I Shot The Sheriff chords by Bob Marley


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I Shot The Sheriff | Chords + Lyrics


Chorus 1

| Gm | Cm (Cm7) | Gm7 (Gm) | Gm7 (Gm) |
I shot the sheriff, but I didn’t shoot no deputy, oh no! Oh!
| Gm | Cm (Cm7) | Gm7 (Gm) | Gm7 (Gm) |
I shot the sheriff, but I didn’t shoot no deputy, ooh, ooh, oo-ooh.

Verse 1

| Eb Dm7 | Gm7 | Eb Dm7/A | Gm7 |
All around in my hometown, they’re trying to track me down.
| Eb Dm7/A | Gm Gm7 Gm | Eb Dm7/A | Gm Gm7 |
They say they want to bring me in guilty, for the killing of a deputy,
| Eb Dm7 Dm | Gm/D |
for the life of a deputy. But I say.

Instrumental 1

||: G Minor Pentatonic riff :|| 2/4 Gm |

Chorus 2

| Gm | Cm (Cm7) | Gm7 (Gm) | Gm7 (Gm) |
Oh, now, now. Oh! (I shot the sheriff.) – the sheriff, but I swear it was in self-defense. Oh, no! (Ooh, ooh, oo-oh)
| Gm | Cm (Cm7) | Gm7 (Gm) | Gm7 (Gm) |
Yeah! I say: I shot the sheriff – Oh, Lord! – And they say it is a capital offense. Yeah! (Ooh, ooh, oo-oh) Yeah!

Verse 2

| Eb Dm7 | Gm7 | Eb Dm7/A | Gm7 |
Sheriff John Brown always hated me, for what, I don’t know.
| Eb Dm7/A | Gm Gm7 Gm | Eb Dm7/A | Gm Gm7 |
Every time I plant a seed, he said kill it before it grow.
| Eb Dm7 Dm | Gm/D |
He said kill them before they grow.

Instrumental 2

||: G Minor Pentatonic riff :|| 2/4 Gm |
And so, read it in the news.

Chorus 3

| Gm | Cm (Cm7) | Gm7 (Gm) | Gm7 (Gm) |
(I shot the sheriff.) Oh, Lord! But I swear it was in self-defense, where was the deputy? (Oo-oo-oh).
| Gm | Cm (Cm7) | Gm7 (Gm) | Gm7 (Gm) |
I say: I shot the sheriff, but I swear it was in self-defense. (Oo-oh) Yeah!

Verse 3

| Eb Dm7 | Gm7 | Eb Dm7/A | Gm7 |
Freedom came my way one day, and I started out of town, yeah.
| Eb Dm7/A | Gm Gm7 Gm | Eb Dm7/A | Gm Gm7 |
All of a sudden I saw sheriff John Brown, aiming to shoot me down.
| Eb Dm7 Dm | Gm/D |
So I shot – I shot – I shot him down and I say.

Instrumental 3

||: G Minor Pentatonic riff :|| Gm | Gm |
If I am guilty I will pay.

Chorus 4

| Gm | Cm (Cm7) | Gm7 (Gm) | Gm7 (Gm) |
(I shot the sheriff), but I say (But I didn’t shoot no deputy). I didn’t shoot no deputy (oh, no-oh), oh no!
| Gm | Cm (Cm7) | Gm7 (Gm) | Gm7 (Gm) |
(I shot the sheriff) I did! But I didn’t shoot no deputy. Oh! (Oo-oo-ooh).

Verse 4

| Eb Dm7 | Gm7 | Eb Dm7/A | Gm7 |
Reflexes had got the better of me, and what is to be must be.
| Eb Dm7/A | Gm Gm7 Gm | Eb Dm7/A | Gm Gm7 |
Every day the bucket a-go a well, one day the bottom a-go drop out,
| Eb Dm7 Dm | Gm/D |
one day the bottom a-go drop out, I say.

Instrumental 4

||: G Minor Pentatonic riff :|| 2/4 Gm |

Chorus 5

| Gm | Cm (Cm7) | Gm7 (Gm) | Gm7 (Gm) |
I – I – I – I shot the sheriff. Lord, I didn’t shot the deputy.
| Gm | Cm (Cm7) | Gm7 (Gm) | Gm7 (Gm) |
I – I (shot the sheriff). But I didn’t shoot no deputy, yeah! No, yeah.

