Guitar lesson for

Acid Tongue

by Jenny Lewis

Video lesson

PDF link for Patreon supporters

Supporting me on Patreon gives you access to the PDF for this as well as 130+ other lessons. One month minimum ($3, cancel anytime) gets you access to everything... here's a free sample. Thanks for supporting me and this project!

Chords w/ lyrics

(capo 2nd fret)

INTRO

E ––3–––––––3–3–3–3–3–––––––3–––3–3–––
B ––0–––––––0–0–1–1–0–––––––0–––0–0–––
G ––0–––––––0–0–0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–––
D ––0–––––––0–0–2–2–0–––––––0–––0–0–––   ...play twice
A ––x–––––––x–x–x–x–x–––––––x–––x–x–––
E ––3–––––––3–3–3–3–3–––––––3–––3–3–––
    G           C   G        
    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
    D       D U D U D       D   D U   

VERSE

  G                          C
I went to a cobbler to fix a hole in my shoe
            D                         C                      G     C  G
He took one look at my face and said "I can fix that hole in you"
G                             C
...I beg your pardon, I'm not looking for a cure
           D                            C                      G      C  G
I've seen enough from my friends in the depths of the God-sick blues

CHORUS

    G                  Am        G    
    ...You know I am a... liar-------
    G                  Am        G
    ...You know I am a... liar-------
    G                  Am        C            G    C  G
    ...Nobody helps a.... liar------------

       G                                   C
'Cause I've been down to Dixie and dropped acid on my tongue
         D                  C            G     C  G
Tripped upon the land 'til enough was enough
        G                        C
I was a little bit lighter and adventure on my sleeve
        D                C                G    C  G
I was a little drunk and looking for company
     G                                  C
So I found myself a sweetheart with the softest of hands
          D                    C           G      C  G
We were unlucky in love but I'd do it all again

    G                       Am         G     
    ...We built ourselves a... fire-------
    G                       Am         G     
    ...We built ourselves a... fire-------
    G                  Am        C        G     C  G
    ...You know I am a... liar-------

        G          C          G/B       Am (let ring)    G   C  G
        ...And you don't know what I've done

    G                         C
And by the rollin' river is exactly where I was
             D                    C        G      C  G
There was no snake oil cure for unlucky in love
      G                           C    
To be lonely is a habit, like smoking or taking drugs
        D                   C                  G    C  G  
And I've quit them both but man, was it rough

    G                  Am         G
    ...And now I am...... tired-----
    G                  Am         G
    ...It just made me... tired-----
    G                          Am       G
    ...Let's build ourselves a... fire-----
    G                          Am       C       G    C  G
    ...Let's build ourselves a... fire--------

                    (repeat G-C-G as desired to end)

How to play the chords

Here’s the typical positions used for each of the chords needed in this song:

E –––3––––0––––2––––0––––3–––
B –––0––––1––––3––––1––––0–––
G –––0––––0––––2––––2––––0–––
D –––0––––2––––0––––2––––0–––
A –––2––––3–––––––––0––––2–––
E –––3–––––––––––––––––––––––
     G    C    D    Am  G/B

Suggested intro chords

In spite of the chord shapes above, I would absolutely recommend learning this 2-finger way of playing a G-major for the intro of this song – as it makes the switch from G-to-C so much easier. See my video lesson for context. Technically, the C below is a β€œC/G”, but I’ll refer to it as a C for simplicity.

