Cannonball chords by Damien Rice


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Cannonball | Chords + Lyrics (capo 6)

Intro (0:00)

| Em Emadd9 Em Em7 | G G/A G/B |
| Em Emadd9 Em Em7 | G G/A G/B |
| Em Emb6 Em Esus4 Em | G D6/F# | Cmaj7 C | Cadd9 D6/F# |

Verse 1 (0:27)

| Em Emadd9 Em Em7 | G G/A G/B |
Still a little bit of your taste in my mouth.
| Em Emadd9 Em Em7 | G G/A G/B |
Still a little bit of you laced with my doubt.
| Em Emb6 Em Esus4 Em | G D6/F# | Cmaj7 C | Cadd9 D6/F# |
It’s still a little hard to say, what’s going on.

Verse 2 (0:53)

| Em Emadd9 Em Em7 | G G/A G/B |
There’s still a little bit of your ghost your witness.
| Em Emadd9 Em Em7 | G G/A G/B |
There’s still a little bit of your face I haven’t kissed.
| Em Emb6 Em Esus4 Em | G D6/F# | Cmaj7 C | Cadd9 D6/F# |
You step a little closer each day, that I can’t say what’s going on

Chorus 1 (1:18)

| G C | Dsus2/A | G C | D Dsus4 |
Stones taught me to fly, love taught me to lie.
| G C Csus2 G/B | Dsus2/A | C | Cadd9 Csus2 Dadd11/A |
Life taught me to die, so it’s not hard to fall, when you float like a cannonball.

Instrumental 1 (1:43)

| Em Emadd9 Em Em7 | G G/A G/B |
| Em Emadd9 Em Em7 | G G/A G/B |
| Em Emb6 Em Esus4 Em | G D6/F# | Cmaj7 C | Cadd9 D6/F# |

Verse 3 (2:08)

| Em Emadd9 Em Em7 | G G/A G/B |
There’s still a little bit of your song in my ear.
| Em Emadd9 Em Em7 | G G/A G/B |
There’s still a little bit of your words I long to hear.
| Em Emb6 Em Esus4 Em | G D6/F# | Cmaj7 C | Cadd9 D6/F# |
You step a little closer to me, so close that I can’t see what’s going on.

Chorus 2 (2:33)

| G C | Dsus2/A | G C | D Dsus4 |
Stones taught me to fly, love taught me to lie.
| G C Csus2 G/B | Dsus2/A | C | Cadd9 Csus2 Dadd11/A |
Life taught me to die, so it’s not hard to fall, when you float like a cannon.

Chorus 3 (2:59)

| G C | Dsus2/A | G C | D Dsus4 |
Stones taught me to fly, love taught me to cry.
| G C Csus2 G/B | Dsus2/A |
So come on courage, teach me to be shy.
| Cmaj7 C | G/B D6/F# |
‘Cause it’s not hard to fall, and I don’t wanna scare her.
Cadd9 C | G/B D/F# |
It’s not hard to fall, and I don’t wanna lose.
| Cmaj7 C | G/B D/F# |
It’s not hard to grow, when you know that you just don’t know.

Instrumental 2 (3:37)

| Em Emadd9 Em Em7 | G G/A G/B |
| Em Emadd9 Em Em7 | G G/A G/B |
| Em Emb6 Em Esus4 Em | G D6/F# | Cmaj7 C | Cadd9 D6/F# |

| Em Emadd9 Em Em7 | G G/A G/B |
| Em Emadd9 Em Em7 | G G/A G/B |
| Em Emb6 Em Esus4 Em | G D6/F# | Cmaj7 C | Cadd9 Dsus4 |

End (4:27)

| Em | Em | Em |


You can learn how to play Cannonball!

The original recording of Cannonball by Damien Rice contains up to six guitars playing different lines. All these parts weave the different melodic lines together, creating a dream-like soundscape.

My one guitar arrangement is a combination of these parts. You could learn this and play the song on just one guitar. However, there is also a two-guitar arrangement available. Here the 2nd guitar enhances what the first one is already doing.

A capo is used to get into the same key as the original for both guitar parts. What you hear is the key of Bbm, however, you think of Cannonball as if in the key of Em when you have the capo on fret 6.

For the 2nd guitar, the capo is on fret 1, we now play the first chord as an Am instead of an Em chord.

