Black Chords & Guitar Lesson

Welcome to my Black chord chart by Pearl Jam. Great band. Great song. While the chords are relatively easy, it’s the rhythm the makes this song a little trickier.

The song focuses on the Em, C, D, E, A and Asus2 chord. Asus two if you don’t know what it is, is a pretty easy chord. Looks like an Em chord but on the middle two strings.

Black Guitar Chords:

Black Strumming Patterns:

The rhythm and timing is going to be a very important aspect of this song. Some chords change right on the beat. Some chords change early and have a hopped feel. Fortunately, the chords usually change right over the words on the hopped rhythm.

Easy Strumming:
1 + 2 + 3 + 4
D   D   D UD

Intro Strumming: This strumming pattern is quite open and varies A LOT. The best thing to do it to improvise over a 16th note pattern. Here are a couple of suggestions. There’s a lot more going on here than just E and Asus2 but these two chords make it much more accessible sooner.

1  2 3 4 e +a
D D    DU DU

1  2 + 3 e+ 4 +

Intermediate Strumming: Again, I would likely play variations of this live
1  2+ a  3 e + 4 +a

There is a point in the song where you will start changing on the up strum after the 4th beat.

Black Guitar Lesson:

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Black Chord Chart:

Intro: E Asus2 E Asus2 E Asus2 E Asus

      E                        Asus2
Sheets of empty canvas
                           E           Asus2
untouched sheets of clay
              E                         Asus2
Were laid spread out before me
               E                    E
as her body once did

E             Asus2
All five horizons,
                      E          Asus2
revolved around her    soul as the earth to the sun
   E                       A
Now the air I tasted and breathed,
          E             E
has taken a turn

   C                         C                                    Em  Em
Oooh and all I taught her was everything
   C                                   C                                    Em          (chords start changing on upstrums)
Oooh all I know she gave me all that she wore
And now my bitter hands
Chafe beneath the clouds
Of what was everything
                D                                         C
All the pictures have all been washed in black
                               Em (chord changes back to down beat)
Tattooed everything.

    E                    Asus2
I take a walk outside
              E                                           Asus2
I'm surrounded by some kids at play
   E                        Asus2
I can feel their laughter
        E                   E
So why do I swear?

  C                                  C                                                 Em
Ooh and twisted thoughts that spin round my head
                   Em                            C                                       C
Oooh I'm spinning,oh I'm spinning how quick the sun can
 Em    Em (chord changes on up beat)
drop away
And now my bitter hands
cradle broken glass
of what was everything

                 D                                          C
All the pictures have all been washed in black
Tattooed everything
All the love gone bad
turned my world to black
tattooed all I see
All that I am
                           Em     D     C
All that I'll beeeeee     yeaahheah

Em            D C

I know someday you'll have a beautiful life
I know you'll be a star,
        C                           Em                               D
In somebody elses sky, whyhy, why  whyhy
               C                              Em      D C
can't it be, oh can't it be mine.

Em  D  C    Repeat Out

Or you could play the little vocal melody lick on the way out which is pretty fun.


This file is the author’s own work and represents his interpretation of this song. It’s intended solely for private study, scholarship or research.

We do not distribute printable chord and lyrics charts. These charts are here only to support online learning. We highly recommend buying music from Hal Leonard or a reputable online sheet music store.

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