Mad World chords by Gary Jules (Tears For Fears)

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Mad World | Chords + Lyrics


||: Em | A :||

Verse 1

||: Em | G | Dsus2 | A :||
All around me are familiar faces, worn-out places, worn-out faces.
Bright and early for their daily races, going nowhere, going nowhere.
Their tears are filling up their glasses, no expression, no expression.
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow, no tomorrow, no tomorrow.

Chorus 1

||: Em | A :||
And I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad.
The dreams in which I’m dying, are the best I’ve ever had.
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take.
| Em | A | Em | A | Em | A |
When people run in circles, It’s a very, very mad world, mad world.

Verse 2

||: Em | G | Dsus2 | A :||
Children waiting for the day they feel good, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday.
And I feel the way that every child should, sit and listen, sit and listen.
Went to school and I was very nervous, no one knew me, no one knew me.
Hello, teacher tell me what’s my lesson, look right through me, look right through me.

Chorus 2

||: Em | A :||
And I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad.
The dreams in which I’m dying, are the best I’ve ever had.
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take.
When people run in circles, it’s a very, very mad world, mad world.


||: Em | A :||
Enlarging your world, mad world.

Mad World Guitar Lesson | Course Preview

Mad World Analysis + TAB

The chords for Mad World are really simple, the intro/chorus/bridge/outro is just a II – V. EmA. This is #4 on my top 10 chord progression list, usually employed when it’s time to dance!

The verse only has two more chords. II – IV – I – V. EmGDsus2A.

All chords are from the key of D major, however, the D chord is not the home chord, instead, the Em chord is (chord II).

In the video above, you hear me playing Mad World on one acoustic guitar, influenced by Gary Jules version. After some time, it cuts to show you 2nd guitar parts as well. This is followed by a preview of an early guitar lesson.

Here’s TAB for the first example of the lesson, the bass note of the chord is only played on beat 1. The last A is not a chord, just a bass note.

Mad World chords in TAB, verse example 1.
Mad World TAB | Verse example 1

In the 2nd example, the bass note appears again on beat 3. The final A uses two strings rather than just one.

Mad World chords in TAB, verse example 2.
Mad World TAB | Verse example 2

Mad World’s 8 guitar lessons in the course

In the course, you get more examples of how to play the verse, and we also look at what to play for the chorus. This is followed by the intro, and the complete song, all with TAB and practice loops.

We then look at how to play Mad World’s chords all over the neck using the CAGED system.

This is a great idea since if you know your way around the neck, you can improvise your guitar part. It’s also imperative in order to write guitar parts for your own tunes.

Finally, we create two 2nd guitar parts using a capo on frets 2 and 5, you should learn this so you, me, and the singer can play Mad World together.

In total, there are 8 step-by-step lessons for Mad World available. Here are links to each lesson in the course (members only):

Become a member today and get unlimited access to all my guitar courses, the SEPR practice route, and the eBook Spytunes Method – You can learn guitar!

Mad World chords | Related pages

Intermediate Acoustic

Intermediate Acoustic Songs

Most intermediate acoustic tunes can’t be played using just basic open-position chords. We have to move up the fretboard and play CAGED barre chords as well.

We incorporate bass lines, add licks, extend chords, and play vocal melodies. Most importantly, we invent second guitar parts and play these songs together.

Five similar tunes

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

Gary Jules

Gary Jules is an American singer-songwriter, best known for his cover of Mad World by Tears For Fears. It became the UK Christmas number one single in ’03.

Following the worldwide success, Gary Jules kept selling his own CDs on CD Baby as well as being released through a label.

Gary Jules on the web

Listen to Gary Jules on Spotify.

Tears For Fears

Tears For Fears is an English pop band that has 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 was one of the biggest bands around in the ’80s.

Tears For Fears on the web

Listen to Tears For Fears on Spotify.



The perfect first dance or an emotional piece for your next audition, this collection of ballads is great for working on your expression.

Learn tunes from Burt Bacharach, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Eva Cassidy, Ben Harper, Etta James, Chet Baker, Elvis, Norah Jones, and many more.