Top 60 Sad Guitar Songs You Must Learn To Play – Tabs Included


Music is a form of expression that allows us to create, process, and feel all types of emotions. It is a great vessel for artists to channel their joy, their hopes, and their dreams.

It is no surprise there are also songs written by artists dealing with difficult times in their lives, or expressing a troubling situation happening in the world during that time.

I put together a list of some of the saddest, most successful songs in music history.

Contents show

Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton

Tears In Heaven is a song co-written by English guitar legend Eric Clapton and American songwriter Will Jennings. This song is about the tragic and untimely death of Clapton’s four-year-old son, Connor.

This song became Clapton’s best-selling single in the United States and an iconic song from his music career. It is also #362 in Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Tears In Heaven is in the key of A and has some nice chord inversions. Eric Clapton plays it in a nylon guitar to give it a mellower tone.

Tears in Heaven Guitar Chords

Creep – Radiohead

Creep is a song by the English alternative rock band Radiohead. It became the debut and lead single for their very first studio album, Pablo Honey. It is one of the most successful songs in their career.

According to frontman Thom Yorke, this song tells the tale of a drunk man who is trying to gain a woman’s attention but lacks the self-confidence to do so.

Creep is in the key of G and is a four-chord song. A great addition to this chord progression is the Cm chord, which works as tension from outside of the scale and resolves to G. This is very common to do with the IV-iv-I chords.

Creep Guitar Chords

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The Scientist – Coldplay

The Scientist is a song by British rock band Coldplay. It is part of their second album, A Rush Of Blood To The Head, and was written by all members of the band. The lyrics of this song talk about a man’s desire for love and forgiveness. 

Lead singer and frontman Chris Martin talks about how the song came to fruition. He was inspired by George Harrison’s album All Things Must Pass, and he developed the song on an old, out-of-tune piano.

The Scientist is in the key of Dm, and you can play this song with a capo on the 3rd fret or no capo at all.

The Scientist Guitar Chords

When The Party’s Over – Billie Eilish

When The Party’s Over is a song by American singer-songwriter Billie Eilish. Produced by her brother Finneas, it is the second single from her debut studio album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

The song’s concept came after Finneas left her date’s house with a feeling of disappointment from the relationship ending. They actually performed the song in their live shows for a year, to have it evolve.

When The Party’s Over is in the key of A, and you will need a capo on the 4th fret.

When The Party’s Over Guitar Chords

Yesterday – The Beatles

Yesterday is a song by the Liverpool-based superband The Beatles. It is part of their fifth studio album Help!, and was primarily written by Paul McCartney. It is actually their very first song to feature only one member of the band.

This song talks about losing a loved one and reminiscing about the better days which are now in the past.

This song is in the key of F and you can use a capo on the 5th fret to help you play almost all chords in an open position.

Yesterday Guitar Chords

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Mad World – Gary Jules

In 1982, Jules published this gothic pop new wave track featured on the album The Hurting. Later in 2001, in the motion picture Donnie Darko this tune became the most memorable soundtrack of the movie. 

Have a capo on the 1st fret, and you are good to go with only 4 basic chords to play. The original track is based on a piano, but it sounds just fine with the guitar. 

Mad World Guitar Chords

Black – Pearl Jam

Black is a song by the famous American rock/grunge band Pearl Jam. It is the fifth track of one of their most successful and iconic albums, Ten. 

It is said that this song was heavily influenced by San Francisco-based indie rock band American Music Club. 

Black talks about first love and letting go of the uncertainty of whether said love will elevate or destroy you.

This song is in the key of E, but changes chord with Em, making it an interesting chord progression. The end guitar solo is one of their most recognizable and a great place to learn some simple guitar melodies.

Black Guitar Chords

Like A Stone – Audioslave

Like A Stone is a song by the American rock band Audioslave. This song was part of their debut, self-titled album, and became one of their top songs.

There is some discrepancy as to the meaning of the song. Bassist Tim Commerford claimed the song talks about an old man waiting for death and reuniting with his loved ones. 

However, lead vocalist and frontman Chris Cornell said that, while the song does talk about a man waiting for death, it is more about his relationship with God and the afterlife.

Like A Stone is in the key of Am and is a great acoustic song to learn.

