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Originally released in 1978, “Roxanne” was the first hit for The Police that brought them international fame. In this Roxanne guitar lesson, I will show you all of Andy Summers’ punchy guitar chords for this classic song.
“Roxanne” is an excellent guitar chord workout throughout it’s entirety. Even though most of the chords are basic major and minor chords, along with a couple of sus 4 chords thrown in there, things are made more interesting and challenging for the intermediate level guitarist because of how those chords are voiced around the fretboard. Of course there is that right hand rhythm to learn as well.
Speaking of that rhythm, I will spend some time at the beginning of the video lesson showing you how to properly achieve that tight punchy sound by using left hand muting. If you aren’t used to this type of technique it can take a little bit of time to get used to it. After that though, it will become second nature pretty quickly.
Most of the chords for the verse and pre-chorus use only 3 or 4 strings. This will require extra accuracy from your picking hand to hit the proper strings.
The chorus has more of a punk rock vibe to it with a straight 8th feel played with down-strokes. The chords also get a lot more simple in the chorus since all of them are simple power chord shapes.
Andy Summers is one of the few guitar players to come along to have an instantly identifiable guitar style. He employs interesting ways to play common chord types that not a lot of other guitar players have knowledge of.
Hopefully you also find something new to learn in this Roxanne guitar lesson that you can add to your own playing. At the very least you will be learning one of the greatest rock songs of the seventies! Enjoy!