Roxanne chords by The Police


Video blocked due to privacy settings

[rcb-consent type=”change” tag=”link” text=”Change privacy settings”]

Roxanne | Chords + Lyrics (capo 3)


Intro

| Em | Em |
| Em | Bm/D | Cmaj7 | Bm |
| Am7 | Dsus4 | Esus4 | Esus4 |

Verse 1

| Em | Bm/D | Cmaj7 | Bm |
Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light.
| Am7 | Dsus4 | Esus4 | Esus4 |
Those days are over, you don’t have to sell your body to the night.

Verse 2

| Em | Bm/D | Cmaj7 | Bm |
Roxanne, you don’t have to wear that dress tonight,
| Am7 | Dsus4 | Esus4 | Esus4 |
walk the streets for money, you don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right.

Bridge 1

| Am7 | Dsus4 | Esus4 | Esus4 |
Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light.
| Am7 | Dsus4 | Esus4 | Esus4 Am7 |
Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light.

Chorus 1

| G5 | G5 C | D5 | D5/C# D5 | Em | Em Am7 |
| G G5 | G5 C | D5 D5/C# | D5/C# D5 | Esus4 | Esus4 |
||: Roxanne (put on the red light) :|| x4
You don’t have to put on the red light, oh.

Instrumental

||: Em | Em/D :||

Verse 3

| Em | Bm/D | Cmaj7 | Bm |
I loved you since I knew you, I wouldn’t talk down to you.
| Am7 | Dsus4 | Esus4 | Esus4 |
I have to tell you just how I feel, I won’t share you with another boy.

Verse 4

| Em | Bm/D | Cmaj7 | Bm |
I know my mind is made up, so put away your makeup.
| Am7 | Dsus4 | Esus4 | Esus4 |
Told you once I won’t tell you again, it’s a bad way.

Bridge 2

| Am7 | Dsus4 | Esus4 | Esus4 |
Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light,
| Am7 | Dsus4 | Esus4 | Esus4 Am7 |
Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light.

Chorus 2

||: G5 | G5 C | D5 | D5/C# D5 | Em | Em Am7 :||
||: (Roxanne) put on the red light :|| x4
You don’t have to put on the red light.
||: (Roxanne) put on the red light :|| x4
| G5 | G5 C | D5 | D5/C# D5 | Esus4 |
(Roxanne) put on the red light. You don’t have to put on the red light.



Roxanne | Chords + Lyrics (no capo)


Intro

| Gm | Gm |
| Gm | Dm/F | Ebmaj7 | Dm |
| Cm7 | Fsus4 | Gsus4 | Gsus4 |

Verse 1

| Gm | Dm/F | Ebmaj7 | Dm |
Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light.
| Cm7 | Fsus4 | Gsus4 | Gsus4 |
Those days are over, you don’t have to sell your body to the night.

Verse 2

| Gm | Dm/F | Ebmaj7 | Dm |
Roxanne, you don’t have to wear that dress tonight,
| Cm7 | Fsus4 | Gsus4 | Gsus4 |
walk the streets for money, you don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right.

Bridge 1

| Cm7 | Fsus4 | Gsus4 | Gsus4 |
Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light.
| Cm7 | Fsus4 | Gsus4 | Gsus4 Cm7 |
Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light.

Chorus 1

| Bb5 | Bb5 Eb | F5 | F5/E F5 | Gm | Gm Cm7 |
| Bb Bb5 | Bb5 Eb | F5 F5/E | F5/E F5 | Gsus4 | Gsus4 |
||: Roxanne (put on the red light) :|| x4
You don’t have to put on the red light, oh.

Instrumental

||: Gm | Gm/F :||

Verse 3

| Gm | Dm/F | Ebmaj7 | Dm |
I loved you since I knew you, I wouldn’t talk down to you.
| Cm7 | Fsus4 | Gsus4 | Gsus4 |
I have to tell you just how I feel, I won’t share you with another boy.

Verse 4

| Gm | Dm/F | Ebmaj7 | Dm |
I know my mind is made up, so put away your makeup.
| Cm7 | Fsus4 | Gsus4 | Gsus4 |
Told you once I won’t tell you again, it’s a bad way.

Bridge 2

| Cm7 | Fsus4 | Gsus4 | Gsus4 |
Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light,
| Cm7 | Fsus4 | Gsus4 | Gsus4 Cm7 |
Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light.

Chorus 2

||: Bb5 | Bb5 Eb | F5 | F5/E F5 | Gm | Gm Cm7 :||
||: (Roxanne) put on the red light :|| x4
You don’t have to put on the red light.
||: (Roxanne) put on the red light :|| x4
| Bb5 | Bb5 Eb | F5 | F5/E F5 | Gsus4 |
(Roxanne) put on the red light. You don’t have to put on the red light.


