Guitar lesson for

Banana Pancakes

by Jack Johnson

Video lesson

Lyrics w/ chords

MAIN RIFF

    e –––––––––––––––––––––––––––5––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3–––
    B –––––––––––––––––––––––––––5––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3–––
    G –––––––––––––––––––––––––––5––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––4–––
    D ––––––––––––––––––––––––x––5–––––––––––––––––––––––––––x––3–––
    A ––––––5–––––––––––––––––x––7–––––––––5–––––––––––––––––x––5–––
    E ––/7–––––7––5––3––0––5––x––5–––––/7–––––7––5––3––0––3––x––3–––
                                Am7                             G7

INTRO

    riff → Am7 ... riff → G7 ....

    (riff)                             Am7
    Well, can’t you see that it’s just raining
    (riff)                     G7            D7
    There ain’t no need to go outside... but baby,

VERSE
               G7      D7            Am7         C7
    You hardly even notice... when I try to show you this
            G7            D7                Am7                  C7
    Song is meant to keep you... from doing what you’re supposed to
           G7        D7          Am7            C7
    Waking up too early... maybe we could sleep in
               G7      D7                    Am7          C7
    Make you banana pancakes... pretend like it’s the weekend

CHORUS
        Am7    (riff)                          G7
        Now... and we could pretend it all the time, yeah
        G7     (riff)                      Am7
        ...... can’t you see that its just raining
        Am7    (riff)                     G7                 D7
        ...... there ain’t no need to go outside... but just maybe,

    Laka ukulele, Mama made a baby
    Really don’t mind the breakfast ‘cause you’re my little lady
    Lady, lady love me, ‘cause I love to lay here lazy
    We could close the curtains, pretend like there’s no world outside

        We could pretend it all the time
        Can’t you see that it’s just raining
        There ain’t no need to go outside

BRIDGE
                                    Am7                  G7
            Ain’t no need, ain’t no need... Hmmmm, hmmmm mmmm...
                                     Am7                              G7
            Can’t you see, can’t you see... Rain all day and I don’t mind
                Am7                                                       D7
            The telephone’s singing ringing, its too early don’t pick it up
                                        Am7
            We don’t need to, we’ve got everything we need right here
                                      D7
            And everything we need is enough

                                      Bm
                Just so easy when the whole world fits inside of your arms
                      Em             D             C
                Do we really need to pay attention to the alarm
                        G7         D7            G7          D7
                Wake up slow, hmmm mmmm, wake up slow... but baby,

    You hardly even notice... when I try to show you this
    Song is meant to keep you... from doing what you’re supposed to
    Waking up too early... maybe we could sleep in
    Make you banana pancakes... pretend like it’s the weekend now

        And we could pretend it all the time, yeah
        Can’t you see that its just raining
        There ain’t no need to go outside

        Ain’t no need, ain’t no need
        Rain all day and I really, really, really don’t mind
        Can’t you see, can’t you see
        You gotta wake up slow

Chord progression cheat sheet

The two progressions used for most of the song look like this. Note how in the verse, you’re on each chord for 2 counts. In the chorus and bridge, you stay on each chord for 8 counts.

Verse:

"You hardly even notice..."
G7      D7      Am7     C7
1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4   

Chorus and bridge:

"Telephone is ringing singing, it's too early don't pick it up"
"We've got everything we need right here, and everything we need is enough"
Am7                             D7
1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4   

"It's so easy when the whole world fits in your arms..."
Bm                              Em      D       C
1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4   

"Wake up slow, wake up slow"
G7              D7              G7              D7
1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4   

How to play the chords

Here are how to play the guitar chords used in this song, notably in the bar chord style that Jack Johnson uses. Note, these are tough – especially if your goal is to play the entire song (muscles can get tired). If you don’t know barre chords yet, see the net section. Also - you can omit the “7” note of each of these chords if you want (e.g., turn G7 into a G). I’m including them here because that’s how Jack Johnson plays most chords in most songs - but it isn’t truly required in a strict sense.

e ––––3–––––5–––––5–––––3–––––7–––––7–––––
B ––––3–––––7–––––5–––––5–––––7–––––8–––––
G ––––4–––––5–––––5–––––3–––––7–––––7–––––
D ––––3–––––7–––––5–––––5–––––7–––––9–––––
A ––––5–––––5–––––7–––––3–––––9–––––7–––––
E ––––3–––––––––––5–––––––––––7–––––––––––
      G7    D7    Am7   C7   Bm7   Em7

