THIS CHARMING MAN by The Smiths
“This Charming Man” is such a classic tune off of The Smith’s first album, and it’s still popular for good reason. Highlighting what would become Morrisey’s iconic vocals, the tune is just as much a testament to Johnny Marr’s guitar voicing and phrasing.
There are parts that are definitely tricky in here, but I’ll walk you through it all step by step. There are loads of arpeggiated chords throughout, some really fun riffs, and interesting timings and counts. Lots to unpack here!
Please forgive my bumbling over some of the counts, but something that Johnny does, especially in that opening bit, is to start the riff on the second beat. The counting gets wonky from there with a lot of the focus on the upbeats, so if you’re not too familiar with the tune, give it a few listens before trying to play it. It also helps to play this one along with the original recording.
Something else that might trip you up here and there is the picking. This is a great one to work on your picking hand, and combined with those crazy timings, you’ll probably have to run through each section a few times before it all really comes together. I know I did!
Once it does come together, though, this is such a fun one to play. It’ll have you up and down the fretboard, and it’s a nice change from some of the more common rhythm patterns and chord structures you’re likely used to seeing by now.
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