Guitar lesson for
Say It Ain't So
PDF link for Patreon supporters
- Get the PDF here -- after clicking and logging in to Patreon, look for the file attached to the bottom of the post.
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!
- 0:00 Playthrough
- 1:55 About this lesson
- 3:24 Chords used
- 5:37 Chord progression timing
- 6:01 Main riff
- 11:38 Verse strum, reggae style
- 13:27 Verse strum, full chords
- 15:16 Chorus
- 17:21 Bridge
Chords w/ lyrics
INTRO (play twice, then let E chord ring) E –––4–––––4–x–x–––4–––––––––––––––––––––––5–x–x–––0–––––––––––––––– B –––4h5–––5–x–x–––4–––––––––––––0–––––––––5–x–x–––0–––––––––––––––– G –––4–––––4–x–x–––5–––––––––––5–––––5/6–––6–x–x–––1–––––––––––9\––– D –––4h6–––6–x–x–––6–––––––––6–––––––6/7–––7–x–x–––2–––––––––––9\––– A –––4–––––––––––––6–––––––6–––––––––6/7–––––––––––2––––––9h11–––––– E –––––––––––––––––4–––4–––––––––––––4/5–––––––––––0–––0–––––––––––– C#m G# A E INTERLUDE C#m G# A E ...Oh yeah................... C#m G# A E ...Alright................... VERSE C#m G# A E Somebody's Heine'..... is crowding my icebox C#m G# A E Somebody's cold one... is giving me chills C#m G# A E Guess I'll just close... my eyes INTERLUDE C#m G# A E ...Oh yeah...... alright..... C#m G# A E Feels good...... inside...... VERSE C#m G# A E ....Flip on the telly...... wrestle with Jimmy C#m G# A E ....Something is bubbling behind my back C#m G# A E The bottle is ready to blow... CHORUS C#m G# A E ...........Say it ain't so C#m G# A E ...Your drug is a heartbreaker C#m G# A E ...........Say it ain't so C# G# A E ...My love is a life taker VERSE C#m G# A E I can't confront you... I never could do C#m G# A E That which might hurt you... so try and be cool C#m G# A E When I say... this way-- is a water slide away from me C#m G# A E That takes you further every day... so be cool CHORUS C#m G# A E ...........Say it ain't so C#m G# A E ...Your drug is a heartbreaker C#m G# A E ...........Say it ain't so C# G# A E ...My love is a life taker BRIDGE (use power chords) B B/Bb E G ...Dear Daddy... I write you... in spite of years of silence B B/Bb E G ...You've cleaned up... found Jesus... things are good or so I hear B B/Bb E G ...This bottle... of Stephen's... awakens ancient feelings B B/Bb E G ...Like father... stepfather... the son is drowning in the... C#m G# A E C#m G# A E Flood--------- yeah yeah... yeah yeah... (repeat main chord progression, solo as desired) CHORUS C#m G# A E ...........Say it ain't so C#m G# A E ...Your drug is a heartbreaker C#m G# A E ...........Say it ain't so C# G# A E ...My love is a life taker
Most of the song, except for the bridge, uses these 4 chords in this order (repeating):
E ||––––4––– ––––4–––– ––––5–––– ––––0–––– B ||––––5––– ––––4–––– ––––5–––– ––––0–––– G ||––––6––– ––––5–––– ––––6–––– ––––1–––– D ||––––6––– ––––6–––– ––––7–––– ––––2–––– A ||––––4––– ––––6–––– ––––7–––– ––––2–––– E ||–––––––– ––––4–––– ––––5–––– ––––0–––– C#m G# A E
The timing is generally as follows. Note this is a group of 3 beats, then 5 beats, then 3 beats, then 5 beats. As opposed to all measures being 4 beats equally.
C#m G# A E / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
The chorus is the only section (which uses these chords) that violates this timing principle just above.
Play this twice. The final time you play it, let the final E-major chord ring.
E ||–––4–––––4–x–x–––4–––––––––––––––––––––––5–x–x–––0–––––––––––––––––– B ||–––4h5–––5–x–x–––4–––––––––––––0–––––––––5–x–x–––0–––––––––––––––––– G ||–––4–––––4–x–x–––5–––––––––––5–––––5/6–––6–x–x–––1–––––––––––9\––––– D ||–––4h6–––6–x–x–––6–––––––––6–––––––6/7–––7–x–x–––2–––––––––––9\––––– A ||–––4–––––––––––––6–––––––6–––––––––6/7–––––––––––2––––––9h11–––––––– E ||–––––––––––––––––4–––4–––––––––––––4/5–––––––––––0–––0–––––––––––––– C#m G# A E
Verse chords, full strum
E –|–––4––––––––––4––––––––––––––––5–––––––––––0––––––––––––––––|– B –|–––5––x––x––––4––––––––––––––––5–––––––––––0––––––––––––––––|– G –|–––6––x––x––––5––x––x––x––x––––6––x––x–––––1––x––x––x––x––––|– D –|–––6––x––x––––6––x––x––x––x––––7––x––x–––––2––x––x––x––x––––|– A –|–––4––x––x––––6––x––x––x––x––––7––x––x–––––2––x––x––x––x––––|– E –|––––––––––––––4––x––x––x––x––––5––x––x–––––0––x––x––x––x––––|– C#m G# A E
Repeat this same progression:
"...Say it ain't so..." E ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B ||––(5)––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– G ||–––6––6–––x–x–x–x–––(5)––––––––––––––(6)––––––––––(1)––––––––––––––––– D ||–––6––6–––x–x–x–x––––6––6––x–x–x–x––––7––7––x–x––––2––x–x–x–x–x–x–x––– A ||–––4––4–––x–x–x–x––––6––6––x–x–x–x––––7––7––x–x––––2––x–x–x–x–x–x–x––– E ||–––––––––––––––––––––4––4––x–x–x–x––––5––5––x–x––––0––x–x–x–x–x–x–x––– C#m G# A E
If you want, you can add that final riff at the end:
E -|–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B -|––(5)––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– G -|–––6––6–––x–x–x–x–––(5)––––––––––––––(6)––––––––––(1)–––––––––––––9\–– D -|–––6––6–––x–x–x–x––––6––6––x–x–x–x––––7––7––x–x––––2–––x–x––––––––9\–– A -|–––4––4–––x–x–x–x––––6––6––x–x–x–x––––7––7––x–x––––2–––x–x–––9h11––––– E -|–––––––––––––––––––––4––4––x–x–x–x––––5––5––x–x––––0–––x–x–0–––––––––– C#m G# A E
You can also emulate the sloppy electric guitar wail, by leaving the top two strings open:
"...Say it ain't so..." E –|––––––––––0–0––––––––––––––0–0–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B –|––––––––––0–0––––––––––––––0–0–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– G –|–––6––6––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––(6)––––––––––(1)––––––––––––––––– D –|–––6––6––––––––––––––6––6–––––––––––––7––7––x–x––––2––x–x–x–x–x–x–x––– A –|–––4––4––––––––––––––6––6–––––––––––––7––7––x–x––––2––x–x–x–x–x–x–x––– E –|–––––––––––––––––––––4––4–––––––––––––5––5––x–x––––0––x–x–x–x–x–x–x––– C#m G# A E
The final time you play the progression, it’s good to let all the chords sound loudly.
