The Pretender chords by Foo Fighters


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The Pretender | Chords and 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?


The Pretender chords and 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, 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 have a very interesting progression. 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 bar 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 :||


Foo Fighters’ best tune

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

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 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 | Related pages


Foo Fighters

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.

Go to Foo Fighters.


Discontinued

Over the years, Spytunes have recorded many songs, some of these used to be in eBooks and courses but for one reason or another have been discontinued.

Since they have video guitar lessons, I’ve kept these and added chords and lyrics.

Go to Discontinued.


Song Book

As a guitarist, a repertoire is the greatest asset you can acquire. It is your ticket to playing with other musicians.

To help you on this journey, I’ve gathered tunes I play with acoustic duos, Jazz trios, Indie/Rock/Party bands as well as large Soul/Motown ensembles.

Go to Song Book.


Copyright + Comments

Studying great songs is the best way for a musician to develop, we believe displaying chords and lyrics falls under “fair use in education”.

If you are the copyright holder and do not wish to be represented in this way, or want to comment on anything in these lessons, do reach out.

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