Romeo and Juliet
by Dire Straits • Lesson #284 • Feb 12, 2020
- 0:00 Greeting & overview
- 1:42 Capo & tuning notes
- 3:00 Chord shapes needed
- 4:18 Chord progressions & strumming
- 11:17 Playthrough of verse & chorus
- 13:12 Intro tab, step by step
- 21:41 Farewell
Here’s a tour of the chord sheet I’ll be releasing for this song. Get it here!
Print-Friendly 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 March 2023 code at Musicnotes checkout: FXSDV8DUHV (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.
Hey there friends! Here’s my lesson for the Dire Straits song “Romeo & Juliet”. I’ll be showing you an “easy” way to pick up your guitar and play this song, specifically (1) using no capo, (2) in standard tuning, and (3) using a simplified version of the intro. All this together allows you to quickly jump into the song, hopefully keeping things accessible. As per normal, I’ll explain the chord shapes, the verse & chorus progressions, talk about strumming, and then break down the intro riff step-by-step.
Best of luck with things! Again, keep on reading for additional notes on how to play this 100% exactly like Dire Straits does. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this lesson and the PDF chord sheet I’ve made for this song.
Capo and tuning
My video is in standard tuning, no capo –– which aims to give you an accessible way to play this song with any ole’ guitar. However, if you want to play along with Dire Straits, use the chords I show and put a capo on the 3rd fret. Any for extra credit even, you’ll want to tune your guitar to open G tuning (D G D G B D). Check out Justin Sandercoe’s lesson if you want to learn how to play it in open G. Again, my lesson is a simple version (standard tuning, no capo).
Here’s how to play the 4 chords you’ll need in this song. Standard D-G-A, with a barre chord B-minor in the mix.
E –––2–––3–––0–––2––– B –––3–––0–––2–––3––– G –––2–––0–––2–––4––– D –––0–––0–––2–––4––– A –––––––2–––0–––2––– E –––––––3––––––––––– D G A Bm
A hint about the A-major and the B-minor chord, which are probably the trickiest chords to switch between. The trick being: get used to playing the A-major by barring the 2nd 3rd and 4th strings with your index finger (don’t play the thinnest string). This sets your index finger up for the barre position you’ll need to play the B-minor chord.
E ––––––– E –––2––– <== barred index finger B –––2––– <== barred index finger B –––3––– <== left middle G –––2––– <== barred index finger G –––4––– <== left pinky D –––2––– <== barred index finger D –––4––– <== left ring A –––0––– A –––2––– <== barred index finger E ––––––– E ––––––– A Bm
A quick note about the chord progressions. The following is a rough outline. Sometimes, such as in the first verse, certain chords (e.g., the A-major in the 1st measure of the verse) isn’t heard at all. Other chords (e.g., the G in the 5th measure of the verse) actually come on the “+” count after the “4” – but I have them on the quarter note below. Again, my aim with this lesson is to give you the general outline, and not the ultra-specific matching exactly what Dire Straits plays in all cases. To do the latter would add unnecessary difficulty, and not be required for those astute musicians among you who “hear” the nuance anyway.
D A Bm A D A Bm G 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + A G A D G A 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D A Bm G D A Bm G A 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + D G Bm G Em G Bm A D 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1
Adv. ending to the chorus:
"When you gonna realize..." Em /F# G /A Bm A D 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1
Learning a simplified version of the intro
Note, I’m playing this with my fingers (no pick). You can use a pick if you want, but I find the sound to be a bit too precise for the sound of this song, compared to the album version. For all chords in the intro, I’ll generally use these right-hand fingers to fingerpick the chords. This helps keep right-hand fingers from needing to switch strings, which adds difficulty. If this doesn’t work for you, surely try something else! This is just what I prefer.
E ––––––– <= right ring B ––––––– <= right middle G ––––––– <= right index D ––––––– <= right thumb A ––––––– <= right thumb ...right thumb plays whatever is the thickest E ––––––– <= right thumb string of the chord being played.
Next, I recommend getting comfortable with these chord shapes played in this timing (play through it a bunch!) – this makes it much easier when you add the connecting flourish notes later. Note I’m using an A7 chord (instead of A-major) which is easier to switch to, since it only uses 2 left-hand fingers instead of 3. Also, note you’ll need your left pinky on the 3rd fret of the G – this one may be tricky at first.
[ see figure 1 of my sheet music ]
Then, add these flourish notes between the main chord shapes. The advice I have here is to take things slowly, practicing one phrase at a time until you’re comfortable. Then, begin to combine the phrases one at a time. Do this until you can play through the whole thing, slowly at first. Then pickup the speed and work on playing clean notes, adding dynamic expression, etc.
[ see figure 2 of my sheet music ]
Listen to this song!
Here’s the official album version:
A lesson with capo 3 & open-G tuning
Here’s Justin Sandercoe’s excellent lesson if you want to learn a non-simple, 100%-accurate-to-the-album version of this song. Again, it requires capo 3rd fret and open G tuning.
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).
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!
March 27, 2023
Beginner Lead Guitar with the Star Spangled Banner
March 19, 2023
Brown Eyed Girl
March 14, 2023
Major Scales in Open Position
March 10, 2023
Tips for Strumming & Singing at the Same Time
March 7, 2023
Interstate Love Song
March 2, 2023
New Course: Beginner Chord Guide!
February 24, 2023
How to Fingerpick in 3/4 Time (feat. "Amazing Grace" & John Prine)
February 13, 2023
Adam Sandler's "Grow Old With You," Without Barre Chords
Browse my all lessons
By lesson type
- Strumming & Rhythm
- Walk-Ups & Walk-Downs
- Learning Barre Chords
- Travis Picking
- Learning Chords
By musical genre
By musical key
By popular artist
- Johnny Cash
- Tyler Childers
- Tom Petty
- Neil Young
- Chris Stapleton
- Willie Nelson
- Guy Clark
- John Prine