Today we are going to give you a “Careless Whisper” guitar tutorial. This song written by George Michael is an iconic anthem from the 80’s.
It features an iconic and unforgettable saxophone riff, as well as simple chords and memorable melody.
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Familiarize Yourself with the Melody
The melody of this song will serve you as the main guide. With a poignant melodic line, “Careless Whisper” has a simple verse-chorus structure, which also adds a bridge. Listen to the original track to understand the timing and dynamics and make sure you know it fairly well before attempting to play it.
While the melody is captivating, the chords in this song enhance the overall feeling of lingering pain. The chords used in “Careless Whisper” are Dm7, Gm7, Bb, Am7. Although these chords have an added 7th, they are relatively simple to play.
By adding the 7th of each chord, George Michael made the harmony that much deeper and heartfelt, proving the perfect support for the melody and lyrics.
Practice transitioning smoothly between these chords. Strum each chord once, focusing on maintaining a steady rhythm. As you progress, you can experiment with strumming patterns and variations.
Combine Melody and Chords
Once you’re comfortable with both the melody with the lyrics and chords separately, try combining them. You can play the chords on the downbeats and incorporate the melody during the spaces between chords or as a part of your strumming pattern. This integration will give your rendition a fuller sound.
“Careless Whisper” has a sultry and expressive quality, and capturing that on the guitar requires attention to dynamics. Experiment with playing some parts softly and others more forcefully. Use your picking hand to control the intensity of your strumming or picking, adding a dynamic flair to your performance.
Make It Your Own
“Careless Whisper” is an iconic song that was made immortal by the fantastic vocal delivery of George Michael. While this guide provides a simplified version, don’t hesitate to experiment and make the song your own. Feel free to add your embellishments, and variations, or even play the melody in different positions on the neck. This creativity will make your rendition unique. At the end of the day, you want to find your voice and identity for playing music, even for cover songs as you increase your repertoire.
Playing “Careless Whisper” on the guitar is a rewarding experience that allows you to showcase your skills and musical expression. By mastering the melody and incorporating the chords, you can create a captivating rendition of this timeless classic. Remember to practice consistently, listen to the original for inspiration, and most importantly, enjoy the process of bringing this iconic song to life on your guitar.