Like A Stone Guitar Chords

Hurt – Johnny Cash 

Hurt is a single found on Johnny Cash’s album American IV: The Man Comes Around. Even though Hurt is one of Johnny Cash’s most acclaimed songs, it was actually written by the American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails.

Even though neither Johnny Cash nor the members of Nine Inch Nails ever revealed the meaning of the song, it is said to be a suicide note from the protagonist. It is one of the saddest songs out there and Cash’s version proves it.

Hurt is in the key of Am and has all open chords except for the F chord.

Hurt Guitar Chords

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Landslide – Fleetwood Mac

Landslide is a song by the British-American band Fleetwood Mac. It is track #8 of their debut, self-titled album, and is one of their best-known songs.

Lead singer Stevie Nicks wrote the song while visiting the mountains of Aspen. She states she was “looking out at the Rocky Mountains, pondering the avalanche of everything that had come crashing down on us… at that moment, my life truly felt like a landslide in many ways”.

Landslide is in the key of Eb, and you will need a capo on the 3rd fret. The chord chart also comes with a fingerpicking pattern for you to try.

Landslide Guitar Chords

Back To Black – Amy Winehouse

Back To Black is a song by English singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse. It is part of her second (and last) studio album, also titled Back To Black. 

This song was inspired by Amy’s failed relationship with her boyfriend at the time. Mark Ronson produced this song, along with many others of hers.

This old-school type of song is in the key of Dm and has a swing feel. It is a simple song in terms of harmony, as it only uses chords from the scale.

Back To Black Guitar Chords

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Hank Williams

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry is a song by American Country artist Hank Williams. He wrote and recorded this song in 1949. It was commercially very successful, and various artists have covered it over the years. 

There is some controversy over who wrote the lyrics. It is said that 19-year-old Kentuckian Paul Gilley wrote the lyrics and then sold the rights to Hank Williams. Hank denied this and said he wrote them on his own.

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry is a very simple song in the key of E. It is also a great song to learn if you are interested in Country music.

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry Guitar Chords

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Skinny Love – Bon Iver

Skinny Love is a song written by American musician and songwriter Justin Vernon (also known as Bon Iver). It is part of his debut album For Emma, Forever Ago, and is one of his signature songs.

This song talks about lost love and the process of realizing it’s over, while still clinging to that person even when she/he’s not there. It is one of the saddest songs in modern music.

Skinny Love is in the key of Am and has some interesting chords such as D6sus2, which is easy to play.

Skinny Love Guitar Chords

Everybody Hurts – R.E.M

Everybody Hurts is a song by the American rock band R.E.M. It was part of their eighth studio album, Automatic For The People, and was also released as a single in 1993.

This song holds the message of how we are all subject to pain and disillusionment sometimes. It became widely popular and a song dedicated to an anti-suicide movement.

Everybody Hurts is in the key of Em and has an arpeggiated picking pattern that is great for those looking to develop their picking technique.

Everybody Hurts Guitar Chords

I’ll Never Love Again – Lady Gaga

I’ll Never Love Again is a song written for the American musical A Star Is Born. This version is part of the 2018 film and is performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. The song, as well as the film, were a massive success and won several Grammy Awards.

The meaning of the song is, as the title suggests, about that phase where you lose love and feel like you will never be able to love again. It is a powerful message that was further fueled by the death of Lady Gaga’s close friend

I’ll Never Love Again is in the key of G.

I’ll Never Love Again Guitar Chords

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Someone Like You – Adele

Someone Like You is a song by English singer-songwriter Adele. Both she and American songwriter Dan Wilson wrote this song for Adele’s second studio album 21. 

This song was inspired by a failed relationship Adele had and how she started to come to terms with it. She had previously written songs such as Rolling In The Deep and Rumor Has It, which touched on the subject but in a much more defiant way. 

Someone Like You is in the key of A. You can use a capo in the 2nd fret to get all open chords (apart from a Bm/F#).

Someone Like You Guitar Chords

Still Loving You – Scorpions

The most known German power ballad can be this track. The band released this tune in 1984 and appeared on the album Love at First Sting. It became very successful in Europe. 

