Red chords



You can learn how to play Red by Daniel Merriweather!

Red is a single by Daniel Merriweather, produced by the hugely successful Mark Ronson.

This song is in the key of E major and only uses the I, IV, V, and VI chords throughout the entire song.

To spice things up and compensate for the lack of a huge production, courtesy of Mr. Ronson, open strings have been incorporated into the one acoustic guitar arrangement.

These open strings create some unique extensions to the chords.


Red chords and lyrics


| E | E Eadd9 |

| Asus2 | Asus2 | E Eadd9 | E |
And I’m alright, standing in the streetlights here.
| Asus2 | Asus2 | E Eadd9 | E |
Is this meant for me, my time on the outside is over.

| C#m | Bsus4 | Asus2 | Asus2 (Bsus2) |
And we don’t know how you’re spending all of your days, knowing that love isn’t here.
| C#m | Bsus4 | Asus2 | Asus2 |
You see the pictures but you don’t know their names, cause love isn’t here.

| E | E | C#m | A |
And I can’t do this by myself, all of these problems, they’re all in your head.
| E | E | C#m | A (A6) | E Eadd9 | E Eadd9 |
And I can’t be somebody else, you took something perfect and painted it red.

| A | A | E | E Eadd9 |
No sympathy, when shouting out is all you know.
| A | A | E Eadd9 | E |
Behind your lies, I can see the secrets you don’t show.

| C#m | Bsus4 | Asus2 | Asus2 (Bsus2/A) |
No, we don’t know how you’re spending all of your days, knowing that love isn’t here.
| C#m | Bsus4 | Asus2 | Asus2 |
You see the pictures but you don’t know their names, ’cause love isn’t here.

| E | E Eadd9 E7 | C#m | A |
I can’t do this by myself, all of these problems, they’re all in your head.
| E | E Eadd9 E7 | C#m | A | E Eadd9 | E Eadd9 |
And I can’t be somebody else, you took something perfect and painted it red, oh,
| C#m | A | E Eadd9 | E Eadd9 |
you took something perfect and painted it red.

| C#m7 | Badd4 | Aadd9 | Aadd9 (Badd4) |
You take the best things from me, then everything gets empty, that’s not a world that I need.
| C#m7 | Badd4 | Aadd9 | Aadd9 |
Ooh, you take the best things from me, then everything gets empty, that’s not a world that I need.

| E | E Eadd9 E7 | C#m | A |

| E | E | C#m | Asus2 |
And I can’t do this by myself, all of these problems, they’re all in your head.
| E | E Eadd9 E7 | C#m | A | E | E Eadd9 E7 |
And I can’t be somebody else, you took something perfect and painted it red. Red.

| C#m | A | E | E Eadd9 E7 |
Red, you took something perfect and you painted it red.
| C#m | A | E | E Eadd9 E7 | C#madd9 | A | E |
You took something perfect and painted it red, you took something perfect and painted it red.


Red chord progression

In the key of E, Red only uses four chords. The I, IV, V, and VI chord. It achieves its interesting sounds through extensions.

Starting off with the intro/instrumental section, which is harmonically super simple, we just stay on chord I.

| E | Eadd9 |

The verse only adds one chord, spiced up with a couple of extensions, it looks like this.

||: Asus2 | Asus2 | E Eadd9 | E :||

The bridge introduces some new chords, taking the song to chord VI for the first time, like this.

||: C#m | Bsus4 | Asus2 | Asus2 :||

The chorus is very similar to the verse, just swapped around, with a VI chord as well.

||: E | E | C#m | A :|| E Eadd9 | E Eadd9 |

The m8 recycles the chords of the bridge, now with add9 and add4, not sus2 extensions.

| C#m7 | Badd4 | Aadd9 | Aadd9 (Badd4) |


Extend chords using open strings

What’s really unique about this one guitar arrangement is how some of the chords have been extended.

Using the same open strings throughout, we get different extensions depending on which chord is used.

For example, the C#m with an open B and E string produces a C#m7, but over an A chord, you get an add9 extension.

You’ll get to the bottom of this concept when you take the intermediate acoustic guitar course which is great as this technique can be applied to other songs too.


Red – 8 Guitar Lessons

The relatively unknown Red by Daniel Merriweather and famed producer Mark Ronson has some fantastic vocal melody secrets to teach us more about music.

To fully understand this song, we have to actually learn about the modes and play the vocal melody.

Go to Red – 8 Guitar Lessons.


Red – Lyrics + Official video

And I’m alright,
standing in the streetlights here.
Is this meant for me,
my time on the outside is over.

Go to Red lyrics.


Daniel Merriweather

Australian Daniel Merriweather first started working with Mark Ronson in ’03, appearing on his Here Comes The Fuzz.

After a few more collaborations with Ronson, they finally made a solo album for Merriweather that was released in ’09.

Go to Daniel Merriweather – Biography.


Intermediate Acoustic Songs

Intermediate Acoustic Guitar Songs

The intermediate songs can not 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, pentatonic licks, extended chords, and play vocal melodies. Most importantly, we invent a 2nd guitar and play these songs together.

Go to Intermediate Acoustic Songs.


The Professional Guitarist Song Book

As a guitarist, a repertoire is the greatest asset that you can acquire.

Learn these songs and you can progress from being a bedroom player to working with acoustic duos, Jazz trios, Indie/Rock/Party bands as well as large Soul/Motown ensembles.

Go to Song Book.


Copyright + Comments

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Go to Contact.