The Pretender chords by Foo Fighters


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The Pretender | Chords + Lyrics


Intro

| Amadd9 | Am /B /C Am | F#m7b5 (/G) | Fmaj7 |

Verse 1

| Amadd9 | Am /B /C Am | F#m7b5 (/G) | Fmaj7 |
Keep you in the dark, you know they all, pretend.
| Amadd9 | Am /B /C Am | F#m7b5 (/G) | Fmaj7 |
Keep you in the dark, and so it all, began.

Instrumental 1

||: Am (F# G A) :||

Verse 2

| Am | Am | Am | Am | D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C |
Send in your skeletons. Sing as their bones go marching in, again.
| Am | Am | Am | Am | D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C |
They need you buried deep, the secrets that you keep are ever ready, are you ready?
| Am | Am | Am | Am | D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C |
I’m finished making sense, done pleading ignorance. That old, defence,
| Am | Am | Am | Am | D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C |
Spinning infinity boy, the wheel is spinning me, it’s never-ending, never-ending.
| (D E) | (F# G) |
Same old story.

Chorus 1

| Am | Am | (A B) | (C A)|
What if I say I’m not like the others? What if I say I’m not just another,
| D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C
one, of your plays? You’re the pretender, what if I say I will never surrender?
| Am | Am | (A B) | (C A)|
What if I say I’m not like the others? What if I say I’m not just another, 
| D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C
one, of your plays? You’re the pretender, what if I say that I will never surrender?

Instrumental 2

| A5 A6 A7 A6 | A5 A6 A7 A |

Verse 3

| Am | Am | Am | Am | D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C |
In time or so I’m told. I’m just another soul for sale, oh well.
| Am | Am | Am | Am | D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C |
The page is out of print, we are not permanent, we’re temporary, temporary.
| (D E) | (F# G) |
Same old story.

Chorus 2

| Am | Am | (A B) | (C A)|
What if I say I’m not like the others? What if I say I’m not just another,
| D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C
one, of your plays? You’re the pretender, what if I say I will never surrender?
| Am | Am | (A B) | (C A) |
What if I say I’m not like the others? What if I say I’m not just another,
| D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C
one, of your plays? You’re the pretender, what if I say I will never surrender?
| (D E) | (F# G) |
Oh, oh, oh, oh.

Instrumental 3

||: A5 A6 A7 A6 | A5 A6 A7 A :||

Bridge

||: A5 A6 A7 A6 | A5 A6 A7 A :||
I’m the voice inside your head you refuse to hear.
I’m the face that you have to face, mirroring your stare.
||: A(#9) A9 A A7 :|| x4
I’m what’s left, I’m what’s right, I’m the enemy.
||: Asus4 A(#9) A9 A :|| x4
I’m the hand that’ll take you down, bring you to your knees.
||: A5 A7 A Asus4 :|| x8
So who are you? Yeah, who are you? Yeah, who are you? Yeah, who are you?

Breakdown verse

| Amadd9 | Am /B /C Am | F#m7b5 (/G) | Fmaj7 |
Keep you in the dark, you know they all, pretend.

Chorus 3

| Am | Am | (A B) | (C A)|
What if I say I’m not like the others? What if I say I’m not just another,
| D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C
one, of your plays? You’re the pretender, what if I say I will never surrender?
| Am | Am | (A B) | (C A)|
What if I say I’m not like the others? What if I say I’m not just another, 
| D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C
one, of your plays? You’re the pretender, what if I say that I’ll never surrender?
| Am | Am | (A B) | (C A)|
What if I say I’m not like the others? (Keep you in the dark) What if I say I’m not just another, 
| D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C |
one, of your plays? (You know they all) You’re the pretender (Pretend) What if I say I will never surrender?
| Am | Am | (A B) | (C A)|
What if I say I’m not like the others? (Keep you in the dark) What if I say I’m not just another, 
| D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C |
one, of your plays? (You know they all) You’re the pretender (Pretend) What if I say I will never surrender?

Instrumental 4

| (D E) | (F# G) |

Outro

||: A5 A6 A7 A6 | A5 A6 A7 A :||
So who are you? Yeah, who are you? 
||: A(#9) A9 A A7 :|| A5 N.C | A5 N.C |
Yeah, who are you?


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The Pretender Chords: Learn the progressions


Not your average chord progression or rock n roll arrangement, The Pretender is a feast in chord movements and arranging a song using dynamics. Let’s look at each section.

Intro

Using an Am chord, in a Cm shape, and changing the bass note we get these chords for the intro, first verse, and one of the (many) breakdown sections.

| Amadd9 | Am /B /C Am | F#m7b5 (/G) | Fmaj7 |

Verse riff

There’s a verse riff that continues when the big verse chords come in, using the top string to change notes and the 2nd string as a drone, you could describe this riff as follows.

||: Am (F# G A) :||

Verse

Once the verse kicks in we get a very interesting progression. The Am feels both like Aeolian and Dorian since the F# and F is used.

||: Am | Am | Am | Am |
| D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C :|| (D E) | (F# G) |

Chorus

The chorus is very similar to the verse, just an added bass line in bars 3 and 4.

| Am | Am | (A B) | (C A)|
| D/F# | D/F# | Fsus2/C | Fsus2/C |

Breakdown

Chuck Berry on acid! stating with the classic honky tonk, Dave moves up the neck and finds #9, 9, 7, and 4 extensions to build intensity – Nice one Dave!

||: A5 A6 A7 A :||
||: A(#9) A9 A A7 :||
||: Aadd4 A(#9) A9 A :||
||: A5 A7 A Asus4 :||



The Pretender is Foo Fighters’ best tune

The Pretender was the first single and the opening track from Foo Fighter‘s sixth studio album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007).

The tune was a huge success and is considered by many as Dave Grohl’s greatest performance yet, myself included!

Apparently, the song was at first called Silver Heart and only had the chorus, played at a much slower tempo, Dave got the main hook off Sesame Street’s One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others.

During a break away from the studio, Mr. Grohl developed the verse and the Chuck Berry-inspired breakdown section and ended up with not just the opening track and lead single for the album but the opening song for their live shows.

The greatest lesson here is how The Pretender didn’t just come to Dave, he crafted it!

The video guitar lesson above demonstrates the different guitar parts used in the tune. Memorize these and then use the chords and lyrics to guide you through the arrangement of this awesome tune.



The Pretender Chords | Related Pages


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

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

Foo Fighters tunes

Foo Fighters wrote The Pretender.

Being a member of not one but two generation-defining bands, Dave Grohl must be considered our time’s greatest rock star.

Dave started writing what was to become Foo Fighters‘ first album already as he was touring with Nirvana.


Foo Fighters on the web

Listen to Foo Fighters on Spotify.


Indie & Heavy Rock

When you can play The Pretender, chock these Indie and Heavy Rock tunes as well.

Riff-based Indie & Heavy Rock tunes must be studied in depth in order to understand why a tune in these styles work.

Learn songs by Foo Fighters, Rage Against The Machine, Green Day, Kings Of Leon, Jack White, Blink-182, and many more.


About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson about The Pretender chords.

This was a guitar lesson about The Pretender 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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