Say It Ain't So

by Weezer • Lesson #27 • Aug 12, 2016

Editor’s Notes

Here’s my acoustic guitar lesson for Say It Ain’t So by Weezer, one of the many great songs from the debut album. I’ve includes chords, intro tabs, and strumming pattern – showing how to play this song in standard tuning. Enjoy!

Free Video Lesson

Timestamps:

  • 0:00 Playthrough
  • 1:55 About this lesson
  • 3:24 Chords used
  • 5:37 Chord progression timing
  • 6:01 Main riff
  • 11:38 Verse strum, reggae style
  • 13:27 Verse strum, full chords
  • 15:16 Chorus
  • 17:21 Bridge

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Chords w/ lyrics

INTRO (play twice, then let E chord ring)

    E –––4–––––4–x–x–––4–––––––––––––––––––––––5–x–x–––0––––––––––––––––
    B –––4h5–––5–x–x–––4–––––––––––––0–––––––––5–x–x–––0––––––––––––––––
    G –––4–––––4–x–x–––5–––––––––––5–––––5/6–––6–x–x–––1–––––––––––9\–––
    D –––4h6–––6–x–x–––6–––––––––6–––––––6/7–––7–x–x–––2–––––––––––9\–––
    A –––4–––––––––––––6–––––––6–––––––––6/7–––––––––––2––––––9h11––––––
    E –––––––––––––––––4–––4–––––––––––––4/5–––––––––––0–––0––––––––––––
         C#m           G#                  A           E

INTERLUDE

          C#m   G#      A     E
    ...Oh yeah...................
          C#m   G#      A     E
    ...Alright...................

VERSE
    C#m        G#            A           E
    Somebody's Heine'..... is crowding my icebox
    C#m        G#            A           E
    Somebody's cold one... is giving me chills
    C#m             G#            A           E
    Guess I'll just close... my eyes

INTERLUDE
          C#m   G#      A     E
    ...Oh yeah...... alright.....
          C#m   G#      A     E
    Feels good...... inside......

VERSE
        C#m          G#          A             E
    ....Flip on the  telly...... wrestle with Jimmy
        C#m          G#          A             E
    ....Something is bubbling  behind   my   back
        C#m          G#          A             E
    The bottle  is ready    to   blow...

CHORUS
        C#m   G#   A            E
        ...........Say it ain't so
        C#m       G#      A         E
        ...Your drug is a heartbreaker
        C#m   G#   A            E
        ...........Say it ain't so
        C#      G#      A       E  
        ...My love is a life taker

VERSE
    C#m          G#         A       E
    I can't confront you... I never could do
    C#m              G#             A          E
    That which might hurt you... so try and be cool
               C#m     G#         A                     E
    When I say... this way-- is a water slide away from me
                                 C#m  G#      A     E
    That takes you further every day... so be cool


CHORUS
        C#m   G#   A            E
        ...........Say it ain't so
        C#m       G#      A         E
        ...Your drug is a heartbreaker
        C#m   G#   A            E
        ...........Say it ain't so
        C#      G#      A       E  
        ...My love is a life taker

BRIDGE
            (use power chords)

            B              B/Bb           E             G  
            ...Dear Daddy... I write you... in spite of years of silence
            B                    B/Bb            E                 G
            ...You've cleaned up... found Jesus... things are good or so I hear
            B               B/Bb            E         G
            ...This bottle... of Stephen's... awakens ancient feelings
            B               B/Bb          E            G
            ...Like father... stepfather... the son is drowning in the...

            C#m    G#   A            E             C#m  G#  A  E
            Flood--------- yeah yeah... yeah yeah...

            (repeat main chord progression, solo as desired)
CHORUS
        C#m   G#   A            E
        ...........Say it ain't so
        C#m       G#      A         E
        ...Your drug is a heartbreaker
        C#m   G#   A            E
        ...........Say it ain't so
        C#      G#      A       E  
        ...My love is a life taker

Chords used

Most of the song, except for the bridge, uses these 4 chords in this order (repeating):

E ||––––4–––  ––––4––––  ––––5––––  ––––0––––
B ||––––5–––  ––––4––––  ––––5––––  ––––0––––
G ||––––6–––  ––––5––––  ––––6––––  ––––1––––
D ||––––6–––  ––––6––––  ––––7––––  ––––2––––
A ||––––4–––  ––––6––––  ––––7––––  ––––2––––
E ||––––––––  ––––4––––  ––––5––––  ––––0––––
       C#m        G#         A          E    

The timing is generally as follows. Note this is a group of 3 beats, then 5 beats, then 3 beats, then 5 beats. As opposed to all measures being 4 beats equally.

C#m         G#                  A           E
/   /   /   /   /   /   /   /   /   /   /   /   /   /   /   /   
1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4   1   2   3   4

The chorus is the only section (which uses these chords) that violates this timing principle just above.

Main riff

Play this twice. The final time you play it, let the final E-major chord ring.

