You can learn how to play Angels by Robbie Williams!
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 a piano ballad like this, for one acoustic guitar.
For example, 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 a traditional 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 Badd4, closest relative here would be the sus4, a chord without the 3rd. With a 3rd, it becomes an add4, very unusual.
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.
The verse mainly focuses on chord I (Ionian).
| E | E | A Amaj7 | B | repeat
| F#m | Asus2 | C#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 A | E |
The chorus starts on chord V and takes four bars before we feel a sense of relief, hitting the I chord again.
| Badd4 | C#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 acoustic guitar 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, the solo and practice several master exercises for the Ionian mode.
Course preview (Guitar Lesson – Step 5)
In the first video above, starting at 4:29, you find a preview of Angels’ guitar lesson, it’s the beginning of step 1 from the course.
In this step we look at how to play the verse. There are 4 examples to practice in this step, below you find example 1 as TAB.
To get the remaining 3 examples and access to all other guitar lessons on how to play Angels, sign up here.
Angels – Guitar Lessons
Angels is an adventure in playing a big, piano like, guitar parts. Easier than it sounds, we achieve this in just four steps.
Following this, we play the vocal melody, practice the Ionian mode and fit all our CAGED chords around each scale shape.
Go to Angels – Guitar Lessons.
Angels – Lyrics
I sit and wait, does an angel,
contemplate my fate?
Do they know, the places where we go,
when we’re grey and old?
Go to Angels – Lyrics.
Robbie Williams – Biography
Robbie 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.
Advanced Acoustic – 18 Songs
You can learn how to play these 18 advanced acoustic songs!
Angel Eyes, Angels, Baby Won’t You Please Come Home, Blackbird, Cannonball, Don’t Wait Too Long, Dream A Little Dream Of Me, I Shot The Sheriff, I Wish, Over The Rainbow, Roxanne, Scarborough Fair, Sunshine Of Your Love, Take Me To The River, Tears In Heaven, Tenderness, Wish You Were Here, and Why Don’t You Do Right.
Go to Advanced Acoustic Songs.