You’ll need a capo on the second fret to get the original sound. You can either learn the chords and make an acoustic version of this classic or learn the lead guitar. The song starts with an emotional arpeggio progression and goes like this for a couple of verses. The lead guitar comes to the scene after the distorted chords. 

Still Loving You Guitar Chords

Something In The Way – Nirvana

Something In The Way is a rock song by American rock band Nirvana. It was written by vocalist, guitarist, and frontman Kurt Cobain. It is the last track of their second and most successful album, Nevermind. However, most copies of Nevermind also have a hidden last track, Endless, Nameless.

This song is believed to refer to a period in time when Kurt was homeless and slept underneath the Young Street Bridge. This idea has been discredited by Kurt’s sister, Kim Cobain.

Something In The Way is a very simple, two-chord song in the key of Fm. You’ll need a capo on the 1st fret to get the right chords, although Kurt’s guitar is tuned down lower.

Something In The Way Guitar Chords

The Long And Winding Road – The Beatles

The Long And Winding Road is a song from The Beatles‘ twelfth and final studio album, Let It Be. Paul McCartney wrote the song, but John Lennon receives songwriting credit as well.

There are two versions of this song. The one I’m using is the stripped-down version with a sparse arrangement. However, the official version, which features producer Phil Spector, has a much bigger arrangement. In fact, Paul McCartney strongly dislikes that version as it sacrificed the intimacy of the song.

The Long And Winding Road is in the key of Cm, and you’ll need a capo on the 1st fret.

The Long And Winding Road Guitar Chords

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Roads – Portishead

This sad trip-hop song is the most-known Portishead track ever. They released it in 1994 and published it with their amazing famous album Dummy. This track is the one that comes to everybody’s mind when someone says Portishead. 

The guitar mainly plays a minimal mix of arpeggio and chords throughout the song. The key point on this one is to have a lot of reverb and echo and a little distortion to get the same sense.

Roads Guitar Chords

Nutshell – Alice In Chains

Nutshell is a song by Seattle-based American rock band Alice in Chains. It is part of their third EP, Jar Of Flies, and is a song they consistently perform in their live shows.

The late Layne Staley, the former vocalist of the band, wrote the lyrics for Nutshell. The song talks about not wanting to live and being overwhelmed by the vicissitudes of life. The song took an even stronger meaning after Layne’s untimely death.

Nutshell is in the key of Ebm and you’ll need to tune your guitar down one half-step. It is a four-chord progression with all open chords and is another simple song to learn and great for beginners.

Nutshell Guitar Chords

Breathe Me – Sia

Breathe Me is a song by Australian singer and songwriter Sia. This song featured on her third album Colour The Small One, and became very successful, especially on alternative radio. 

Breathe Me’s meaning is that of a cry for help, a cry for hope, a cry for survival. It is one of her most raw songs.

Breathe Me is in the key of Am and has a very standard progression (Am-C-F-Fadd9). Apart from the F barre chord, this song is a great beginner’s choice and has some interesting chords.

Breathe Me Guitar Chords 

Feeling Whitney – Post Malone

Here is one of Malone’s saddest songs ever. It was released in 2016 with his album called Stoney. The album received platinum many times and became the greatest success on Billboard lists the same year. 

This tune is written in the key of C and was originally played with an acoustic guitar. You need to learn a couple of arpeggio patterns and a few basic chords. 

Feeling Whitney Guitar Chords

Fix You – Coldplay

Fix You is another song from the British rock band Coldplay. It is one of the lead songs in their third album X&Y and one of their most successful and acclaimed song.

Chris Martin said that the song is “probably the most important song we’ve ever written.”

Fix You is in the key of Eb, and you will need a capo on the 3rd fret. This will allow you to play all open chords from the key of C and make it much simpler for you.

Fix You Guitar Chords

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Somebody Else – The 1975

Somebody Else is a song by the British rock band The 1975. It is track #10 of their second studio album I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It. NME named it the best song of 2016.

This song, written by the four members of the band, talks about the feeling of knowing a relationship is over, not wanting to go back but at the same time feeling despair for the other person being with somebody else. 

Somebody Else is in the key of F and is a great song to explore that key signature.

