Tenderness chords by Paul Simon


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Tenderness | Chords + Lyrics (key of G)


Intro

| 12/8 G9b5 |

Verse 1

| C | B7 | Em G | C C#dim7 |
What can I do, what can I do? Much of what you say is true,
| G/D | D D11 | G Bb/F F | Em G |
I know you see through me, but there’s no tenderness, beneath your honesty.

Verse 2

| C | B7 | Em G | C C#dim7 |
Right and wrong, right and wrong, never helped us get along.
| G/D | D D11 | G Bb/F F | Em B7 |
You say you care for me, but there’s no tenderness, beneath your honesty.

Bridge

| 15/8 C#m G#7 A7 G#7 | 12/8 E A B | E D#9 G#7 |
You and me, were such good friends, what’s your hurry?
| 15/8 C#m G#7 A7 G#7 | 12/8 E B/D# | F#m D7 | G G7 |
You and me, could make amends, I’m not worried, I’m not worried.

Verse 3

| C | B7 | Em G | C C#dim7 |
Honesty, honesty, it’s such a waste of energy.
| G/D | D D11 | G E |
I know you see through me, but there’s no tenderness, beneath your honesty. No, you don’t have to
| A7 D7 | D7 |
lie to me, just give me some tenderness.

Outro

| G Em | Eb9 D9 | G |
Mm, hm.
| C C#dim7 | G | D | G Bb/F F | G |
Oh-oh. mm-hm. Tenderness.



Tenderness | Chords + Lyrics (original key)


Intro

| C9b5 |

Verse 1

| F | E7 | Am C | F F#dim7 |
What can I do, what can I do? Much of what you say is true,
| C/G | G G11 | C Eb/Bb Bb | Am C7 |
I know you see through me, but there’s no tenderness, beneath your honesty.

Verse 2

| F | E7 | Am C | F F#dim7 |
Right and wrong, right and wrong, never helped us get along.
| C/G | G G11 | C Eb/Bb Bb | Am E7 |
You say you care for me, but there’s no tenderness, beneath your honesty.

Bridge

| 5/4 F#m C#7 D7 C#7 | 4/4 A G#m11 E/B | A G#7 C#7 |
You and me, were such good friends, what’s your hurry?
| 5/4 F#m C#7 D7 C#7 | 4/4 A E/G# | Bm7 G7 | C C7 |
You and me, could make amends, I’m not worried, I’m not worried.

Verse 3

| F | E7 | Am C | F F#dim7 |
Honesty, honesty, it’s such a waste of energy.
| C/G | G G11 | C A7 |
I know you see through me, but there’s no tenderness, beneath your honesty. No, you don’t have to
| D7 G7 | G7 |
lie to me, just give me some tenderness.

Outro

| C Am | Ab9 G9 | C C7 |
| F F#dim7 | C | G | C Eb/Bb Bb | C |
Tenderness.



Tenderness Chords: Learn the progressions


Tenderness chord guitar lesson + TAB T

When I recorded Tenderness with a female singer I changed the key from G to C, I also put it in 12/8 instead of 4/4.

This was a tune that was a part of our repertoire as a duo, it had developed over several gigs and I didn’t pay much attention to the original Paul Simon recording before I recorded it for Spytunes in 2008.

As I’m going over it now, almost 15 years later, I still like it and feel there is value here for you as a guitar student to learn it as I played with her.

Once you’ve gone through the TAB I made for you, you can easily straighten it up and put it back in C, should you want to play it along with Paul/with a male singer.

Anyway, let’s get to the chords as they are so great! I’m going to stick with the key of G during this overview.

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 – genius! Looks like Paul Simon picked up a thing or two since his days in Simon & Garfunkel.

The first verses are pretty much identical, only the last bar differs, EmG, or EmB7. Here’s verse 1 with Roman numerals.

|12/8 C (IV) | B7 (IIIx) | Em (VI) G (I) | C (IV) C#dim7 (#IVdim7) |
| G/D (I/5)| D (V) D11 | G (I) Bb/F (bIIIx) F (bVIIx) | Em (VI) G (I) |

You could say that the Tenderness verse is balancing between the keys of G and C, making F the IV chord.

Members get two ideas for how to play this using TAB. It’s not identical to how I played it, rather it is two concepts, which if blended becomes as I played it.

I feel this has more value as this should be played in an improvised way, not note-for-note. The goal is to dynamically and emotionally follow and support the singer.

As a preview, here’s the first idea in TAB, you could play this for the first verse.

Tenderness chords and TAB, verse idea 1.


As mentioned, members get another, more complicated idea for how to play the verse. Once practised individually, these two can be blended in an improvised way.

The bridge starts with an odd time signature in 15/8. We have also changed the key using a modal interchange, going from G/Em to E/C#m.

| 15/8 C#m (VI) G#7 (IIIx) A7 (IV) G#7 (III) | 12/8 E (I) A (IV) B (V) | E (I) D#9 (VIIx) G#7 (IIIx) |
| 15/8 C#m G#7 A7 G#7 | 12/8 E B/D# | F#m D7 | G |

The final verse includes more modifications as we after D11 move like this:

| G (I) E (VIx) | A7 (IIx) D7 (V) | D7 |

The outro dwells on the theme and finds even more chords! That Eb9 is a tritone substitution of the II chord.

| G (I) Em (VI) | Eb9 (bVIx) D9 (V) | G (I) |
| C (IV) C#dim7 (#IVdim7) | G (I) | D (V) | G (I) Bb/F (bIIIx) F (bVIIx) | G (I) |

Tenderness will soon be available as 8 step-by-step guitar lessons. Until then, there’s a simpler guitar lesson with three pieces of TAB available: Tenderness – Guitar Lesson with TAB.



Paul Simon’s solo career in the ’70s was incredible!

I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating, what Paul Simon released in the ’70s is some of the best music the world has ever been gifted.

Starting out with the self-titled debut in 1970 we had Mother and Child Reunion as well as Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, two world-class tunes proving he could do this without Art’s harmonies.

The follow-up, There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (1973) had Kodachrome, what we look at here (Tenderness), and Take Me to the Mardi Grass as the three opening tunes! Flip it over and you’ll find American Tune which is the only song considered for replacing the American National Anthem and then Love Me Like A Rock.

His last ’70s album, Still Crazy After All These Years (1975) had the title track as well as every drummer’s favourite, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.

Could you imagine his headache when trying to put together a set list for a gig after all that as well as trying to include his Simon & Garfunkel highlights?

I don’t know about you but I can’t think of a better 1st world problem to have!



Tenderness Chords | Related Pages


Advanced Acoustic

There are more Advanced Acoustic Songs with chords similar to Tenderness.

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 Tenderness's chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.


Paul Simon tunes

Paul Simon wrote Tenderness.

Paul 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.


Paul Simon on the web

Listen to Paul Simon on Spotify.


Ballads & First Dances

When you can play Tenderness, check out these Ballads as well.

The perfect first dance or an emotional piece for your next audition, this collection of Ballads & First Dances 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.


About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson about Tenderness chords.

This was a guitar lesson about Tenderness 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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