How to Play Since U Been Gone on Guitar

richardsguitarstudio on November 23, 2015


In this lesson, I show you how to play Since U Been Gone on guitar, a pop-rock hit by Kelly Clarkson. This is a classic pop-rock song, with a surprisingly heavy guitar riff. Some of the chords in the riff are reminiscent of the legendary intro in the Master of Puppets opening track, “Battery.” Yes, that’s right. I just compared a Kelly Clarkson song to an old-school Metallica song.

Here are a few tips to help you learn this song:

  1. Practice counting eighth notes – “One and Two and Three and Four and” – in the verse riff (section B of the tabs). When there are a lot of repeated notes, it is even more important that you count, as you’re going to want to know when the chords change. For example, the verse riff in Since U Been Gone has 12 G chords, then 3 Am, then 12 E5 etc. Rather than counting these high numbers, it is best to know on which count does the chord change. So, the first chord changes on beat 3, then the next on “4 and.” So, all you need to do is count eighth notes and change chords on the correct count. This is a much easier and effective approach than a kind of random counting of sheer number of chords.
  2. Use rest strokes with the pick to avoid hitting too many strings. A rest stroke is when the pick cuts and lands into an adjacent string. For example, pick the low E string and land the pick on the A string, and it “rests” on the A string, which stops the pick in place. Your articulation and tone will be much better this way, and the overall sound will be cleaner.
  3. Try the stretched fingerings, and only do the optional ones if you become too sore.  Go for the challenge – the advanced version with the stretched-out chords in the chorus. You got this! Lower that thumb on the neck, reach back with that index finger and open up the hand. Go for it!

Richards Guitar Studio offers guitar lessons in Aston, PA.

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