Somebody Else Guitar Chords

Boulevard Of Broken Dreams – Green Day

Boulevard Of Broken Dreams is a song by the American rock group Green Day.  It was the second single but rapidly became their lead song from their acclaimed seventh album American Idiot. It is one of the most important songs of their career.

Even though most people associate this song with Hollywood, it was actually written when lead vocalist and frontman Billie Joe Armstrong was in New York.

This song is in the key of Fm and requires a capo on the 1st fret. This will make it seem as if it were in Em, making it a simple song for beginners.

Boulevard Of Broken Dreams Guitar Chords

Stay With Me – Sam Smith

Stay With Me is a song by English singer-songwriter Sam Smith. It was part of his debut album In The Lonely Hour and his most successful song up to date. Sam co-wrote this song with James Napier, William Phillips, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lyne.

This song is a gospel-driven song that talks about a one-night stand where the protagonist knows it’s not true love, but fears loneliness even more. 

Stay With Me is in the key of Am and is a very simple song to learn. The addition of a G#diminished chord gives it a bit of added flavor.

Stay With Me Guitar Chords

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In Loving Memory – Alter Bridge

Myles Kennedy wrote his tune for his mother. It featured on the band’s album One Day Remains in 2004. It is one of the band’s saddest and most popular tracks. 

If you can keep your ears away from Myles’ vocal capability, the guitar composition on this one is also brilliant. It has to be played in half-step-down tuning. It consists of a beautiful arpeggio chord progression you can easily follow. 

In Loving Memory Guitar Chords

Past Life – Maggie Rogers

Past Life is a song by American pop singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers. It was part of her debut studio album, Heard It In A Past Life, which she released in January 2019. Both this song and her album received a very good response.

This song talks about the quick changes Maggie was experiencing in her life. It is a recurring theme in this album and is a good expression of what a young woman experiences while growing up.

Past Life is in the key of Am and is a great song for beginner guitar players.

Past Life Guitar Chords

Self Care – Mac Miller

Self Care is a song by American rapper Mac Miller. It comes from his fifth studio album Swimming, which was the last album he released before his death. Swimming was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2019 Grammy Awards.

This song is part of a two-song series, split between Self Care and Oblivion. As the name of the song suggests, this song talks about taking care of yourself.

Self Care is in the key of G and has mostly open chords. The link I’m providing can also take you to a youtube video with a tutorial for the song.

Self Care Guitar Chords

Transatlanticism – Death Cab For Cutie

Transatlanticism is a song from the indie rock band Death Cab For Cutie. It is the seventh track from their fourth studio album, which is also named Transatlanticism. Lead vocalist, guitarist, and frontman Ben Gibbard ranks this album as his favorite by the band.

Both this song and the album talk about a long-distance relationship and all the challenges that come with it.

Transatlanticism is in the key of A and has a very common chord progression: I-iii-IV-vi. In this case, we have A-C#m-D-F#m.

Transatlanticism Guitar Chords

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Under The Bridge – Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Under The Bridge is a song by the American rock band Red Hot Chilli Peppers. It is the eleventh track of their studio album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik. This album was crucial in the evolution and success the band had.

The lyrics of this song talk about loneliness and despondency, as well as a reflection on how narcotics impacted lead singer Anthony Kiedis’s life. He was not sure this song would fit in the album but was pressured by producer Rick Rubin to include it.

Under The Bridge is in the key of E and has mostly barre chords. This makes this song a good one to practice finger strength.

Under The Bridge Guitar Chords

Forget Her – Jeff Buckley

He always has melancholia in every song, but this tune is especially sorrowful. It was released in 2004, and you can find it on his album Grace: Legacy Edition. 

Buckley has a great guitarist by his side, and he has an amazing electric guitar tone. This tune has a main arpeggio progression combined with some basic strumming and chord progression. They have a unique way of playing, though, so listen carefully.

Forget Her Guitar Chords

When I Was Your Man – Bruno Mars

When I Was Your Man is a song by American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars. It was the third promo single from his second studio album Unorthodox Jukebox. It is one of Bruno Mars’ most commercially successful songs up to date.

This emotional piano ballad talks about the regret of losing your lover due to lack of care. It also states the wish of her new man to treat her better than he did. In an interview, he confessed the song was meant for his girlfriend, who he feared losing.

When I Was Your Man is in the key of C and is a great beginner song.

