Kodachrome

by Paul Simon • Lesson #20 • Jun 1, 2016

Editor’s Notes

This is my acoustic guitar lesson for Kodachrome by Paul Simon. I’ll show you everything needed to perform this song – including the tabs, chords, and lyrics. Best of luck with it!

Free Video Lesson

Timestamps:

  • 0:00 Playthrough & agenda
  • 3:27 Chords used
  • 4:56 Strumming pattern
  • 6:13 Intro riff
  • 12:26 Chorus & outro

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This is a no capo, key of D version!

My lesson teaches you how to play this song in standard tuning, using no capo, in the key of D. If you want to play along with Paul Simon’s album version, add a capo to the 2nd fret and use the chords I show you.

Chords used

Verse chords

e |---2----3----0----0---        e |----2-----2-----2----
B |---3----0----0----2---        B |----3-----2-----1----
G |---2----0----0----0---        G |----2-----2-----2----
D |---0----0----2----2---        D |----0-----0-----0----
A |--------2----2----0---        A |---------------------
E |--------3----0--------        E |---------------------
      D    G    Em   A7                 D   Dmaj7   D7  

Chorus chords

First, the turnaround played at the beginning (and in between) of each chorus run:

e |----3-----2-----0----
B |----0-----0-----0----
G |----0-----2-----0----
D |----0-----1-----2----
A |----2-----2-----2----
E |----3-----------0----
       G     B7    Em

After the turn around, you’ll play these chords in this order:

e |----0----2----3----0----0----2----
B |----1----3----0----1----2----3----
G |----2----2----0----0----0----2----
D |----2----0----0----2----2----0----
A |----0---------2----3----0---------
E |--------------3-------------------
       Am   D    G    C    A7   D

Outro chords

e |----3-----2-----0----
B |----0-----3-----0----
G |----0-----4-----0----
D |----0-----4-----2----
A |----2-----2-----2----
E |----3-----------0----
       G     Bm    Em

Strumming patterns

I would get comfortable using this initial strumming pattern, which uses down-strums on the one and three counts only. You could play through the entire song like this, initially getting comfortable with the chord shapes and chord progressions.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D       D

The full strumming pattern I like to use is as follows. To get the best use out of this pattern, you’ll ideally want to use a palm mute on the 2 and 4 counts (which occur during the down-strum that your hand is already making during these beats), adding a slight percussive element.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D U   U D U   U

Intro tab

Complete intro tab (that I play in the key of D) looks like this. The “G-riff” section is also used in the verse. For the second half of this tab, bring in your choice of desired strumming patterns (for the full chords) as you prefer.

 e |----2-------2-------2-------2-------------------------------------|-
 B |----3-------3-------3-------3-------------------------------------|-
 G |----2-------2-------2-------2-------0-------0-------0-------------|-
 D |--0-------0-------0-------0---------0-----0-0-------0-----0-------|-
 A |------------------------------0-------1-2-----1-2-----1-2---------|-
 E |----------------------------------3---------------3---------3-2-1-|-
      D                               G                                 
      1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +   

  -|--0---------------0---------------2---------------0-------0-------||
  -|--0---------------2---------------3---------------0-------2-------||
  -|--0---------------0---------------2---------------0-------0-------||
  -|--2---------------2---------------0---------------2-------2-------||
  -|--2---------------0-------------------------------2-------0-------||
  -|--0-----------------------------------------------0---------------||
      Em              A7              D               Em      A7        
      1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

How to practice the G-riff

G-chord finger position

e |----3---- <-- Left pinky
B |----0----
G |----0----
D |----0----
A |----2---- <-- Left middle finger
E |----3---- <-- Left ring finger
       G    

Riff Exercise #1

First, practice this – which keeps the left hand entirely still the entire time (focus on the up- and down-strum alternating with the right hand).

e |----3----   ---------------------------------------------------
B |----0----   ---------------------------------------------------
G |----0----   ---------------------------------------------------
D |----0----   ---------------0--0--------------------0-----------
A |----2----   ---------2--2--------2--2--------2--2--------------
E |----3----   ---3--3--------------------3--3--------------------
                  G
                  1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +
                  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D

Riff Exercise #2

Second, practice this – only difference is how you change your 5th fret note with index and middle finger.

e |----3----   ---------------------------------------------------
B |----0----   ---------------------------------------------------
G |----0----   ---------------------------------------------------
D |----0----   ---------------0--0--------------------0-----------
A |----2----   ---------1--2--------1--2--------1--2--------------
E |----3----   ---3--3--------------------3--3--------------------
                  G
                  1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +
                  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D

Riff Exercise #3

Third, add the final walk-down to that leads you into the E-minor chord which transitions you out out the riff, back into full chord strumming.

e |----3----   ------------------------------------------------------0----
B |----0----   ------------------------------------------------------0----
G |----0----   ------------------------------------------------------0----
D |----0----   ---------------0--0--------------------0--------------2----
A |----2----   ---------1--2--------1--2--------1--2-----------------2----
E |----3----   ---3--3--------------------3--3-----------3--2--1--0-------
                  G
                  1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  1  +
                  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U

Riff Exercise #4

Finally, if desired, on some of the up-strums you can play some of the middle strings. This lets the riff sound more “strummy”, if this is the sound you want.

e |----3----   ------------------------------------------------------0----
B |----0----   ------------------------------------------------------0----
G |----0----   ------0-----------0-----------0-----------------------0----
D |----0----   ------0--------0--0-----------0--------0--------------2----
A |----2----   ---------1--2--------1--2--------1--2-----------------2----
E |----3----   ---3-----------------------3--------------3--2--1--0-------
                  G
                  1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  1  +
                  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U

Chord progressions

See my song sheet for the complete chord progression diagram.

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