Tears For Fears Biography

One of the biggest bands in the 80s

Biography and Guitar Lessons

Watch These Videos

Music and concert videos

Tears for Fears

Tears for Fears are an English pop band that sold more than twenty-two million albums.

With hits like Mad World, Seeds Of Love and Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Tears For Fears were one of the biggest bands around in the 80s.

The last time Tears For Fears released an album (Everybody Loves A Happy Ending) it reached #8 in the UK charts. This was in 2004, the year after Gary Jules had a Xmas #1 with his cover version of Mad World.

GUitar Lessons

Mad World – Step 1 (Free Preview)

To learn how to play Mad World, we start by looking at the verse. First, practice all examples to the loop as the TAB display, then start improvising the patterns.

This composition is in Dorian, which means chord II is our home.

Go to Mad World step 1.

Mad World – Step 2

In this step, we learn how to play the chorus. There are three examples to first learn before you start improvising.

The chorus only moves between the II and V chord, a very common movement.

Go to Mad World step 2.

Mad World – Step 3

In this step, we take a look at how to play the intro/instrumental melody. To understand how a melody is constructed, we anchor it in the chord shapes.

This will also help with remembering it, as well as understanding music and the guitar neck on a deeper level.

Go to Mad World step 3.

Mad World – Step 4

In this step, we play the complete song. You get a loop and TAB for practicing.

When you’re comfortable playing this, try it with me and a singer as well.

Go to Mad World step 4.

Mad World – Step 5

In this step, we explore how to play all Em and A chords using the CAGED system.

These two chords are a II – V and what you play in the chorus of Mad World.

Go to Mad World step 5.

Mad World – Step 6

Today we do what we did to the chorus in the last step to the verse of Mad World. As there are four chords rather than just two, it may be a bit more difficult.

Persist and you will soon master the CAGED system.

Go to Mad World step 6.

Mad World – Step 7

With a capo on fret 2, we are set up to think of Mad World in the key of Dm.

We can now play the intro melody using open strings and add a sus4 instead of a sus2 to our I chord which is now a C.

Go to Mad World step 7.

Mad World – Step 8

In this final step, we fit a capo to fret 5. This means we now must think in Bm. Bm being chord II.

To make the chorus work better with the capo, I use a Bm7 instead of a Bm.

Go to Mad World step 8.

Related Pages

Chords and Guitar Lessons

Mad World is a piano ballad in Dorian that in this arrangement has been adopted to just one acoustic guitar.

All chords are from the key of D major, however, D is not the home chord, Em is. This is why it’s “in Dorian” where we call chord II home.

Go to Mad World chords and guitar lessons.


Mad WorldAll around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere

Go to Mad World lyrics.

Sign Up

A monthly subscription with access to all acoustic and electric step by step lessons, each one designed to bring your guitar playing skills to the next level.

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

Go to Monthly subscription.