a whole step down to D, which creates some colorful chords. One could play this in standard tuning just as well.
Lesson 4: Yellow - Guitar Lesson
Yellow is a song by British alternative rock band Coldplay, and appears on their 2000 debut album ‘Parachutes’.
The song is in the key of B, where the guitar is tuned to EABGAD#, and consists of four chords, and one chord out of the key in the outro.
This lesson shows how vocalist Chris Martin plays it. It covers the tuning, the chords, the driving double time strumming and the progression.
It also includes a segment on how to play it in the key of A, capoed on the second fret, for those who like to play it in standard tuning.
Lesson 5: Fix You - Guitar Lesson
Fix You is a song by the British rock band Coldplay. It was written by all four members of the band for their third studio album ‘X&Y’, released in 2005. The album became a significant commercial success and reached the top spot on many charts worldwide, including the UK and the US.
The arrangement is in the key of Eb, which is not a guitar friendly key. A simple way to get around that is to transpose it to the key of C, where the guitar is capoed on the third fret.
Even though the song features only five chords, it needs no explanation why it is a challenge to cover.
The heart and soul of the song lies in how it gradually builds up moving from one part to another. For that, the power of the right hand is crucial. So besides going through the chords and the progression, we also take a look at how to try and capture that feel when it’s just you and your guitar.
There is also a segment which covers how Chris Martin during one occasion plays it on the guitar, by tuning it to Eb-A-D-G-Bb-Eb. Tuning the two top strings down results in a few colorful chords and a bit of theory is included.
Lesson 6: Warning Sign
Warning Sign is another track taken from Coldplay’s ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’-album (2002)
The band’s frontman, Chris Martin, plays this song on guitar, where the 1st string is tuned down a whole step to D. Usually on stage he would capo it on the second fret. For the album version it should be place on the 3rd.
For the most part of the song he uses one chord shape, which is a C-shape with its lower 5th in the bass. One needs to move up and down quite a bit.
The strumming should be done in double time, accentuating beats 1, the and of beat 2 even more, and beat 4.
This lesson of course takes a look at both hands, goes over the progression, and how the song is arranged.