Game of Thrones (theme)

by Game of Thrones • Lesson #84 • Jul 16, 2017

Video lesson

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Editor’s Notes

In this lesson I’ll teach you how to play an “easy” version of the Game of Thrones theme song on guitar. While this isn’t the most beginner-friendly riff in the world, I’m calling it “easy” because of all the fancy-pants show-off versions on YouTube (which this is not).

My video lesson uses no capo, and doesn’t worry about any advanced lead guitar riffs. Instead, I focus on teaching the simple chord shapes you need and very approachable ways to tackle the main distinctive riffs you hear in the song. I’ll include chord shapes, tabs, strumming patterns, and plenty of contextual explanation.

Capo 3rd Fret

If you want to play along with the official version, that is. You don’t need a capo – you can use the chords shown here, and it’ll sound fine. You’ll just be in a different key than the official version (i.e., if you play along with the TV show opening credits, it’ll be off).

Rhythm Advice

In this song, you’ll want to count to 3 for each measure (ONE two three ONE two three ONE two three ONE two three, etc)… as opposed to counting to 4, which is what most songs tend to use. Whether this is 3/4 time or 6/8 time, I’ll leave that to the music theory experts – but if nothing else, know for each chord you have three counts (not four).

Check out the Song Exploder episode about this song

There is a fantastic podcast called Song Exploder where composers of different songs will describe, in spoken audio format (with music spliced in for context), their process in writing certain songs. There’s an episode about this song, and it’s fantastic. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s quite wonderful to hear the composer describe his process and why he took several of the paths he did when crafting the different components of this theme.

View the episode webpage or listen below:

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