What’s going on, everybody? Sean Daniel with Guitar Control here. Today, we’re going to learn a really easy song that should be in everybody’s repertoire. This is always a straight banger live that people love, brings back great memories of the 90s, and it is Dreams by The Cranberries. It’s really just a couple of different chords. It even has like a cool chanting bridge part that, again, is super easy. Basically, the way we’re going to play it to arrange it for acoustic guitar is going to sound like this.
Basically, make sure you click the link below because we’re going to have the chords for all this. It’s not even just so much about the chords. It’s kind of about how we choose to play them and how we’re taking what is a very cool melody electric guitar-wise with some effects to incorporate it with the chords on an acoustic guitar to make it sound kind of like a true form version of the song. Great song, right? Starts with E major. In fact, the whole song is really in the key of E major with the exception of the bridge, but we really kind of just hang on this chord right here. Middle finger, second fret on the A string. Ring finger, second fret on the D string. Pointer finger, first fret on the G string.
Now, when I think of this song, I think of that guitar line as really just kind of like… It’s really just going back and forth between that open B string and the first fret on the G string it. If I just say the names of the strings that I’m hitting, B, G, B, G, B, B, G, B, G, B, now, we can get an example of that picking an acoustic guitar like a… because it really is, it’s still in a time signature that’s counting to four, but we’re skipping a note to kind of give it that cool vibe that really just pushes the riff forward. The way I just did that right there is I just went B, G, D, B, G, D, B, D. Again, I’m just going kind of straight back.
I still have, really, eight beats that I’m hitting. One, two, three, one, two, three, one, two. What happens when you do it that way, when I kind of break eight beats into two three-counts and a two-count, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, it really kind of as what I think is, like I said, a faithful recreation of… which is the main thing. But again, I don’t think that, as great as that is, it doesn’t really cut it on acoustic guitar if you just have kind of one guitar player and a singer, or if you’re singing yourself.
We’re going to do is this back-pick B, G, D, B, G, D, B, D two times, and then the next part is going to be an A major. I like to play it as an A suspended 2, which is really just take that E major, move it down a string and pop your pointer finger off. It’s really just kind of like an E minor chord off a string higher. Then do the same thing. Same picking, but now where the riff was open B to G, it kind of has that picking sound.
Then we’re going to go to B major. A lot of people are like, “Ah, B major. I’m checking out. I can’t do that B major. So hard,” because it’s the second fret on the A string and then the fourth round of the D, G, and B string, and then if you do a raised barre, you also get the second front on the high E string.
Now, the great thing about being a key E having this be major chord is what are the… again, B major is a chord in the key of E major, E, F, G, A, B. In fact, it’s the five-chord. What are the highest two strings in a guitar standard tuning? B and E. We know that those notes are in our key, so instead of playing… if you have trouble getting that barre chord down, just play this. We’re technically adding an E to a B major chord or a B… no, it’s really a power chord 2A, 4D, and 4G, with that open B, it doubles up the B goodness. In fact, kind of triples it up. Then you want to get that E in there. It’s just another sound that glues it back together in the key. You’re going to do the same picking pattern, but leaving that B string open.
Getting kind of an interesting sound because we’re getting two Bs in a row. That should be the same note, assuming your guitar’s in tune to standard tuning, but I think it sounds really cool, and it’s a little bit different than having to do barre chord. You can do the same thing with a barre chord, but again, the idea here is to get that theme into the chords. You could just play it straight up as chords.
Now, you can tell it’s kind of dynamically played where it’s not just like… That’s just kind of like the one, two, three, and four and campfire strumming of the song. I really think that to get the vibe of the song, you want to get that kind of forward propulsion motion going on. The way you can do that is either do it with the picking that you’re talking about or do it with this kind of like… because they’re all bounce strokes except for that last one.
The best way to explain that is to think of the dynamics and where you’re kind of having what the big downstroke is. When I say that, I’m not even so much putting more power on the downstroke. I’m really kind of getting more strings. If we just take the first few counts there, it’s really like a one, two, one, two, one, two, three. When I had that big one, that’s the whole string set. I’m getting all six strings. One, two, one, two, one, two, three, one, two, one, two, three, one, two, three, four.
That might’ve been a mouthful to think of one, two, one, two, one, two, three, one, two, one, two, one, one, two, three, four, but I think thinking of dynamics and countings where you have that one be the accent is a great way to do it. One thing that I’ve found really helpful is to maybe just take a piece of paper and then just write the amount of times you hit it, if we just talk about how many actual downstrokes there are. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
If you just go through… if you want to see that as like two barres, one and two and three and four and one and two and three and four and, maybe they have like a one plus two plus three plus four plus as one and two and three and for and, and then just mark where the accents are. Seeing it visually is something they really helped me with my strumming to kind of get that… to the A, A suspended 2, to the B, back to the E.
Again, that was kind of like a combination of both where I’m kind of moving around through the string sets instead of… It’s kind of just aiming for the higher part of the string set, and I’m kind of getting that same melody happening on top of a chord without having to do anything with my fretting hand. It’s all about locating the part of the chord that you want to accentuate to make it sound like maybe more is going on than just a straight E major chord. Same thing with the A or A suspended 2, A major. I think they’re kind of interchangeable in a song like this, or A major. Again, this is to taste, really. Again, to make sure you click that link below because it has all the chords, even if it’s just written as A major, so you can kind of follow along with the lyrics. Then to B, play it as either B major barre chord or this kind of B major open power chord type thing we got going on, back to E.
Now, the last thing I want to talk over real quickly is just the bridge, or the chanting part that she really does an incredible ethereal job on. It’s really just G chord, same rhythm, to a C chord. B major to C, and then back to E, A, B, E.
Really simple song conceptually because it’s just, again, it’s just major chords in the key of E. E, A, B, E. Our bridge is really easy, just G to C a couple of times, and then just ride out E, A, B, E all the way home, but there are so many different ways you can play it. That’s why it’s a really great example of different ways you can kind of dress up a song, make it something that’s really simple on a chord chart, but then really try to keep some of the essence of what the original song had to make more of a fitting tribute maybe and actually a little more entertaining to play.
Hopefully, you liked that. Let me know if you have any questions or comments in the comment section below and any other requests you guys might want to see. Make sure you check out other videos on the Guitar Control channel by myself, other great Guitar Control instructors, and we’ll talk to y’all soon. Thanks a lot.
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