"...My love is a life taker..." E –|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B –|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– G –|–––6––6––6––6–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––9––9––9––9––9–––––– D –|–––6––6––6––6––––––6––6––6––6––6–––––7––7––7––––––9––9––9––9––9–––––– A –|–––4––4––4––4––––––6––6––6––6––6–––––7––7––7––––––7––7––7––7––7–––––– E –|–––––––––––––––––––4––4––4––4––4–––––5––5––5––––––0––0––0––0––0–––––– C#m G# A E
Repeat this progression:
"Dear Daddy... I write you... in spite of years of silence..." E ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|– B ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|– G ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|– D ||–––9––9––x––9–––––8––8––x––8–––––2––2––x––2––––––5––5––x––5––––|– A ||–––9––9––x––9–––––9––9––x––9–––––2––2––x––2––––––5––5––x––5––––|– E ||–––7––7––x––7–––––6––6––x––6–––––0––0––x––0––––––3––3––x––3––––|– B B/Bb E G
I’m pretty sure Weezer plays it more like this. Me, I don’t prefer this fashion, hence the version above. Ultimately, it’s the same notes –– take your pick.
E ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|– B ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|– G ||–––4––4––X––4–––––4––4––X––4–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|– D ||–––4––4––x––4–––––4––4––x––4–––––2––2––x––2––––––5––5––x––5––––|– A ||–––2––2––x––2–––––1––1––x––1–––––2––2––x––2––––––5––5––x––5––––|– E ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––0––0––x––0––––––3––3––x––3––––|– B B/Bb E G
Verse strum, reggae style
If you want to emulate the second guitar on the album version, play this – where you’re emphasizing these chord shapes on the up-strum. The other (lead) guitar can play the main riff on top of this and it sounds very nice.
E –|–––x––4––x––4––x––4––x––4––x––5––x––4––x––4––x––4–––|– B –|–––x––5––x––4––x––4––x––4––x––5––x––5––x––5––x––5–––|– G –|–––x––6––x––5––x––5––x––5––x––6––x––4––x––4––x––4–––|– D –|–––x––6––x––6––x––6––x––6––x––7––x––6––x––6––x––6–––|– A –|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|– E –|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|– C#m G# A E
Let me know if you have questions. I hope this was helpful.
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).
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:
📝 Print-friendly PDFs now available for all new lessons I make, including all those listed below. Get a free sample »
- I Walk The Line (Intro Riff) by Johnny Cash
Oct 19, 2019
- Lookin' Out My Back Door by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Oct 12, 2019
- Issues by Julia Michaels (PDF)
Oct 9, 2019
- How to read & write strumming patterns
Oct 6, 2019
- Gloria by The Lumineers
Oct 2, 2019
- Creep (PDF) by Radiohead
Sept 23, 2019
- Riffin' on D-Cadd9-G with "Thank You" and "Can't You See"
Sept 21, 2019
- Meditative Fingerpicking (Practice Log #14)
Sept 15, 2019
- Wagon Wheel (PDF) by Old Crow Medicine Show / Darius Rucker
- Latin Bassline Groove (from "Señiorita" by Shawn Mendes & Camilla Cabello)
- Plush (acoustic) by Stone Temple Pilots
Sept 6, 2019
- The Wind by Cat Stevens
Aug 30, 2019
- E Major 4-Finger Warmup Riff
Aug 24, 2019
- Peace of Mind by Tyler Childers
Aug 23, 2019
- Angel Flight by Radney Foster
Aug 17, 2019
- The Year Clayton Delaney Died (PDF) by Tom T. Hall
Aug 16, 2019
- California Dreamin' by Jose Feliciano
Aug 10, 2019
- We Are The Champions (PDF) by Queen
Aug 8, 2019
- 2-finger chords in the key of C
Aug 2, 2019
- On the Road Again (PDF) by Willie Nelson
July 31, 2019
- Surf Rider (from "Pulp Fiction") by The Lively Ones
July 24, 2019
- Fingerpicking C-G-Am-F (Vampire Weekend's "Hold You Now")
July 16, 2019
- You've Got a Friend in Me (fingerstyle intro)
July 5, 2019
- Ring finger barre strength exercise
June 26, 2019