The Scientist

The Scientist

Chords and fingerstyle arrangement

Preview Video Lesson

The Scientist chords and fingerstyle arrangement

About The Scientist

‘The Scientist’ is a single from the band Coldplay. The song has a great music video, telling the storyline backward.

Originally composed and performed on the piano, this one guitar arrangement uses an open tuning, something Coldplay do well, especially on their first (and in my opinion best) album ‘Parachutes’.

By allowing the top two strings (tuned to C and F) to be a part of every chord we get different extensions for the chords that are unique and bind the chord progression together. This is a similar technique to how ‘Wonderwall’ is arranged.

In the video lessons, you’ll see all chords played for the entire song using an open tuning.

Chord progression

In most piano players’ favourite key of F, these are the chords during the intro/verse/outro.

Dm7 | Bbadd9 | F | Fsus2 | repeat

The chorus has some strange extensions, the progression is simple, using only chords IV – I – V.

| Bbadd9 | Bbadd9 | F | Fsus2 | x2

| Cadd11/G | Cadd11/G |

Finally, the instrumental section has just two chords.

| F | Bbadd9 | F | Fsus2 |

Take the intermediate guitar course and get the TAB and full explanation of what’s happening in the video lesson.

Playing in an open tuning

The extensions created in ‘The Scientist’ are mainly achieved by utilizing the two top open strings, now tuned to C and F.

Many artists have based their arrangements, and sometimes entire sets, upon open tunings. John Martyn, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchel, and Ani Difranco have all created signature sounds with their tunings, sometimes ending up with one tuning per song!

If you feel this could be the way forward for you, start by changing only one or two strings. This will ensure you have a chance to know what’s happening on the fretboard.

Once the open tuning bug has bitten, it might never let go!

Related Pages

The Scientist – Lyrics

The ScientistCome up to meet you, tell you I’m sorry
You don’t know how lovely you are
I had to find you, tell you I need you
Tell you I set you apart
Tell me your secrets, and ask me your questions

For complete lyrics, go to The Scientist lyrics.

Coldplay – Biography

coldplay-thumbStarting off in ’96, Coldplay had three intense years of band members coming and going. They eventually formed a democracy where all band members had an equal share of all revenue, including publishing.

As the band finally settled, they wrote, recorded and released ‘Parachutes’ in ’00 and took British alternative rock in a new direction.

To find out more, go to Coldplay 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 fretboard.

To see all lessons in the intermediate course, go to Intermediate Guitar Course


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

You’ll map out the entire fretboard at this stage. Chord progressions become easier to see once played as barre chords and little licks will start appearing in your playing.

Preview the exercises from the course here: Intermediate Guitar Lessons


Learn how to play famous intermediate songs.

‘1234’, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’. ‘American Pie’, ‘Angie’, ‘Babylon’, ‘Beautiful’, ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’, ‘Dreadlock Holiday’, ‘Empire State Of Mind’, ‘Fast Car’, ‘Hey There Delilah’, ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’, ‘I’m Yours’, ‘Kiss Me’, ‘Last Request’, ‘Mad World’, ‘Red’, ‘The Scientist’, ‘Starman’, ‘Sunny Afternoon’, and ‘Whistle For The Choir’.

To preview each song, go to Intermediate Acoustic Songs

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