What’s happening, everybody? Sean Daniel with Guitar Control here today. We’re learning bad guy by Billie Eilish. Sweeping the nation, this incredible song. It’s only three chords. It’s super easy. Make sure you click the link below because I’m going to have the core chart for everything we’re doing here.
Now, aside from just being a very easy song, this is also a great way that you can start incorporating the melody of a song into your strumming on an acoustic guitar, which is something that we’re going to spend a lot of time doing. But first, let’s just go over the main chords of the song. Now the capo is on the third fret. You don’t need a capo to play the song, but we’re going to use it because that’s how this song is chorded out. And the chords that we need are going to be E minor, A minor, and then B7 or optionally just a B major. We’re going to talk a little bit about each one.
So without the capo, these chords would actually be G minor, C minor and then this guy right here would actually be a D7. But all of this from now on is going to be relative to the capo. It’s going to sound like this.
So very, very easy. The strumming pattern is super simple. Let’s just start with the E minor. Okay? Now I’m kind of incorporating a little bit of what that melody is. So we could just maybe make a very, very simple way of doing two bars of E minor, one bar of A minor, one bar of B, which would sound like this.
And again, that’s just kind of rushed through the whole thing. But just to kind of give you an idea of what the strum pattern would be if we have E minor. That would be kind of one time around and then again, down, down, down, up, down, up. One, two, three, and four and to the A minor, which again is just if you play the E minor with your middle finger second fret of the A string, ring finger second fret of the D string, you just move that straight down to get the A minor. And then put your pointer finger on the first fret of the B string.
Again, that could just be one time through, if you count it as two bars. One, two, three and four and one, two, three and four and. And then to this B7. The B and the A minor get the same count. For this B7, I’m just grabbing my middle finger right where it was with the E minor, second fret on the A string. Pointer finger, first fret on the D string. Ring finger, second fret on the G string. And then optionally you can get your pinky on the second fret of the high E string.
So again, that’s a very clean way to do it. The first way I played it was more like. Like that. Kind of messy with a little bit more attitude, which does I think more befitting of the song on acoustic guitar. But if you just want to do it very cleanly, again on E minor to A minor, B7.
But again, I think adding a lot of that rhythmic kind of is something that’s really cool, which is what we’re going to focus on right now. So we have that E minor, right. And then the melody that goes over that is really important. If we just kind of played what Billy’s singing, we have the G string open, open, open, open, open, open. Two D, two G, right? That’s kind of what I hear as the main melody of the song. We can play that over an E minor chord.
All we’re doing is really kind of focusing on the G string of the E minor. See how you can kind of hear that, when you strum the chord like that. And then that last strum was any … I think you were that melody is. So now a new chord, you can see this as like an E suspended 4 chord or something like that. It’s really just open E, two A, two D, two G, all the way down. And it kind of adds a little bit extra to make it just not a super basic acoustic guitar song to get that melody in. Again, it’s a little more exciting that way.
Now, you can do the same kind of strumming with the A minor. Now what I like doing there is opening the first fret on the B string to go open. See? I just kind of open it up there. And the strumming pattern that you’ll notice too is all down strokes. And I think that is more of the driving rhythm of the song. Again, this is just an acoustic guitar representation of it. The song itself has a lot of different dynamics production-wise going on, but there’s just a couple different ways to play it. All right. So if we do all down strokes to kind of get that driving.
I think it sounds a little bit more like a representation of the song. So I want to talk a little bit more about that B7 and how we can just make that a regular B major chord. And in a way that’s really just as easy as maybe like as the A minor chord is, because again, the cool thing about playing in this key is we can play an A major shape two frets higher and that gives us a B major chord when we just hit the D, G and B strings. Now, optionally you could grab the root note there. You get a thicker B major chord two A, four, four, four D, G, B, right? Or do the bar four way. Either way. These are all perfectly good options on how to play the song, but I think it’s really that B7 adds a lot to it. So here’s an example of both ways.
You have the E minor. Remember, two times. To the A minor. So that was the major chord down in the fourth fret. So again, they’re just different flavors, but it’s always good to know that anytime you see a B7 chord, the B dominant 7 chord is what that’s shorthand four, you can always use a B major chord. And you don’t have to use a bar chord. It doesn’t have to be this long reach here. It can always just be a little piece of a chord to make things easier. And they kind of give you, just like I said before, a different flavor of how that song goes.
Now that’s really the entire song except for the the breakdown when everything just gets cronk, right? Is that still a word? I’m sure it is. Which is really just a vamp on E minor. Okay? That’s kind of how I interpret the rhythm of it. It’s a little bit of a tempo difference, right? Even if you just play it as just the E minor. That’s really the whole thing until he gets back to the. And all it is, is. You’ve just got to kind of feel that E minor.
And you’ll notice how I’m muting it sometimes to get a little bit more of that rhythmic, that choppy, rhythmic starting to stopping it, but I think he’s just kind of a free agent. They can always hit the strengths at it within that chord. To come down and just hit a muted-ish string set.
So really just a super, super easy that there’s a million different interpretations of the song. That’s why honestly the mark of a good song is how many times you can reinvent it. And if you think about it, it’s really just a minor one, four, five type thing that we have going on in E minor. Again, technically G minor with the capo. But super easy song, a lot of fun to play. Really easy to memorize and just really use some of these things and maybe start adding more of the melody to the chords of your playing.
And again, the more thoughtful you are about the melody on top of the chords, I think really the better your acoustic guitar playing and song interpretation is going to be. So definitely just maybe be thoughtful about that. And if you guys have any questions, let us know in the comments section below and also in the meantime, make sure to click around to any of these videos by myself, other great Guitar Control instructors. And like I said before, anything you want to see, let us know and I’ll get right on it. Thanks a lot.