When I Was Your Man Guitar Chords

How You Remind Me – Nickelback

How You Remind Me is a song by Canadian rock band Nickelback. It became the lead single for their third studio album Silver Side Up and is the most successful song in their career.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Chad Kroeger wrote this song about his ex-girlfriend and the dysfunctional relationship they had. 

How You Remind Me is in the key of Cm, and you’ll need a capo on the 3rd fret. It is a very simple, four-chord song and a good one for beginning singer-guitarists.

How You Remind Me Guitar Chords

Asleep – The Smiths

Here is another melancholic band from the 80s. This tune was released in 1985 as a single. It can only be found in some compilation albums of the band. 

This track is an intermediate song to play. It is based on piano progressions. The chords are not hard to play and follow. Pay attention to the bridge and the outro; the chord progression is changing slightly. 

Asleep Guitar Chords

Dancing On My Own – Calum Scott

Dancing On My Own is a song by Swedish singer-songwriter Robyn. It was released in 2010 and was a moderate commercial success, later covered by British singer-songwriter Callum Scott for his Britain’s Got Talent audition.

Callum’s version received very polarized opinions. Even though it became a YouTube sensation and later on one of his best-selling records, many critics deemed it an insult to the original version.

Dancing On My Own is in the key of Db, but you can use a capo on the 1st fret to help you. Apart from that, it is a very, very simple song.

Dancing On My Own Guitar Chords

Wake Up – Mad Season

If you like the music of Alice In Chains and didn’t hear of this band yet, you should check them. It’s the former band of Laney Staley and Pearl Jam’s McCready and Mark Lanegan. This tune of sorrow was released in 1995. 

There are only 4 chords for this tune. The chord progression is very easy. The tricky part is to get the original feeling of the song. 

Wake Up Guitar Chords

Somebody To Love – Queen

Somebody to Love is a song by the British supergroup Queen. It is part of their fifth album A Day at the Races in 1976. This song was compared to their earlier composition, Bohemian Rhapsody, as it used complex harmonies and guitar solos.

Lead singer and frontman Freddy Mercury wrote Somebody to Love as a soul-searching piece that questions life without love. His admiration for black singer Aretha Franklin inspired the creation of this song. 

Drummer Roger Taylor said in an interview: “Somebody To Love” is Aretha Franklin-influenced. Freddie’s very much into that. We tried to keep track in a loose, gospel-type feel. I think it’s the loosest track we’ve ever done.”

Somebody to Love is in the key of Ab. If you are looking to play the song’s chords as a play-along, you’ll benefit from a capo in the first fret.

Somebody To Love Guitar Chords

Cut My Lip – Twenty One Pilots

Cut My Lip is a song by the American duo Twenty One Pilots. It is part of their fifth studio album, Trench. This song talks about the willingness to persevere despite things being difficult. It is a reflection of most of the songs written by lead singer and frontman Tyler Joseph.

Cut My Lip is in the key of E and is a three-chord song. The progression goes as follows: F#m-E-B-B. There are some inversions of these chords, but is still a pretty simple progression to follow.

Cut My Lip Guitar Chords

Why Can’t I Have You – Gloria Laing

Here is a 2019 released single by Laing. This emotional track is going to put you in a mellow mood. 

The song starts with a piano intro then the acoustic guitar comes into the scene. They both play a beautiful and simple chord progression throughout the song. 

Why Can’t Have I Have You Guitar Chords

Wind Of Change – The Scorpions

Wind Of Change is a song by the West German rock band Scorpions. It was part of their eleventh studio album, Crazy World, and is one of the most successful songs in their entire career.  Wind Of Change is one of the best-selling singles in rock music history.

This song came to fruition in a very complicated time in Europe. The division happening inside countries such as Russia and Germany, fueled by capitalism and socialism, inspired the band to create a song of unity and change. This song’s success is mainly due to the powerful message it shares.

Wind Of Change is in the key of C and is a great beginner’s song. It is also a great song for those looking to learn some rock solos.

Wind Of Change Guitar Chords

Fiction – Avenged Sevenfold

This tune was on the 2010 album of the band called Nightmare. Allegedly this song was written by the deceased drummer of the band and recorded after his death. Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater played the drums instead of him. 

