by Alessia Cara and Zedd • Lesson #64 • May 4, 2017

Editor’s Notes

Here’s my acoustic guitar lesson for Stay by Alessia Cara and Zedd. I’ll teach the chords, strumming, show tabs for the riff, and more. Enjoy!

Free Video Lesson

Print-friendly Song Sheet

This is one of my few lessons that doesn't have a printable song sheet / PDF available. If you'd like to request I make one, let me know... it's always great to hear which lessons have the most interest.

Capo on 1st fret…

If you want to play along with the album version, toss a capo on the first fret! Note, in my video lesson I’m not using a capo.


Note the optional pinky additions, on the high E-string:

   C     D     Em

Simple chorus riff (high E string)

Use your pinky on the 3rd fret of the high E string for all the chords, as shown here:

e –––3–––––––––––3––2––––––––3–––––––––––3––2–––––––––
B –––1–––––––––––3–––––––––––0–––––––––––3––––––––––––
G –––0–––––––––––2–––––––––––0–––––––––––2––––––––––––
D –––2–––––––––––0–––––––––––2–––––––––––0––––––––––––
A –––3–––––––––––––––––––––––2––––––––––––––––––––––––
E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––0––––––––––––––––––––––––
     1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  
     C           D           Em          D


Verse, all down strums:

C         Em    D
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8     
d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d
>         >     >

Chorus, with muted chops:

C       D       Em      D
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
d x     dux     d x     dux
>       >       >       >

Breakdown riff

Mainly, play this:

e –––3–––––––––––3––2––––––––7–––––––––––7–/5–––––––––
B –––1–––––––––––3–––––––––––8–––––––––––0––3–––––––––
G –––0–––––––––––2–––––––––––9–––––––––––0––0–––––––––
D –––2–––––––––––0–––––––––––9–––––––––––x––4–––––––––
A –––3–––––––––––––––––––––––7–––––––––––7–/5–––––––––
E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
     •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  
     C           D           Em          D

In the album version you hear this the third time it’s played in each sequence:

e –––3–––––––––––3––2––––––––7–––––––––––2––2–––––––––
B –––1–––––––––––3–––––––––––8–––––––––––5––4–––––––––
G –––0–––––––––––2–––––––––––9–––––––––––2––2–––––––––
D –––2–––––––––––0–––––––––––9–––––––––––4––4–––––––––
A –––3–––––––––––––––––––––––7–––––––––––2––2–––––––––
E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
     •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  
     C           D           Em          B

Lyrics with chords


    C                    Em          D
    Waiting for the time to pass you by
    C                        Em               D   
    Hope the winds of change will change your mind
    C                   Em          D
    I could give a thousand reasons why
          C        Em            D
    And I know you... and you've got to


    C                           Em                     D
    Make it on your own, but we don't have to grow up, we can stay forever young
    C                           Em            D
    Living on my sofa, drinking rum and cola, underneath the rising sun
    C                   Em          D
    I could give a thousand reasons why
                C     Em         D  
    But you're going... and you know that

                              C      D            Em        D
        All you have to do is stay a minute, just take your time
            C        D           Em     (D)
        The clock is ticking, so stay...
                              C      D            Em       D   
        All you have to do is wait a second, your hands on mine
            C        D           Em     (D)
        The clock is ticking, so stay


        C - D - Em - D

        (no lyrics, but same chords as the chorus)

And so on, and so forth.

Good luck!

Let me know if you have questions. I hope this was helpful.

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