Learn How To Play Babylon

Chords and Guitar Lessons

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Complete song – Acoustic guitar and vocals


Babylon is a single from David Gray‘s 1998 hit album White Ladder.

The album was the result of trying to make it for over a decade as a singer-songwriter using the classic record label route. In the end, David recorded the album in his bedroom with the help of his drummer.

Babylon is played using a capo on fret 1, so what you hear is in Eb, but you think in D. As the chord riff uses open strings it would be impossible to play it in this key without a capo.

Chord progression

These are the chords for the intro/verse/instrumental/chorus tag sections.

| D Dmaj7 | G | x7

| G | Em | Em |

| G |

The chorus is varied every fourth bar.

| D | A | Em | F#m |

| D | A | Em | G |

| D | A | Em | A |

| D | A | Em | A | A |

Hammer-On and Pull-Off Exercises

Before we get our teeth into Babylon, it may be a good idea to fully explore hammering on and pulling off.

In the course, we turn to our trusted chromatic exercise and turn it into four new exercises.

When you can play these, executing that hammer-on/pull-off lick in Babylon will be super easy.

Guitar Lessons

Chromatic Exercise Hammer-On

Today we start exploring a bunch of hammer on exercises. You don’t need a metronome for this, instead just focus on the clarity and volume of each note.

Most likely, the slower you play this, the better.

Go to Chromatic exercise hammer-on.

Chromatic Exercise Pull-Off

Today we reverse the idea by pulling off instead of hammering on.

Still, there is not really any need for a metronome, just focus on getting those notes to pop out nice and clear.

Go to Chromatic exercise pull-off.

Two Notes Per String Hammer On Exercise

In order to get a great technique, we must exercise all our fingers.

Starting on fret 2 with your middle finger, then play fret 4 with your little finger will take care of this.

Go to Two notes per string hammer-on exercise.

Pull Off One Note Per String

How is it possible to pull off when you only play one note per string?

During the switch from one fret to the next, that’s how.

Go to Pull-off one note per string.

Babylon – Step 1 (Free Preview)

Today we start working on how to play the verse from Babylon by David Gray.

It has a tricky hammer-on and pull-off lick in it.

Go to Babylon step 1.

Babylon – Step 2

Let’s learn the chorus for Babylon. I’ve got two versions here for you. The first is super simple and a bit boring.

The second example is very chaotic looking and comes from what naturally happened when playing with a singer, having just the one guitar.

Go to Babylon step 2.

Babylon – Step 3

Today we play the complete song. I’ve got a chart here for you, it’s in the key of D.

When you play along with me and the singer, you must fit a capo on fret 1 or you’ll create the worst sound in the world by being a semitone out.

Go to Babylon step 3.

Babylon – Step 4

In this step, we build a 2nd guitar part.

Now, when you play with me and the singer, we sound like a band!

Go to Babylon step 4.

Related Pages


BabylonFriday night I’m going nowhere, all the lights are changing green to red
Turning over TV stations, situations running through my head
Well looking back through time, you know it’s clear that I’ve been blind
I’ve been a fool

Go to Babylon lyrics.

David Gray

david-gray-thumbDavid Gray is an English singer-songwriter.

After many years of struggling with unsuccessful releases on different labels, David ended up recording the album White Ladder in his bedroom.

Since the release, he has toured the world.

Go to David Gray biography.


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

The intermediate songs require you to learn barre chords and pentatonic scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fret board.

Go to Intermediate guitar course.

Intermediate Acoustic Songs

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

A Change Is Gonna Come, American Pie, Angie, Babylon, Blowin’ In The Wind, Dreadlock Holiday, Fast Car, Hey There Delilah, I Can’t Stand The Rain, I’m Yours, Kiss Me, Mad World, Red, Starman, Sunny Afternoon, and Whistle For The Choir.

Go to Intermediate acoustic songs.


All those open position chords you learned in the beginner course now become barre chords and pentatonic scales.

We’ll use this to map out the entire fret board. Everything becomes easier to visualize once this foundation is laid.

Go to Intermediate guitar exercises.

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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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