Guitar lesson for

Light On

by Maggie Rogers  •  Lesson #208

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

In this video, I’ll show you how to play an acoustic version of “Light On” by Maggie Rogers - including chords, tabs for the intro, and a few strumming patterns. Here’s some suggested acoustic versions of this song for you to check out, performed by Maggie Rogers and her guitarist.

Amazing acoustic version by Maggie Rogers

via La Blogothèque – Live in Paris

Lyrics w/ chords

* capo 2nd fret


    E ––0––|–––––––––––––––       E ––3––|–––––––––––––––       E ––0––|–––––––––––––––
    B ––1––|––1–0––1–1––0––       B ––0––|––1–0––1–1––0––       B ––1––|––1–0––1–1––0––
    G ––0––|––0–0––0–0––0–– x1    G ––0––|––0–0––0–0––0–– x1    G ––2––|––2–2––2–2––2–– x2
    D ––2––|–––––––––––––––       D ––0––|–––––––––––––––       D ––3––|–––––––––––––––
    A ––3––|–––––––––––––––       A ––2––|–––––––––––––––       A –––––|–––––––––––––––
    E –––––|–––––––––––––––       E ––3––|–––––––––––––––       E –––––|–––––––––––––––
        C                             G                            Fmaj7       

    Would you believe me now...
         G                             Fmaj7
    If I told you I got caught up in a wave, almost gave it away
    Would you hear me out...
         G                            Fmaj7            

    If I told you I was terrified for days, thought I was gonna break

        Am                               G
        Oh, I couldn't stop it, tried to slow it all down
        Crying in the bathroom, had to figure it out
             Am                        G                Fmaj7
        With everyone around me saying, "You must be so happy now"

                            C                            G
            Oh, if you keep reaching out, then I'll keep coming back
            And if you're gone for good, then I'm okay with that
            Am                           G          Em                 Fmaj7
            ...If you leave the light on, then I'll leave the light on

    And do you believe me now
           G                               Fmaj7
    That I always had the best intentions, babe? Always wanted to stay...
    Can you feel me now
             G                        Fmaj7
    That I'm vulnerable in oh-so many ways? Oh, and I'll never change

        Am                               G
        Oh, I couldn't stop it, tried to figure it out
        But everything kept moving, and the noise got too loud
             Am                        G
        With everyone around me saying, "you should be so happy now"


            Am     G               Fadd9
            ...Oh, leave the light on
            Am               G               Fadd9
            ...Oh, would you leave the light on


Chord shapes used

E –––0––––3––––0––––0––––0–––
B –––1––––3––––1––––1––––0–––
G –––0––––0––––2––––2––––0–––
D –––2––––0––––3––––2––––2–––
A –––3––––2–––––––––0––––2–––
E ––––––––3––––––––––––––0–––
     C    G  Fmaj7  Am   Em

Intro tab, easiest version

The easiest way to approach this is to put your hands in the chord shapes below, and simply remove & add your left index finger to the 1st fret of the 2nd string.

E ––0––|–––––––––––––––    E ––3––|–––––––––––––––    E ––0––|–––––––––––––––
B ––1––|––1–0––1–1––0––    B ––0––|––1–0––1–1––0––    B ––1––|––1–0––1–1––0––  <== left index finger
G ––0––|––0–0––0–0––0––    G ––0––|––0–0––0–0––0––    G ––2––|––2–2––2–2––2––      used on this string for
D ––2––|–––––––––––––––    D ––0––|–––––––––––––––    D ––3––|–––––––––––––––      the on/off melody note
A ––3––|–––––––––––––––    A ––2––|–––––––––––––––    A –––––|–––––––––––––––      on all 3 chords
E –––––|–––––––––––––––    E ––3––|–––––––––––––––    E –––––|–––––––––––––––
    C                          G                         Fmaj7       

Intro tab, advanced

Here’s the full tab, with the pulsing bass notes.

E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B –––––1–––––0–––––1–––––1–––0–––––––––1–––––0–––––1–––––1–––0–––––––––1–––––0–––––1–––––1–––0–––––––––1–––––0–––––1–––––1–––0–––––
G –––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0–––0–––––––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0–––0–––––––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0–––0–––––––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0–––0–––––
D –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
A –3–––––––––––3–––––––3–––––––3–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3–––––––––––3–––––––3–––––––3–––1–––––––––––1–––––––1–––––––1–––1–––––––––––1–––––––1–––––––1–––
   C                               G                               Fmaj7                           Fmaj7
   1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a 1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a 1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a 1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a

Here’s the timing chart I used when training my fingers to play their parts independently. I practice this by rhythmically knocking my right-hand thumb and index/middle fingers against a table (or steering wheel, or my pants, etc) until I could do the pattern without thinking about it. Then, I translated it to guitar (with my left hand doing the fretting and chord changes). It was hard, but I got it. If you want to learn this, have patience!

Melody rhythm => |     O     0     O     O   0     |         O = index finger on
                 | 1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |         0 = index finger off
Thumb rhythm  => | x           x       x       x   |

Best videos of this song

This is my favorite. Solo acoustic guitar, all shot in one live take, her friends singing the chorus as a group. Released the week before her first album goes out into the world. So happy for her.

There’s also her SNL performance which I’ll include for fun. Less acoustic, but still good I think:

And finally, here’s the Spotify Singles version of this song, which has a great acoustic vibe:

Good luck!

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