The song goes with brilliant piano progressions and arpeggios, basically. The chords are easy to follow and sound perfect as an acoustic guitar version. Take the chance to play this tune. 

Fiction Guitar Chords

Disarm – The Smashing Pumpkins

Disarm is a song by the American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. It was the third single released from their second studio album, Siamese Dream, and one of their top signature songs.

This song’s meaning revolves around the shaky relationship lead singer and frontman Billy Corgan had with his parents. The lyrical content was not short of controversy, which leads places like the United Kingdom to give the song little radio airplay.

Disarm is in the key of Em and has all open chords. There is a particularly interesting-sounding chord in this progression: Dsus/F#.

Disarm Guitar Chords

Closer – King Of Leon

Closer is a song by the American alternative rock band Kings Of Leon. It is the first track of their fourth studio album, Only By The Night, which is also their most successful album to this day.

This song revolves around that feeling of being lost in the despair of vice and egocentrism. It talks about that darkness filling the protagonist and taking him closer to complete oblivion.

Closer is in the key of Bm and is a three-chord song. The great thing about this song is that it’s a great place to learn guitar lead lines and hooks without necessarily learning to solo.

Closer Guitar Chords

Everybody Here Wants You – Jeff Buckley

Everybody Here Wants You is a song by American singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley. It is the second track on his album Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, which was released after his death at age 30.

This song was written as a love song for Jeff’s girlfriend at the time, Joan Wasser. It was such an emotionally charged song, along with a strong vocal performance, that this song was nominated for Best Male Rock Performance at the 1999 Grammy Awards.

Everybody Here Wants You is in the key of C but modulates to F in the bridge thanks to the Bb chord. Nevertheless, it is a very simple song to learn and great for aspiring singers.

Everybody Here Wants You Guitar Chords

I Hate That You’re Happy – Tiny Little Houses

This tune was released in 2016 by Ivy League Records and became immediately popular in the underground scene. The band has a unique indie rock style. 

This song is played with a capo on the third fret cause it was written in the key of Bb. There are two main chord progressions to follow. One is for the chorus, and the other is for the verses. 

I Hate That You’re Happy Guitar Chords

Fire Escape – Foster The People

Fire Escape is a song by the American indie pop band Foster the People. It is the last track of their second studio album Supermodel, which is their heavier album in terms of the concepts they explore.

This song specifically talks about the “ugly side” of Los Angeles, which is the city the members of the band grew up in. Lead singer and frontman Mark Foster wrote the entirety of this song.

Fire Escape is in the key of E and is a four-chord song. With a progression that goes E-C#m-A-B, this is a great beginner’s acoustic song.

Fire Escape Guitar Chords

Drive – Incubus

Drive a song by American rock band Incubus. It was released in 2000 for their third studio album Make Yourself and is their biggest hit and breakthrough single.

According to lead singer, Brandon Boyd, “The lyric is basically about fear, about being driven all your life by it and making decisions from fear”.

This song is in the key of Em and is a bit more complex than other songs, but great for intermediate players.

Drive Guitar Chords

Blouse – Clairo

Another known as Claire Cottrill, Clairo has a lovely voice and beautiful songs. This track was a 2021 release and appeared on her album Sling. 

This tune is a classic singer-songwriter song with a folk touch. It consists of mellow arpeggios and rarely played chords like G/F# or C/B. It is a good song to get to know new chords and progressions.

Blouse Guitar Chords

Black Gives Way To Blue – Alice In Chains

Here is a 2009 release by AIC. You can find it on the same-titled album. And Elton John is playing the piano on this one. Also, this acoustic rock track is a tribute to Layne Staley, the former vocalist, and the band’s heart.

Have a capo on the first fret of your guitar. This track is composed in Db and consists of 5 chords and two different chord progressions. 

Black Gives Way To Blue Guitar Chords

Hey You – Pink Floyd

Hey You is a song by the English rock supergroup Pink Floyd. It is part of their 2-CD album The Wall, which is also their eleventh studio album. This album tells the story of an alienated young rockstar who retreats from society into self-isolation.

This song in particular talks about the boy realizing he is getting too isolated and asking for help from outsiders, which he will not get.

