Come As You Are Guitar Lesson – Nirvana

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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!


  1. Vid really helped

  2. Awee I learned this song when it came out in early 90s from guitar magazine and my step brother and rainbow friends I still miss Kurt Cobain what a talented musician R.I.P.

  3. Aashay Chaturvedi

    Porcupine tree – time flies pls!!! LOVE YOUR VIDEOS!

  4. I've got the opening verse but I'm totally lost on the rest lol

  5. Ian the Juicebox

    I don鈥檛 call it d standard I call it drop d

  6. Always the best lessons here.I 聽figured a way to play it standard tuning just dropping the E to D. changes the chords but serves the servant….ooops.

  7. What kind of Sterling is that?

  8. Rory Gallagher-Bad Penny

  9. haha is actually easy for me

  10. You suck so me the strumming pattern

  11. Volume on the video is at 23%. I can barely hear you.

  12. Your guitar tutorials are SO helpful! Thanks for all the videos! (I'm directing an all-Nirvana rock camp next week, for kids ages 10-14. Lots of fun, but the prep work is very time-consuming!)
    Can you tell me what effects they used on the guitar? Was it an octave pedal, chorus, and reverb, on the first part?

  13. marilyn manson sweet dreams. please 馃檪

  14. You should start doing just straight up covers.

  15. Grunge gopher 67

    first nirvana song I ever learned

  16. jeez great lesson now i made a cover thanks to this

  17. Cobain gets the "sus4" chords because he plays power chords by holding down a bar with his ring finger over the 5th and octave notes, instead of just fingering them in the usual way. That's how he gets that extra sus note in there, probably by mistake. Call it lazy/poor technique but it adds to the nuance of their music I guess

  18. Easiest song to play. Top easy songs to play by Nirvana is Rape Me, Come as you are, Drain You, and Teen Spirit.

  19. is there any nirvana's song that you don't need to tune your guitar other than the regular tune?

  20. Hi I have a question what kind of accessory you have in the guitar head and what is its function?. Nice song, congratulations!

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