Badlands

by Bruce Springsteen • Lesson #44 • Feb 4, 2017

Editor’s Notes

Welcome to my guitar lesson for a solo acoustic version of Badlands, originally by Bruce Springsteen. This wasn’t ever my favorite Springsteen song, but it turned out to be the first one I learned. One of the things that hooked me was stumbling upon this acoustic cover by Julien Baker, which had a sparse and stripped down feel that won me over immediately. I went about learning the song myself, and this lesson is the result.

Free Video Lesson

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 December 2022 code at Musicnotes checkout: K2LN3PKDTR (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 song sheets from Musicnotes.com. For the current month's code, upgrade to premium or log in.

Capo on the 2nd fret

I’m doing this so you don’t need to use barre chords (specifically, B-major) which is much harder to play than the D-G-A this requires when using a capo. The capo also lets you play an acoustic version of the main melodic intro you hear in the opening bars of the Springsteen recording.

Chords needed

Here’s all the chords you’ll need for this song. Not a lot! Standard I-IV-V in the key of D.

E –––––2–––––3–––––0––––––
B –––––3–––––0–––––2––––––
G –––––2–––––0–––––2––––––
D –––––0–––––0–––––2––––––
A –––––––––––2–––––0––––––
E –––––––––––3––––––––––––
       D     G     A  

Note, I’ll often play a single finger barred version of the A-major chord, where I’m focusing on only the middle 4 strings. This is easier to switch to, easier to mute (if you want to mute it), and allows you to add some flourish notes if you prefer. If nothing else this is a good trick to have up your sleeve when playing this chord… and while I certainly use the standard A-major chord voicing (x02220) in this song at parts, this still plays a role:

E –––––x–––––
B –––––2–––––     <--  Play these three 2nd fret notes
G –––––2–––––     <--  with your left index finger
D –––––2–––––     <--  barred across all 3 strings.
A –––––0–––––          
E –––––––––––
       A     

If you need help with this technique, check out this lesson I made:

Browse Related Lessons

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

About Song Notes

Hey there! My name is David Potsiadlo, and I'm the creator of the 400+ weekly lessons here at Song Notes, going back to 2013. Here’s my guitar story »

Get Free Lessons Each Week!

Join the 20,000+ readers who get my new lessons dropped in their inbox each week. I teach a fun mix of songs, weekly riffs, practice ideas, and more!

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).

Thanks!


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

Browse All Recent Lessons →

Browse my all lessons

By lesson type

By technique

By musical genre

By decade

By musical key

By popular artist


← back to homepage