The Suburbs – Arcade Fire

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Hey everybody!

In today’s lesson, I’m going to show you how to play The Suburbs by Arcade Fire. This song is great if you are working on getting into barre chords, as it uses the same shape in a couple different places and the progression is the same over and over.


CHORUS 10:53

The lesson begins with the chord shapes: D, B minor, F sharp, and A. We basically loop the same progression over and over. I give you a whole bunch of switching tips, especially for the B minor chord. This is a huge wall that a lot of people need to overcome as they improve at strumming and we spend a lot of time looking at some different strategies and exercises that will help you with this.

After that, we practice playing the song using downstrokes only. And then work on a strumming pattern. This song uses the most common strumming pattern with a couple twists. We do it with the swing rhythm, and we accent beats two and four. I teach you a layered approach that’ll help you get there even if you can’t do it right away. And when you’re ready, we put the chords and strumming together.

Next, we figure out the chorus which is very similar, just replace the A chord with an E chord and that’s it! We play through it with downstrokes only, and then with the strumming pattern.

Finally, I show you how to write out your very own tab for this song that’ll help you keep track of where you are in the recording, which is something I find chord and lyric sheets don’t actually provide the student with.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson and I’ll see you soon!

All the best!