Learn How To Play Tenderness

Chords and strumming

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Tenderness chords and strumming


Tenderness is a song from the studio album There Goes Rhymin’ Simon by Paul Simon.

This chordal masterpiece would have to be studied in detail to be fully understood. Huge extensions, slash chords, key changes, and odd time signatures make this tune a proper challenge to work out.

You get a full breakdown, with complete TAB when you take the master course.

Chord progression tricks

The first chord, a G9b5 is a trick!

It sounds like it’s the V chord going to chord I but it’s not, this is chord I, leading to chord IV.

Straight away we’re in for some seriously clever chord movements. Looks like Paul Simon picked up a thing or two since his days in Simon & Garfunkel.

The original song is in a different key to what I’ve recorded it in.

I’m in the key of G, the original recording is in C. I did this as my singer was female and it sounded much better for her in this key.

To change key is easy if you use roman numerals, even when the progression is as complicated as in Tenderness.

Time Signatures and feel

If the chords seem complicated in Tenderness, check out the time signatures!

First of all, the original version is more straightforward in 4/4. My version has more of a triplet feel which puts it in 12/8. 12/8 is like 4/4 with a triplet over each beat.

When Tenderness eventually gets the extra beat, instead of calling those bars 5/4, they become 15/8 time. This is not actually as complicated as it may sound, you simply add one more “beat of 1 2 3″.

You get every single chord in TAB and all the time signatures for Tenderness when you take the master guitar course.

Related Pages


TendernessWhat can I do, what can I do
Much of what you say is true
I know you see through me
But there’s no tenderness

Go to Tenderness lyrics.

Paul Simon

paul-simon-thumbPaul Simon is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, both as half of the folk-singing duo Simon and Garfunkel and also as a solo artist.

His many hits include Homeward Bound, Scarborough Fair, You Can Call Me Al, The Boxer, Cecilia, Mrs. Robinson, and Graceland.

Go to Paul Simon biography.


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

The master songs require you to extend chords and fully understand the modal scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fret board.

Go to Master guitar course.


Learn how to play famous songs.

Angel Eyes, Dream A Little Dream Of Me, I Wish, Tenderness, and Why Don’t You Do Right?.

Go to Master acoustic songs.

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