The verse chord progression is simple, mainly varying the extensions of the VI chord to add9, min7, mb6, and sus4, making the verse at home in Aeolian.

The chorus chords follow the simple I – IV – V movement which puts the chorus in Ionian.

This switch between a minor verse and a major chorus like this is pretty common in modern songwriting. Roxanne and Dreadlock Holiday are merely two more examples.

Below, you find the first step from the course, here we discuss how to incorporate Cannonball’s melody into the chords, enjoy!


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Cannonball guitar lesson | Verse (capo VI & I)

Let’s start working on Cannonball’s verse.

The goal of this guitar part is to incorporate the melody into the chords and strumming. Let’s start by simplifying the two elements.

This is what it looks like using a capo on fret VI, thinking in Em.

Cannonball chords and verse melody.
Cannonball verse melody and chords separate capo VI – TAB

Putting these two elements together can be done relatively easily. The question is, how many strings do we strum?

Here in example 2, we use a lot of strings. Use the TAB loop in the playlist above to practice this.

Cannonball chords capo 6, example 2.
Cannonball chords and melody in one part – TAB

Take more strings out and the part becomes more focused. This is what happens in example 3.

Cannonball chords capo 6, example 3.
Cannonball verse melody and chords, fewer strings – TAB

In example 4, we add another strum and change the way the last bar is played. Now we incorporate the 3rd of the V chord in the bass. This makes the pull towards chord VI stronger.

Cannonball chords capo 6, example 4.
Cannonball verse final example capo VI – TAB

Let’s move the capo to fret 1 and start all over again. This is what the basic melody and verse look like. You must now think as if in the key of Am.

Cannonball chords capo 1, example 5.
Cannonball verse melody and chords separate capo I – TAB

Using a capo on the first fret, we use chords from the key of Am to put the melody and chords together. Practice with the TAB loop in the playlist above.

Here in example 6, now we strum many strings.

Cannonball chords capo 1, example 6.
Cannonball chords and melody in one part – capo I – TAB

By playing fewer strings, we get a more focused part. Make sure you can play this accurately so there is a clear difference between the last example and this, example 7.

Cannonball chords capo 1, example 7.
Cannonball verse melody and chords, fewer strings, capo 1 – TAB

In our final example, we’ve taken even more strings away, the final bar, just like in example 4, has a 3rd in the bass for the V chord. This is example 8.

Cannonball chords capo 1, example 8.
Cannonball verse final example capo I – TAB

Cannonball in the course

Next up, we work on the chorus, this will be easier. In step 3, it’s the chorus tag and end. When you completed these first three steps you can in steps 4 and 5 play the complete song with a capo on frets 6 and 1.

Step 6 is spent practicing Aeolian as Cannonball’s verse melody is in Aeolian and that’s what we play in step 7.

Finally, in step 8, we bring everything you’ve learned together and create a 2nd guitar part. Learn this so you, I, and the singer can play Cannonball as if we were a folk trio!

All steps come with TAB. You can watch the final 2 guitar part version in the playlist at the top of this page.

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Cannonball | Related pages


Cannonball – 8 guitar lessons

Cannonball, 8 guitar lessons in the course.

When we learn Cannonball, we do it by playing using a capo both on fret 6 and 1. Each position gives us different advantages, put together we get a great 2 guitar arrangement.

As well as playing the song, we also practice the Aeolian mode.

Go to Cannonball – 8 guitar lessons.


Advanced Acoustic Songs

When you can play Cannonball's chords, discover more advanced acoustic songs.

These songs use big chord extensions and sometimes, unique and complex chords that incorporate open strings.

Study these in-depth and you will gain a complete understanding of the fretboard, including how to build any scale, arpeggio, and chord, anywhere on the guitar.

Go to Advanced Acoustic Songs.


Cannonball – 5 similar tunes

When you can play Cannonball's chords, try these five tunes from the song book.

Damien Rice

Find out more about Damien Rice, the man who wrote Cannonball's chords.

Originally, Rice was a member of Juniper but on the evening of recording their first full album, he changed his mind and left the band.

Damien fled to Italy to start afresh, writing songs and busking his way around Europe.

Go to Damien Rice.


Damien Rice on the web

Listen to Damien Rice on Spotify.