E ||–––4–––––4–x–x–––4–––––––––––––––––––––––5–x–x–––0––––––––––––––––––
B ||–––4h5–––5–x–x–––4–––––––––––––0–––––––––5–x–x–––0––––––––––––––––––
G ||–––4–––––4–x–x–––5–––––––––––5–––––5/6–––6–x–x–––1–––––––––––9\–––––
D ||–––4h6–––6–x–x–––6–––––––––6–––––––6/7–––7–x–x–––2–––––––––––9\–––––
A ||–––4–––––––––––––6–––––––6–––––––––6/7–––––––––––2––––––9h11––––––––
E ||–––––––––––––––––4–––4–––––––––––––4/5–––––––––––0–––0––––––––––––––
       C#m           G#                  A           E

Verse chords, full strum

E –|–––4––––––––––4––––––––––––––––5–––––––––––0––––––––––––––––|–
B –|–––5––x––x––––4––––––––––––––––5–––––––––––0––––––––––––––––|–
G –|–––6––x––x––––5––x––x––x––x––––6––x––x–––––1––x––x––x––x––––|–
D –|–––6––x––x––––6––x––x––x––x––––7––x––x–––––2––x––x––x––x––––|–
A –|–––4––x––x––––6––x––x––x––x––––7––x––x–––––2––x––x––x––x––––|–
E –|––––––––––––––4––x––x––x––x––––5––x––x–––––0––x––x––x––x––––|–
       C#m        G#               A           E

Chorus

Repeat this same progression:

"...Say it ain't so..."

E ||––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B ||––(5)–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
G ||–––6––6–––x–x–x–x–––(5)––––––––––––––(6)––––––––––(1)–––––––––––––––––
D ||–––6––6–––x–x–x–x––––6––6––x–x–x–x––––7––7––x–x––––2––x–x–x–x–x–x–x–––
A ||–––4––4–––x–x–x–x––––6––6––x–x–x–x––––7––7––x–x––––2––x–x–x–x–x–x–x–––
E ||–––––––––––––––––––––4––4––x–x–x–x––––5––5––x–x––––0––x–x–x–x–x–x–x–––
       C#m               G#               A            E

If you want, you can add that final riff at the end:

E -|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B -|––(5)–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
G -|–––6––6–––x–x–x–x–––(5)––––––––––––––(6)––––––––––(1)–––––––––––––9\––
D -|–––6––6–––x–x–x–x––––6––6––x–x–x–x––––7––7––x–x––––2–––x–x––––––––9\––
A -|–––4––4–––x–x–x–x––––6––6––x–x–x–x––––7––7––x–x––––2–––x–x–––9h11–––––
E -|–––––––––––––––––––––4––4––x–x–x–x––––5––5––x–x––––0–––x–x–0––––––––––
       C#m               G#               A            E

You can also emulate the sloppy electric guitar wail, by leaving the top two strings open:

"...Say it ain't so..."

E –|––––––––––0–0––––––––––––––0–0––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B –|––––––––––0–0––––––––––––––0–0––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
G –|–––6––6––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––(6)––––––––––(1)–––––––––––––––––
D –|–––6––6––––––––––––––6––6–––––––––––––7––7––x–x––––2––x–x–x–x–x–x–x–––
A –|–––4––4––––––––––––––6––6–––––––––––––7––7––x–x––––2––x–x–x–x–x–x–x–––
E –|–––––––––––––––––––––4––4–––––––––––––5––5––x–x––––0––x–x–x–x–x–x–x–––
       C#m               G#               A            E

The final time you play the progression, it’s good to let all the chords sound loudly.

"...My love is a life taker..."

E –|–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B –|–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
G –|–––6––6––6––6–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––9––9––9––9––9––––––
D –|–––6––6––6––6––––––6––6––6––6––6–––––7––7––7––––––9––9––9––9––9––––––
A –|–––4––4––4––4––––––6––6––6––6––6–––––7––7––7––––––7––7––7––7––7––––––
E –|–––––––––––––––––––4––4––4––4––4–––––5––5––5––––––0––0––0––0––0––––––
       C#m             G#                A            E

Bridge

Repeat this progression:

"Dear Daddy... I write you... in spite of years of silence..."

E ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–
B ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–
G ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–
D ||–––9––9––x––9–––––8––8––x––8–––––2––2––x––2––––––5––5––x––5––––|–
A ||–––9––9––x––9–––––9––9––x––9–––––2––2––x––2––––––5––5––x––5––––|–
E ||–––7––7––x––7–––––6––6––x––6–––––0––0––x––0––––––3––3––x––3––––|–
       B              B/Bb           E               G

I’m pretty sure Weezer plays it more like this. Me, I don’t prefer this fashion, hence the version above. Ultimately, it’s the same notes –– take your pick.

E ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–
B ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–
G ||–––4––4––X––4–––––4––4––X––4–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–
D ||–––4––4––x––4–––––4––4––x––4–––––2––2––x––2––––––5––5––x––5––––|–
A ||–––2––2––x––2–––––1––1––x––1–––––2––2––x––2––––––5––5––x––5––––|–
E ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––0––0––x––0––––––3––3––x––3––––|–
       B              B/Bb           E               G

Verse strum, reggae style

If you want to emulate the second guitar on the album version, play this – where you’re emphasizing these chord shapes on the up-strum. The other (lead) guitar can play the main riff on top of this and it sounds very nice.

E –|–––x––4––x––4––x––4––x––4––x––5––x––4––x––4––x––4–––|–
B –|–––x––5––x––4––x––4––x––4––x––5––x––5––x––5––x––5–––|–
G –|–––x––6––x––5––x––5––x––5––x––6––x––4––x––4––x––4–––|–
D –|–––x––6––x––6––x––6––x––6––x––7––x––6––x––6––x––6–––|–
A –|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–
E –|––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–
         C#m    G#                A     E

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