End

||: Gm | Cm Cm7 Cm Cm7 | Gm7 Gm Gm7 | Gm7 Gm Gm7 :|| x3
| Gm | Cm |


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I Shot The Sheriff Chords: Learn the progressions


I Shot The Sheriff 8 step by step guitar lessons.

My one acoustic guitar arrangement of I Shot The Sheriff is inspired by the original Bob Marley recording.

Great care had to be taken to fit that legendary bass line in, paired with the reggae strums, played in a varied way so it sounds like a band jamming.

I’ve also transcribed several licks from the original recording and managed to fit these into this one acoustic guitar arrangement, it took a long time but was well worth it, I feel like I learned so much!

The various recordings Bob made of this fantastic song are a treasure with so much music in them.

Above, you find a play-along TAB loop which is the original bass line. As the bass is the most important instrument in this song, we must start with it.

Later, we combine the bass line with the chords for the chorus. These are I Shot The Sheriff’s chorus chords:

| Gm | Cm (Cm7) | Gm7 (Gm) | Gm7 (Gm) |

The chord in brackets indicates that the chord is added, and then taken away. Here’s TAB for the basic bass line:

I Shot The Sheriff chords and TAB, example 1, the bass line

As you can see, this is just that bass line from the original recording, start with learning this (use the TAB loop above).

In the course, we develop from this bass line by adding chords to it and even varying the way the bass line is played.

The verse chord progression starts on chord IV, making us feel as we move on. Often, we play a Dm7/A instead of Dm7, check the video at the top of this page to hear the subtle difference it makes.

Here are the verse chords:

| Eb (IV) Dm7 (III) | Gm7 (VI) | Eb Dm7/A | Gm7 |
| Eb Dm7/A | Gm Gm7 Gm | Eb Dm7/A | Gm Gm7 |
| Eb Dm7 Dm | Gm/D |

I Shot The Sheriff’s legendary instrumental section is a Minor Pentatonic riff. Compare it to Stevie Wonder’s Master Blaster, a tune written as a tribute to Bob Marley.

In the course, you get play-along TAB loops for all sections, we also play the vocal melody, in harmony!

Here’s a link to the complete lesson series: I Shot The Sheriff – Guitar Lessons with TAB.



Eric Clapton’s version of I Shot The Sheriff was more popular!

Released in 1973 on the album Burnin’ and also as a single, I Shot The Sheriff is one of Bob Marley and The Wailers’ signature songs.

Originally, Bob wanted to say “I shot the Police” but to avoid “fuzz from the government”, he decided that using sheriff would still get the message across.

Only a year after the original release, Eric Clapton released a cover version, included in his sensational album 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974). This helped to spread the song and must have introduced Marley to a wider audience as Clapton at this time was known worldwide.

Clapton’s version chartered better than the original, reaching the number-one spot in the U.S. To this day making it Eric’s only U.S. #1.

Apparently, Bob once came over to Eric’s house. After he’d left, a note was found on the fridge door saying: I Shot The Sheriff, with the I being underlined.



I Shot The Sheriff Chords | Related Pages


Advanced Acoustic

There are many more Advanced Acoustic Songs with chords similar to I Shot The Sheriff.

The advanced acoustic tunes 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 guitar fretboard, including how to build any scale, arpeggio, or chord.


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play I Shot The Sheriff's chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.


Eric Clapton tunes

Eric Clapton covered I Shot The Sheriff.

As well as a member of bands like Derek & The Dominos, The Yardbirds, and Cream, Eric Clapton has successfully played sessions for more stars than any other guitar player.

His long career earned him three inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.


Eric Clapton on the web

Listen to Eric Clapton on Spotify.


Bob Marley tunes

Bob Marley wrote I Shot The Sheriff.

Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer, songwriter, guitarist, and activist. Few artists have had such widespread recognition.

As the most widely known performer of reggae music, Bob Marley is also regarded by many as a prophet of the Rastafarian religion.


Bob Marley on the web

Listen to Bob Marley on Spotify.


Reggae & Ska

When you can play I Shot The Sheriff, try these Reggae and Ska tunes as well.

Originating from Jamaica as Reggae & Ska, these musical styles were largely made popular once records started to appear in the U.K.

Learn tunes from Bob Marley, Madness, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Afroman, 10cc, Men At Work, The Police, and many more.


About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson on I Shot The Sheriff's chords.

This was a guitar lesson about I Shot The Sheriff chords, by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learn guitar with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.



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