It Ain't Me

by Selena Gomez • Lesson #68 • May 14, 2017

Editor’s Notes

Here’s a guitar lesson teaching you how to play It Ain’t Me by Selena Gomez & Kygo. Years after learning this song, I still come back to this intro riff from time to time… it’s just so fun to play. Beyond that I’ll teach the chords, strumming, and more… tabs included. Enjoy!

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Capo 5th fret

I’m doing this lesson with capo on the 5th fret. This makes things easier re: chord shapes, and particularly the intro.

Intro riff

Here’s the complete tab for the way I play it:

E |––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|–––––––––|
B |–0––––0–|–3––––3–|–5––––5–|–3––––3–|–5––––5–|–3––––3–|–7––––7–|–8/7–––7–|
G |––––0–––|––––4–––|––––5–––|––––4–––|––––5–––|––––4–––|––––7–––|–––––7–––|
D |––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|–––––––––|
A |––––––––|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–5––5–5–|–5–––5–5–|
E |–0––0–0–|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–––––––––|
    Em       G        C        G        C        G        D        D

You could also play it like this, using more open chord shapes. I don’t prefer this, because it requires a lot more finger movement (on both hands) and feels a bit less clean & polished.

E |––––––––|––––––––|–0––––0–|––––––––|–0––––0–|––––––––|–2––––2–|–3/2–––2–|
B |–0––––0–|–3––0–3–|––––1–––|–3––0–3–|––––1–––|–3––0–3–|––––3–––|–––––3–––|
G |––––0–––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|–––––––––|
D |––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|–0––0–0–|–0–––0–0–|
A |––––––––|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|––––––––|–––––––––|
E |–0––0–0–|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–––––––––|
    Em       G        C        G        C        G        D        D

How to learn the riff

Don’t dive in head first. Instead, take it step by step (see my video lesson for more detail here). First, I recommend learning the chord shapes:

E ––––––––––––––––––––
B –––0––––3–––5–––7–––  <-- middle finger (G), pinky (C & D)
G –––0––––4–––5–––7–––  <-- ring finger
D ––––––––––––––––––––
A ––––––––––––3–––5–––  <-- index finger (C & D)
E –––0––––3–––––––––––  <-- index finger (G)
     Em   G   C   D

After your hand is familiar with the chord shapes above (practice switching between them all, freely, as slow as needed until you have them down comfortably), then you can bring in the timing basics:

E |––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|–––––––––|
B |–0––0–0–|–3––3–3–|–5––5–5–|–3––3–3–|–5––5–5–|–3––3–3–|–7––7–7–|–8/7–7–7–|
G |–0––0–0–|–4––4–4–|–5––5–5–|–4––4–4–|–5––5–5–|–4––4–4–|–7––7–7–|–7–––7–7–|
D |––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|–––––––––|
A |––––––––|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–5––5–5–|–5–––5–5–|
E |–0––0–0–|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–––––––––|
    Em       G        C        G        C        G        D        D

It isn’t shown in the tab, but you’ll play the 3 strikes in each measure on the 1st, 4th, and 6th beat of each 8-beat measure. Listen to the album version or my video lesson for reference. Once you have this down, then see the full tab and break out the B & G string notes so the melody shines through:

E |––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|–––––––––|
B |–0––––0–|–3––––3–|–5––––5–|–3––––3–|–5––––5–|–3––––3–|–7––––7–|–8/7–––7–|
G |––––0–––|––––4–––|––––5–––|––––4–––|––––5–––|––––4–––|––––7–––|–––––7–––|
D |––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|––––––––|–––––––––|
A |––––––––|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–5––5–5–|–5–––5–5–|
E |–0––0–0–|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–3––3–3–|––––––––|–––––––––|
    Em       G        C        G        C        G        D        D

Finally, if desired, strike the strings with a percussive slap on the 3rd and 7th beat of each 8-beat measure. This isn’t shown in the tab, but you can see / hear it in my video lesson.

Lyrics w/ chords

VERSE

    Em         G                C               G
    I... had a dream... we were sipping whiskey neat
            C                G               D
    Highest floor... The Bowery... nowhere's high enough
        Em              G                 C             G
    Somewhere along the lines, we stopped seeing eye to eye
             C               G            D
    You were staying out all night, and I had enough
          Em           G             C                    G
    No, I don't wanna know where you been or where you're going
          C               G                   D
    But I know I won't be home, and you'll be on your own

PRE-CHORUS

                C                    G                D
    Who's gonna walk you through the dark side of the morning?
                C                 G                 D
    Who's gonna rock you when the sun won't let you sleep?
          C                      G                D        F#°7   Em
    Who's waking up to drive you home when you're drunk and all alone?
                C                    G                D
    Who's gonna walk you through the dark side of the morning?

CHORUS

             Em   G       D   C            Em  G     D
    It ain't me..... Bowery.... whiskey neat..... so grateful
             C    G       Em  D            C   G     D
    It ain't me..... Bowery.... whiskey neat..... so grateful

    (etc)

Good luck!

I hope these notes help. Let me know if you have questions!

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