Mr. Tambourine Man chords by Bob Dylan


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Mr. Tambourine Man | Chords + Lyrics (capo 3, drop D)


Intro

| D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) | D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) |

Chorus 1

| G/B A | D G/B |
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
| D G/B | A (Asus4) |
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to.
| G/B A | D G/B |
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
| D G/B |2/4 A | 6/4 D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) |
In the jingle jangle morning, I’ll come following you.

Verse 1

|4/4 G/B A | D G/B |
Though I know that evening’s empire has returned into sand.
| D G/B |
Vanished from my hand.
| D G/B Em | A (Asus4) |
Left me blindly here to stand, but still not sleeping.
| G/B A | D G/B |
My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet.
| D G/B |
I have no one to meet.
| D G/B Em | A (Asus4) |
And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming.

Chorus 2

| G/B A | D G/B |
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
| D G/B | A (Asus4) |
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to.
| G/B A | D G/B |
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
| D G/B |2/4 A |4/4 D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) | D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) |
In the jingle jangle morning, I’ll come following you.

Verse 2

| G/B A | D G/B |
Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship
| D G/B | D G/B | D G/B |
My senses have been stripped. My hands can’t feel to grip. My toes too numb to step.
| D Em | A (Asus4) |
Wait only for my boot heels to be wandering.
| G/B A | D G/B |
I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade.
| D G/B |
Into my own parade.
|5/4 D G/B Em |4/4 A (Asus4) |
Cast your dancing spell my way, I promise to go under it.

Chorus 3

| G/B A | D G/B |
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
| D G/B | A (Asus4) |
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to.
| G/B A | D G/B |
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
| D G/B |2/4 A |4/4 D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) | D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) |
In the jingle jangle morning, I’ll come following you.

Verse 3

| G/B A | D G/B |
Though you might hear laughing, spinning, swinging madly across the sun.
| D G/B | D G/B |
It’s not aimed at anyone. It’s just escaping on the run.
| D G/B Em | A (Asus4) |
And but for the sky, there are no fences facing.
| G/B A | D G/B |
And if you hear vague traces of skipping reels of rhyme.
| D G/B | D G/B | D G/B |
To your tambourine in time. It’s just a ragged clown behind. I wouldn’t pay it any mind.
| D G/B Em | A (Asus4) |
It’s just a shadow you’re seeing that he’s chasing.

Chorus 4

| G/B A | D G/B |
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
| D G/B | A (Asus4) |
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to.
| G/B A | D G/B |
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
| D G/B |2/4 A |4/4 D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) |
In the jingle jangle morning, I’ll come following you.

Solo

| G/B A | D G/B |
| D G/B | D G/B | D G/B | D G/B |
| D Em | A (Asus4) |
| G/B A | D G/B |
| D G/B | D G/B |
| D Em |2/4 A |4/4 D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) | D (Dsus4) |

Verse 4

| G/B A | D G/B |
And take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind.
| D G/B | D G/B | D G/B | D G/B |
Down the foggy ruins of time. Far past the frozen leaves. The haunted frightened trees. Out to the windy beach.
| D G/B Em | A (Asus4) |
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
| G/B A | D G/B |
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free.
| D G/B | D G/B | D G/B | D G/B |
Silhouetted by the sea. Circled by the circus sands. With all memory and fate. Driven deep beneath the waves.
| D Em | A (Asus4) |
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

Chorus 5

| G/B A | D G/B |
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
| D G/B | A (Asus4) |
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to.
| G/B A | D G/B |
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
| D G/B |2/4 A |4/4 D (Dsus4) |
In the jingle jangle morning, I’ll come following you.

Outro

| G/B A | D G/B |
| D G/B | D G/B | D G/B | D G/B |
| D G/B | to fade



Mr. Tambourine Man Chords: Learn the progressions


Mr. Tambourine Man guitar lesson with TAB

Bob Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine Man is full of strange variations in bar lengths and even different time signatures, all serving the same purpose; to follow the lyrics.

The main concept of the chords is to move from G/B (IV/3) to A (V), then between D (I) and G/B (IV/3). This second movement is repeated in many different ways.

If we are playing a chorus, we always do it twice before we go to an A (chord V) again, like this:

| G/B (IV/3) A (V) | D (I) G/B (IV/3) |
| D G/B | A (Asus4) |

When repeated, the end is played in different ways, this is almost impossible to memorise, here’s the second half of chorus 1.

| G/B A | D G/B |
| D G/B |2/4 A | 6/4 D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) |

This looks really weird, why would you write a 2/4 bar, then a 6/4?

The answer is that the A chord is always a 2/4, but what comes after changes, like this:

  • Chorus 1 |2/4 A | 6/4 D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) |
  • Chorus 2 |2/4 A |4/4 D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) | D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) |
  • Chorus 3 |2/4 A |4/4 D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) | D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) |
  • Chorus 4 |2/4 A |4/4 D (Dsus4) (Dsus2) |
  • Chorus 5 |2/4 A |4/4 D (Dsus4) |

Members look at how to strum this chorus in different ways, here’s the TAB for how to play chorus 2 and 3 which are the only two that are the same.

