Guitar lesson for

Shallow

by A Star is Born  •  Lesson #181

Full lesson

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Play-along cover

Lyrics w/ chords

See PDF for lyrics, chords, and intro tab.

Chords needed

“Magic ring” chord shapes (used for intro & verse fingerpicking):

E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B ––––3–––––3–––––3–––––3–––––  <== left ring finger stays here,
G ––––0–––––2–––––0–––––0–––––      on 3rd fret, for all chords!
D ––––2–––––0–––––0–––––2–––––
A ––––2–––––0–––––2–––––3–––––
E ––––0–––––2–––––3–––––––––––
     Em7   D/F#   G   Cadd9

Conventional chord shapes (used throughout the song):

E ––––0–––––3–––––3–––––0––––0–––––0–––––2–––––0––––
B ––––0–––––3–––––3–––––1––––1–––––1–––––3–––––2––––
G ––––0–––––2–––––0–––––0––––2–––––0–––––4–––––2––––
D ––––2–––––0–––––0–––––2––––2–––––2–––––4–––––2––––
A ––––2–––––––––––2–––––3––––0–––––x–––––2–––––0––––
E ––––0–––––––––––3––––––––––––––––3––––––––––––––––
      Em    D     G     C    Am   Am/G   Bm    A

How to learn the intro riff

When learning this song, I recommend using the following as a guide to understand the rhythm of the intro & verse chords. Whether you strum or fingerpick, you’ll want to note which chords are switched to on the beat, and which are “pushed” so that you switch to them an 8th note ahead of the main beat (e.g., the first G is played on the “4 +” count instead of the “1” count).

See PDF for tab diagram

From here, you can bring in the fingerpicking tab as heard in the actual song. Notice how the chord changes happen on the beats prescribed above.

See PDF for tab diagram

Simplifying the intro & verse riff

Here’s the same intro progression, but using the simplified chord shapes that keep your left ring finger on the same note for all chords. Can’t beat that!

See PDF for tab diagram

If you want to keep things simpler for the intro and/or the verse, I recommend learning this approach. The benefit is that your left ring finger stays on the B string (3rd fret) for all chords, which makes things so much easier. Note, this gets looser with the timing - which also keeps things simpler (don’t feel like you HAVE to match the exact timing of the song, if it’s giving you a hard time).

See PDF for tab diagram

Chord progression cheat sheet

There are four beats per measure - and each of the main song sections used the following chords (sometimes you stay on a chord for 4 counts, other times you split a measure between two different chords).

Verse:        "Tell me something, girl..."
              | Em    D/F# | G          | C          | G     D    |

Pre-chorus:   "I'm off the deep end..."
              | Am         | D          | G     D/F# | Em         |

Chorus:       "In the shallow, shallow..."
              | Am    Am/G | D/F#       | G     D/F# | Em         |

Bridge:       "Whoaaaa....."
              | Bm         | D          | A          | Em         |
              | Bm         | D          | A          |

Strumming pattern

After the verse sections are over, I usually strum the rest of the song. Quite simply, I’ll use a “down, down up… up down up” pattern, over and over again.

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

Thanks and good luck!

I hope this helps, and as always let me know if you have any questions. While you’re here, check out my other lessons for songs from A Star is Born:

Always Remember Us This Way

Lesson timestamps:

Maybe It’s Time

Guitar lesson:

Play-along cover (full song):

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