E –––3–––  <= left pinky f.    ––3–––  <= left pinky f.
B –––0–––                      ––1–––  <= left index f.
G –––0–––                      ––0–––
D –––0–––                      ––2–––  <= left middle f.
A –––x–––                      ––x–––
E –––3–––  <= left ring f.     ––3–––  <= left ring f.
     G                           C  

Using the shapes above, you can play the intro G-C-G sequence in the intro as follows:

    G           C   G                
E ––3–––––––3–3–3–3–3–––––––3–––3–3–––
B ––0–––––––0–0–1–1–0–––––––0–––0–0–––
G ––0–––––––0–0–0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–––
D ––0–––––––0–0–2–2–0–––––––0–––0–0–––
A ––x–––––––x–x–x–x–x–––––––x–––x–x–––
E ––3–––––––3–3–3–3–3–––––––3–––3–3–––
    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
    D       D U D U D       D   D U   

Strumming pattern

Here’s an easy strum to get started with. Establish your tempo (1-2-3-4), and then do downstrums on only the 1 and 3 counts.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D       D      

From there, you can mimic what Jenny Lewis plays through most of the song by doing this. Note, you’ll want to keep your accent on the 1 and 3 counts, but you’ll want to add a subtle β€œdown up” on the β€œ4 +” counts. See my video lesson for reference.

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

For strumming the G-C-G sequence (heard in the intro, etc) – refer to this mapping. Basically, you’ll want to maintain the 1 and 3 accented counts, but you also need an additional up-strum on the first β€œ3 +” count, just before switching to the C. Again, see my video lesson for reference.

G           C   G
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D       D U D U D       D   D U
>       >       >       >

Chord progressions

Intro:

G β€’ β€’ C G β€’ β€’ β€’ G β€’Β β€’ C G β€’ β€’ β€’

Verse:

β€œI went to a cobbler...”

G β€’ β€’ β€’ G β€’ β€’ β€’ C β€’ β€’ β€’ C β€’ β€’ β€’
D β€’ β€’ β€’ C β€’ β€’ β€’ G β€’ β€’ C G β€’ β€’ β€’

Chorus:

β€œWe built ourselves a fire...”

Am β€’ β€’ β€’ Am β€’ β€’ β€’ G β€’ β€’ β€’ G β€’ β€’ β€’
Am β€’ β€’ β€’ Am β€’ β€’ β€’ G β€’ β€’ β€’ G β€’ β€’ β€’
Am β€’ β€’ β€’ Am β€’ β€’ β€’ C β€’ β€’ β€’ C β€’ β€’ β€’

Leaving all strings open during chord transitions

It sounds like, on the album recording of this song, the guitarist is using a technique whereby they’re releasing all of their left-hand chord fingers from each chord on the final β€œdown up” strums before each new chord. Specifically, see the sample tab below where the * denotes that I’m picking up all my left hand fingers from the chord - just for the two strums before the next chord comes in. See my video lesson for additional reference.

    G                           *        C                           *
E ––3–––––––3–––3–3–3–––––––3–––0–0–––|––0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0––|–
B ––0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–––|––1–––––––1–––1–1–1–––––––1–––0–0––|–
G ––0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–––|––0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0––|–
D ––0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–––|––2–––––––2–––2–2–2–––––––2–––0–0––|–
A ––x–––––––x–––x–x–x–––––––x–––0–0–––|––3–––––––3–––3–3–3–––––––3–––0–0––|–
E ––3–––––––3–––3–3–3–––––––3–––0–0–––|–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–
    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +   |  1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +   
    D       D   D U D       D   D U      D       D   D U D       D   D U   

Bridge walk-down

Here’s how to play the bridge walk-down that happens midway through the song:

"And you don't know what I've done...""

E ––3––    –––0––––3––––0––––
B ––0––    –––1––––0––––1––––
G ––0––    –––0––––0––––2––––
D ––0–– => –––2––––0––––2–––– ...let the A-minor ring,
A ––2––    –––3––––2––––0––––    then return to the G
E ––3––    ––––––––––––––––––
    G         C   G/B   Am

Good luck!

Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you.

Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!

If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).

You can also support me on Patreon. For only $3/month you'll get access to a print-friendly PDF of my notes for each new lesson (view free sample).

Thanks!


Subscribe to my YouTube channel

Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!


Recent video lessons:

πŸ“ Print-friendly PDFs now available for all new lessons I make, including all those listed below. Get a free sample Β»


← back to lesson list