Video blocked due to privacy settings

[rcb-consent type=”change” tag=”link” text=”Change privacy settings”]

Roxanne Chords: Learn the progressions


Roxanne 8 step by step guitar lessons

My version of Roxanne is an attempt to capture how The Police played it but on just one acoustic guitar.

I aimed to achieve this by breaking up the strumming and playing lower strings to imitate the bass line from the original recording.

Using this as the foundation, I came up with four ways to play the verse. Here’s the TAB for example 1 of how to play Roxanne’s verse chords (try playing along with the video above).

Roxanne chords and TAB. Verse example 1.

Roxanne’s verse chords are clearly at home over the VI chord, here’s the chord progression with Roman Numerals.

||: Em (VI) | Bm/D (III/5) | Cmaj7 (IV) | Bm (III) |
| Am7 (II) | Dsus4 (V) | Esus4 (VIsus) | Esus4 :||

Make sure you keep these numbers in mind as you play the progression, it will help you further down the line when we solo.

Notice how the final sus4 chord feels uncertain, then when repeated as a sad Em, certain.

The bridge sticks with the sus4, building anticipation like this:

| Am7 (II) | Dsus4 (Vsus4) | Esus4 (VIsus4) | Esus4 |

Finally, Roxanne’s chorus chords are mainly the I – IV – V – VI progression using passing chords, like this:

| G5 (I) | G5 C (IV) | D5 (V) | D5/C# D5 | Em (VI) | Em Am7 (II) |
| G G5 | G5 C | D5 D5/C# | D5/C# D5 | Esus4 | Esus4 |

In the course, over four lessons, you’ll get everything you need to play Roxanne, just like I do in the video at the top of this page, but we don’t stop there.

Following learning the one acoustic guitar arrangement, we play the vocal melody (with extreme attention to detail) and improvise over the verse progression (you’ll love that part!).

Here’s a link to the complete lesson series: Roxanne – Guitar Lessons with TAB.



Roxanne started as a Bossa Nova!

Initially written as a Bossa Nova by Sting, Roxanne was one of the first tunes The Police recorded. As the band was Punk/New Wave, Sting first dismissed it but after Stewart Copeland chimed in with his drumming, it all fell into place.

The lyrics were inspired by a trip the band had made for a gig in Paris. Residing at a hotel in the red-light district, Sting took inspiration from the lifestyle and when he saw a poster with the name Roxanne, the tune came to him.

Since the band broke up, Sting has played Roxanne in many different ways, including as a Bossa Nova.

When the band reunited for a tour in 2007/2008, to mark their 30th anniversary, they announced it by playing Roxanne at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards.

The tour that followed became the 3rd highest-grossing tour of all time.



Roxanne Chords | Related Pages


Advanced Acoustic

There are many more Advanced Acoustic Songs with chords like Roxanne.

The advanced acoustic tunes use big chord extensions and sometimes, unique and complex chords that incorporate open strings.

Study these in-depth and you will gain a complete understanding of the guitar fretboard, including how to build any scale, arpeggio, or chord.


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

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


The Police tunes

The Police recorded Roxanne.

The Police was a New Wave band from England comprising Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland.

Unusually, it was Stewart’s brother, Miles Copeland III who managed the band and later, Sting’s solo career.


The Police on the web

Listen to The Police on Spotify.


Sting tunes

Sting wrote Roxanne.

Sting is an English musician who, prior to his solo career, had a band called The Police, with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers.

Formed in 1977, The Police reached worldwide success after releasing their first single Roxanne only a year after they formed the band.


Sting on the web

Listen to Sting on Spotify.


Pop & Rock

When you can play Roxanne, check out these Pop & Rock tunes as well.

Whenever a tune doesn’t fit into a specific genre, it tends to end up here, in the Pop & Rock section.

Learn tunes from Tom Petty, Eagles, Toto, Oasis, Elvis, Clapton, John Mayer, Kings Of Leon, R.E.M., Radiohead, Bruno Mars, and more.


Reggae & Ska

There are many more Reggae and Ska tunes with chords similar to Roxanne.

Originating from Jamaica as Reggae & Ska, these musical styles were largely made popular once records started to appear in the U.K.

Learn tunes from Bob Marley, Madness, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Afroman, 10cc, Men At Work, The Police, and many more.



About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson about Roxanne chords.

This was a guitar lesson about Roxanne 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.


FOLLOW SPYTUNES

Share this page