David Bowie – Starman | guitar lesson

David Bowie - Starman | guitar lesson

David Bowie – Starman guitar lesson
Chord charts and the backing track are available to my Patrons. If you find my videos useful, please consider supporting me:
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These videos are designed as practice tools to supplement your other learning methods. Information is provided on screen for both right and left-handed players!

Starman is not a simple song to play though! The intro especially always drove me nuts, but the rest of the song is a big mix of open and barre chords, and they jump around a lot. Bowie tended to play E-shape barre chords with his thumb on the low E string rather than barring with the first finger as I’m doing (and his way may have simplified things a bit).

I’ve included a guide to a few variations on the intro, finishing up on what I think is actually being played on the record.

The strumming also varies wildly through the song, and helps to lend each section its own feel.

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10 comments

  1. Would do a rock n roll suicide tutorial, please?

  2. What does the "x" mean?

  3. Finally a definitve version! Congratulations, thanks and greetings from Brazil.

  4. Aha, someone else is finally hearing the high E to high F toggle in the intro. It's amazing that so many popular youtube videos completely ignore it. I'm not 100% sold on your theory as to how he plays it on record – musicians often change the way they play a song for live purposes (cf Keith Richards). Personally, I use my thumb on the low E-string, for the main chords and let the top E string ring out when playing the first two beats of the Bb chord (in VI position), then mute the E string with my index finger for the last two beats so that the F on the B string is the high note. And the same with the F chord (in I position)- leave the E-string open, then lower your index finger onto the high F. It seems truer to the album version than your approach, at least to my ears. But it's all subjective, and admittedly I haven't tested this with a 12-string guitar.

  5. About the intro, in the Top Of The Pops performance of Starman, David Bowie is playing the first chord (Bbmaj7) the first way you showed it. I don’t know what videos or photographs you found of him doing it differently.

  6. Richard K Straker

    You are brilliant! Thanks

  7. Иван Бровкин

    Good lesson, thanks from Ukraine

  8. Nice one man. How do you make background sound?

  9. Good lesson, thanks from Brazil.

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