Mr Tambourine Man chords and TAB, chorus 2 and 3.

As you can see, there is plenty of alternating bass going on here. For the A/E and D/A, I ignored writing this for the chords and lyrics above, it just looked too messy.

Members get another version of the chorus to highlight how it’s constantly changing (as discussed above).

The verse is also changing, but now it’s the amount of times we repeat the DG/B. This is somewhat easier to follow although you do need to learn the lyrics!

This is verse 1‘s chord progression:

||: G/B A | D G/B | D G/B |
| D G/B Em | A (Asus4) :||

That Em is chord II, the rest is the same as the chorus. The DG/B is repeated once.

In verse 2, things get weird, here’s the chord progression:

| G/B A | D G/B | D G/B | D G/B | D G/B |
| D Em | A (Asus4) |
| G/B A | D G/B | D G/B |
|5/4 D G/B Em | A (Asus4) |

The only way I could get that right would be to listen to the lyrics! The DG/B is first repeated 4 times, then only two. The last 5/4 bar is nuts! Members get TAB for this and all other variations.

For verse 3, we again change the amount of DG/B, first it’s three times, then 2. There is now no 5/4 bar. Again, follow the lyrics.

| G/B A | D G/B | D G/B | D G/B |
| D G/B Em | A (Asus4) |
| G/B A | D G/B |
| D G/B | D G/B | D G/B |
| D G/B Em | A (Asus4) |

Finally, in verse 4 we play this:

| G/B A | D G/B | D G/B | D G/B | D G/B | D G/B |
| D G/B Em | A (Asus4) |
| G/B A | D G/B | D G/B | D G/B | D G/B | D G/B |
| D Em | A (Asus4) |

Both times we repeat DG/B five times, madness.

What Bob does here is fit the music to the lyrics. Back in the day, blues and folk musicians did this all the time, they’d drop a beat or repeat chords if that’s what the lyrics required.

Can you imagine trying to do that today on some guy’s laptop where he is staring at the screen, it would blow his mind!

Another thing they did in the ’60s was tune to a nearby piano, meaning we are rarely at a perfect 440Hz, in the case of Mr. Tambourine Man, Bob is tuned to 434Hz, just two cents away from the magical frequency of the universe, 432.

Use my online tuner to get to 434 Hz and it’ll feel great playing along with Bob using the recording in the playlist at the top of this page.

Here’s a link to the complete lesson with lots of TAB: Mr. Tamourine Man – Guitar Lesson with TAB.



Mr. Tambourine Man covers

Bob Dylan‘s original Mr. Tambourine Man was released in 1965 on on the album Bringing It All Back Home.

It wasn’t a single but has gained popularity over the years and become a standard in his live repertoire, especially in the early days.

There have been many covers recorded of Mr. Tambourine Man. Most famously, The Byrds recorded their version of Bob’s Masterpiece using a Rickenbacker 12 string without a capo, so in the key of D.

They released it only a month after Dylan which must have been down to the fact that they were on the same label (Colombia).

The Byrds even named their album after the song and released it as a single, hitting the #1 spot in Ireland, South Africa, the U.K., and the U.S.

Some even claim Dylan’s switch to electric was inspired by The Byrds’ version of his song when he later that year recorded Like A Rolling Stone and to his folk audience’s dismay “went electric”.

You could go as far as seeing Mr. Tambourine Man as the pivot in music history where serious lyrics were fused with bands playing pop songs.

There are other versions of Mr. Tambourine Man, Stevie Wonder did his version in 1966, and my favourite, Helios Sequence as late as 2010.

I’ve included all these versions in the playlist at the top of this page.



Mr. Tambourine Man Chords | Related Pages


Intermediate Acoustic

There are many more Intermediate Acoustic Songs with chords similar to Mr. Tambourine Man.

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’ll invent second guitar parts and play these songs together.


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play Mr. Tambourine Man's chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.


Bob Dylan tunes

Bob Dylan wrote Mr. Tambourine Man.

Widely regarded as the most influential artist in popular culture, Bob Dylan has been covered and copied by almost everyone who ever attempted to write a song. His famous tunes are so many it’s impossible to pick just a few.

Some say Dylan invented modern songwriting.


Bob Dylan on the web

Listen to Bob Dylan on Spotify.


Country & Folk

When you can play Mr. Tambourine Man, check out these Country and Folk tunes as well

In the primarily acoustic genres of Country & Folk, you must acquire what matters the most: A repertoire. Nothing else will give you the gig.

Learn tunes by Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, America, Don McLean, and many more.


About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson about Mr. Tambourine Man chords.

This was a guitar lesson about Mr. Tambourine Man 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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