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

Licensed Song Sheet 3 pages

Follow along with my print-friendly guide for this song! It’s available for purchase at Musicnotes.com, the web’s leading provider of licensed sheet music.

On the fence? Here's a guide I made showing the purchase & print process, including answers to common questions about my song sheets.

Buy at Musicnotes.com

Save 50% on this song sheet by applying the May 2024 code at Musicnotes checkout: C8A65MHA25 (click to copy). Thanks for being a Premium supporter!

Song Notes Premium includes a 50% discount code you can use when buying any of my licensed song sheets. For the current month's code, upgrade to premium or log in.

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.

Unlock My Secret Stash!

Gain instant access to my library of 225 print-friendly cheat sheets! Also includes my extended video lessons, jam tracks, courses, and more.

Join Song Notes Premium

Have questions? Watch video tour »

Browse Related Lessons

Click any tag below to view other lessons I've made in that category:

Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!

If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).

Fun & Helpful Tools I've Made

Fret Monster

Interactive fretboard map! See the patterns behind every scale in any key.

View

Capo Captain

An easy way to calculate key & chord combinations, for any capo location!

View

Key Master

See and hear the notes, chords, scales used in each of the most common keys.

View

Blank Tabs

Free PDF templates to download, print, and write out your own guitar tabs!

View

Subscribe to my YouTube channel

Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!


Recent Lessons

  • May 20, 2024

    What Types of Play-Along Covers are Most Helpful?

    Most of my song lessons feature backing tracks or play-along covers — and I'd love your feedback about which aspect of these is most helpful!

  • May 10, 2024

    "Wichita Lineman" by Glen Campbell

    Let's dive into Glen Campbell's all-time classic from 1968, originally written by Jimmy Webb. I teach this with capo 5th fret, using easier-to-manage Key of C chords.

  • May 1, 2024

    Tour of My New "KeyMaster" Web Tool

    My new interactive web tool lets you see and hear the notes, chords, and common progressions in all of the most common keys. Super helpful!

  • April 24, 2024

    13 Must-Know Riffs with Droning Strings

    A handy roundup of all the songs I've taught that use droning strings... with a quick breakdown of each riff!

  • April 18, 2024

    "Moonshadow" by Cat Stevens

    Learn how to play Cat Stevens' 1971 classic! I include campfire-friendly chords and strumming, and a step-by-step breakdown of the intro fingerstyle riff.

  • April 12, 2024

    Playing Songs "Correctly" vs. When to Cut Corners

    When learning songs, are we allowed to simplify things? Do we always need to play things exactly as they're recorded? Here's some quick thoughts!

  • April 9, 2024

    Chords & Music Theory... 9 New Lessons!

    A roundup of a batch of new chord-related video lessons & PDF cheat sheets I just added to my library! Lots of good stuff here, be sure not to miss 'em.

  • March 30, 2024

    Gordon Lightfoot's "Carefree Highway"

    Learn how to play Lightfoot's 1975 classic, with plenty of tips to help simplify some of the quicker chord changes.

  • March 22, 2024

    Lead Guitar & the F1 Theme Song

    Let's look at the catchy Formula 1 theme song and learn how to play it on lead guitar...including handy trick for dealing with the key change.

  • March 15, 2023

    Pink Floyd's "Breathe" - with Simpler Chords Included

    Learn to play through Pink Floyd's 1973 classic! I'll teach the chords they use, while also showing a handful of useful simplifications and riffs to make this work on a single acoustic guitar.

  • March 6, 2024

    Q&A: 8 Tips to Avoid Muting Strings

    If you're frustrated by muffled, muted, or buzzing strings when playing chords, you're not alone! Here's 8 tips to avoid this common issue.

Browse All Recent Lessons →

Browse All My Lessons

By lesson type

By technique

By musical genre

By decade

By musical key

By popular artist


← back to homepage