If the above chords are giving you trouble (which is okay, they’re tough) - then use the standard open chords. You can combine these with the main riff and things sound just fine! To be honest, when I play this song complete from end to end, I usually have to use these open chords sometimes just because my hand/wrist muscles get fatigued from dealing with the barre chords.

e ––––3–––––2–––––0–––––0–––––2–––––0–––––
B ––––0–––––1–––––1–––––1–––––3–––––0–––––
G ––––0–––––2–––––2–––––0–––––4–––––0–––––
D ––––0–––––0–––––2–––––2–––––4–––––2–––––
A ––––2–––––––––––0–––––3–––––2–––––2–––––
E ––––3–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––0–––––
      G     D7    Am    C     Bm    Em

How to Play the Riff

There is one distinct riff used throughout this song. Here is how you play it. You’ll want to use your ring finger on the lowest E string, and initially slide your finger up to the 7th fret (which is the first proper note of the riff).

e ––––––––––––––––––––––––
B ––––––––––––––––––––––––
G ––––––––––––––––––––––––
D ––––––––––––––––––––––––
A –––––––5––––––––––––––––
E –––/7–––––7––5––3––0––––   <--- use your left ringer on the first note

To properly transition from this riff into the G7 or Am7 chord, you’ll need to add the bass note for the chord to the tail end of the riff. Here is the complete intro tabbed in context, using the core of the riff above.

e -|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––5–––––|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3–––––|–
B -|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––5–––––|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3–––––|–
G -|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––5–––––|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––4–––––|–
D -|–––––––––––––––––––––––––x––5–––––|–––––––––––––––––––––––––x––3–––––|–
A -|–––––––5–––––––––––––––––x––7–––––|–––––––5–––––––––––––––––x––5–––––|–
E -|–––/7–––––7––5––3––0––5––x––5–––––|–––/7–––––7––5––3––0––3––x––3–––––|–
                               Am7                                 G7

Secondary riff

e –––––––––––––––––––––––––––5––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3–––
B –––––––––––––––––––––––––––5––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3–––
G –––––––––––––––––––––––––––5––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––4–––
D ––––––––––––––––––––––––x––5–––––––––––––––––––––––––––x––3–––
A ––––––5––7––5–––––––––––x––7–––––––––5–––––––––––––––––x––5–––
E ––/7–––––––––––7––0––5––x––5–––––/7–––––7––5––3––0––3––x––3–––
                            Am7                             G7

Strumming patterns and rhythm

This is the final piece of the puzzle. To play this like Jack Johnson, there are in fact two distinct strumming patterns used in this song: one during the verse, and another during the chorus & bridge. You can of course strum things however you want, but I’ll teach you both of these patterns now.

Verse strum pattern

This strum pattern has a very distinct accented strum on the “2” and “4” counts - which is muted immediately after it’s played. To mute (silence) the strings, use the fleshy part of your right hand’s palm to lightly touch all strings - see my video lesson for reference. Another tip: notice how the bass note of each chord is played on the “1” and “3” counts. Again listen to the song and see my video lesson for reference.

Here’s a simple way to write it (though this doesn’t show some of the intricacies of muting the strings and targeting the bass notes).

 1     2     3     4     1     2     3     4     
 ↓     ↓     ↓     ↓     ↓     ↓     ↓     ↓  
       >           >           >           >  

Tabbed out, it would be:

e –––––––––3–x–––––––––5–x–––––––––5–x–––––––––3–x–––
B –––––––––3–x–––––––––7–x–––––––––5–x–––––––––5–x–––
G –––––––––4–x–––––––––5–x–––––––––5–x–––––––––3–x–––
D –––––––––3–x–––––––––7–x–––––––––5–x–––––––––5–x–––
A –––––––––5–x–––5–––––5–x–––––––––7–x–––3–––––3–x–––
E –––3–––––3–x–––––––––––––––5–––––5–x–––––––––––––––
           G7          D7          Am7         C7
     1     2     3     4     1     2     3     4   
     ↓     ↓     ↓     ↓     ↓     ↓     ↓     ↓  
           >           >           >           >

Chorus & bridge strumming pattern

This one is a bit more constant and less puncuated. You still want to keep the accent on the 2 and 4, but in this case those counts will have a muted downstrum that’s accented. This is very common for Jack Johnson. See my video lesson for reference!

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  
D  U  x  U  D  U  x  U  D  U  x  U  D  U  x  U
     >           >           >           >  

Good luck!

Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you. Questions? Comments? Requests? Let me know!

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