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In this lesson I’ll teach you how to play “Acid Tongue” by Jenny Lewis. Chords, strumming pattern, intro tab, etc – it’s all here! This was a very dear song to me back when it came out in 2009 – and I 100% recommend the album of the same name. I hope you dig this lesson!
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 “C/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
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 “down up” on the “4 +” 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 “3 +” 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 > > > >
G • • C G • • • G • • C G • • •
“I went to a cobbler...” G • • • G • • • C • • • C • • • D • • • C • • • G • • C G • • •
“We built ourselves a fire...” Am • • • Am • • • G • • • G • • • Am • • • Am • • • G • • • G • • • Am • • • Am • • • C • • • C • • •
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 “down 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
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
Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you.
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