Hey You is in the key of Em and has one of the most recurring chords Pink Floyd used in many songs: the Emadd9. It is a great way to add that little tension between the F# and G note.

Hey You Guitar Chords

Take On Me – a-ha

Take On Me is a song by Norwegian synthpop band A-ha. It was the lead single from their debut album, Hunting High And Low, and is the most successful and recognizable song in their entire career.

Interestingly enough, this song is quite an upbeat, cheerful one. This is one of the main elements synth-pop draws from. 

However, several decades after this song was released, A-ha did an acoustic cover version that became quite successful as well. This version is a slowed-down one that gives a whole other meaning to the song.

Take On Me is in the key of Bm, and you’ll need a capo on the 2nd fret.

Take On Me Guitar Chords

The End Of Love – Florence + The Machine

The End Of Love is a song by the English indie rock band Florence + The Machine. It is the ninth track of their fourth studio album, High As Hope, which had a much more minimalist production than previous albums.

In an interview, lead singer Florence Welch said:  “There is loneliness in this record, and there are issues, and pain, and things that I struggled with, but the overriding feeling is that I have hope about them, and that’s what kinda brought me to this title (High As Hope).”

The End Of Love is in the key of F#, and you will need a capo on the 1st fret to follow along with the chart I provided.

The End Of Love Guitar Chords

Elise – The Greeting Committee

This indie rock band is from Kansas, Missouri, and they have released beautiful music since 2014. Harvest Records released the song in 2017. 

Capo on the 5th fret. The basic chords on this tune are played with only 3 strings to get the original tonality. The general changes on this track are easy to follow and learn, and it also sounds good.

Elise Guitar Chords

Parasite – Nick Drake

This 1972 release is one of Nick’s saddest, and he is surely the king of sad folk songs. His life was a tragedy, and you can hear it in his music. Check his discography if you are into this kind of music; he is a folk legend. 

The tune has two main arpeggio progressions that can be played with a capo on the 1st or 3rd fret. How amazing the sound of his acoustic guitar is!

Parasite Guitar Tabs

Gravity – John Mayer

Gravity is a song by American singer-songwriter and guitarist John Mayer. It is part of his third studio album, Continuum, which is also his most successful album. Gravity is one of his top-rated songs and a signature one from his career.

In an interview in 2005, John Mayer explained how this song is the most important song he’s written in his life. He later states that the song’s meaning revolves around the challenges we, as humans, face every day just to strive for greatness and significance. 

Gravity is in the key of G and is a fantastic song for guitarists to learn. The guitar solo is also great for learning simple lead lines.

Gravity Guitar Chords

Without Me – Mac DeMarco

Without Me is a song by  Canadian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Mac DeMarco. It was part of his second mini-LP, Another One, which he released in August 2015. Another One is Mac DeMarco’s highest-peaking release to date.

This song talks from the perspective of the protagonist, who wishes her lover is happy even if it’s not with him.

Without Me is in the key of Db and you’ll need a capo on the 4th fret. The chart does very well in explaining the open chords as well as the rhythmic aspect of the guitar.

Without Me Guitar Chords

On Hold – The xx

On Hold is a song by the English indie pop band The XX. It was used as the lead single from their third studio album, I See You, and is one of their highest-ranking records internationally. 

This song uses instrumental samples from American pop-rock duo Hall & Oates’ I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do). As for the lyrics, it revolves around an on-and-off relationship and beginning to realize that maybe they are not meant to be together. 

On Hold is in the key of C and the chart does really well to explain the different progressions used in each section of the song.

On Hold Guitar Chords

With Or Without You – U2

With Or Without You is a song by the Irish rock supergroup U2. It is the third track in their fifth and most successful album, Joshua Tree. With Or Without You was also their most successful single at the time and one of their most recognized songs.

Lead singer and frontman Bono revealed he wrote this song while struggling with the responsibilities of being a married man and a musician.

With Or Without You is in the key of D, and you’ll need a capo on the 7th fret. It is a good song to learn some simple lead lines.

With Or Without You Guitar Chords

Conclusion

As always, these are only some of the many, many sad songs that have gain massive popularity. I encourage you to look for your own favorite ones and take the time to learn them.

If you found this article useful, you may want to save this pin below to your Guitar board.

Jacob

I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

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