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In this Come As You Guitar guitar lesson video, I will show you how to play this Nirvana classic note-for-note.
The first thing you will need to do in order to play along with this lesson video and the original recording is to get your guitar into what is usually referred to as “D standard” tuning. That basically means you will be tuning all the strings down a whole step. Starting from the 6th string that will be (D G C F A D).
You will probably see some live performance of “Come As You Are” around the internet as well. During these live performances, Nirvana usually only tuned down one-half step instead of the full whole-step found on the original recording. So if you want to play along with a live version of the song tune your guitar to (Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb). Both versions of the song are played exactly the same way on the guitar. Only the tuning varies.
I chose to use the original “D Standard” tuning for this lesson since I feel it helps create the dark mood of the song.
The intro and verse consist of a single note riff that is instantly recognizable to any rock music fan of the past 25 years or so. It is simple to play but can be a bit awkward for the beginning level guitarist.
The remaining rhythm sections of the song use only simple chord shapes, a highlight being the sus4 bar chord used during the chorus.
The last thing I will show you how to play in this lesson is Kurt Cobain’s guitar solo. Once again, he keeps everything pretty simple here with a repetitive melodic phrase. The long bends at the end of each phrase include the use of open strings to create a sort of chaotic sound, but it is still one of the more simple solos you will come across.
Have fun learning this classic from the one and only Nirvana!