Learn How To Play Angels

Chords and Guitar Lessons

Watch This Video

Complete song – Acoustic guitar and vocals


The hugely successful piano ballad Angels was written by Guy Chambers and Robbie Williams.

My one guitar arrangement is an example of how you could arrange piano parts for one guitar.

The first chord of verse 2, a C shaped E major, uses the low E string and a pattern moving between bass note and chord to imitate the piano part.

During the arrangement, open strings are incorporated in order to make the chords sound as big as possible. These chords, because of the open strings incorporated now get some strange sounding chord names.

Most strangely perhaps, the add4, which usually is a sus4, a chord without the 3rd.

There are four sections in Angels, each moving to a different area of the key. Let’s take a look at all of them and what chords they use.

Chord progression

The verse mainly focuses on chord I (Ionian).

| E | E | A Amaj7B | repeat

| F#m | Asus2C#m | Aadd9 |

The bridge creates tension by introducing a bVII chord in a D. This could also be seen as a modal interchange, more about this in the course.

| Dsus2 | Asus2 | E | Dsus2 AE |

The chorus starts on chord V and takes four bars before we feel a sense of relief, hitting the I chord again.

| Badd4C#m7 | Aadd9 | E |

There is also a modulation for the solo, where we get a Bm, instead of a B or Badd4.

| Bm11 Bm7 | A69 | E | E | repeat

Arranging Angels for one guitar

The original version of Angels was decorated with a massive production, including a full band and string orchestra. To incorporate all this on just one guitar is, of course, impossible. It comes down to picking the most important parts.

A full understanding of the movement of the chords and what the melody does is needed to build the arrangement.

In the advanced course, we learn the song exactly as it is played in the video lesson but we don’t stop there! We also play the vocal melody and practice several master exercises for the Ionian mode.

Guitar Lessons

Angels – Step 1

In this first step, we look at the verse and bridge of Angels by Robbie Williams.

This song is in the key of E, but is it Ionian, or Mixolydian?

Go to Angels step 1.

Angels – Step 2

In this second step, we look at three ways to play the chorus.

A very peculiarly named chord has crept in, the add4. Not a sus4, as it still has a 3rd.

Go to Angels step 2.

Angels – Step 3

In this step, we work out how to play the solo on just one acoustic guitar.

This took me a while to work out as the rhythm and chords must still be present. In the end, it became relatively easy to play.

Go to Angels step 3.

Roxanne – Step 4

Let’s play the complete song, from beginning to end with a singer.

TAB for the entire arrangement is available, which is just all previous examples you practiced so far.

Go to Angels step 4.

Angels – Step 5

To find out why Angels is such an obvious hit, we must study the vocal melody.

Use the TAB to discover what’s outside the key as well as avoided completely. Then, look at the syncopated rhythm as well as what expression techniques you need in order to make this come alive.

Go to Angels step 5.

Angels – Step 6

Let’s practice the E Ionian mode in three shapes.

We use the master exercise technique here as we add intervals to the Major Pentatonic.

Go to Angels step 6.

Angels – Step 7

The last two shapes is what we practice in this step, do this to complete the fret board in the key of E.

As a bonus, we also look at how to play in the open position.

Go to Angels step 7.

Angels – Step 8

Possibly the most important scale exercises around.

We must pair the chords with the scale in order to make sense of both the fret board and music in general.

Go to Angels step 8.

Related Pages


AngelsI sit and wait
Does an angel contemplate my fate?
Do they know, the places where we go

Go to Angels lyrics.

Robbie WIlliams

robbie-williams-thumbRobbie Williams is a fifteen-time BRIT Award-winning English pop singer.

Williams’ career started as a member of the pop band Take That in 1990.

When Robbie left Take That in 1995 to pursue a solo career, he had sold twenty-five million records with the group.

Go to Robbie Williams biography.


Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

The advanced songs require you to learn 7th note chords and modal scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fret board.

Go to Advanced guitar course.


You can learn how to play these advanced songs on the acoustic guitar.

Angels, Baby Won’t You Please Come Home, Blackbird, Cannonball, Don’t Wait Too Long, I Shot The Sheriff, Over The Rainbow, Roxanne, Scarborough Fair, Sunshine Of Your Love, Take Me To The River, Tears In Heaven, and Wish You Were Here.

Go to Advanced acoustic songs.

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Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

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