How to Play Everlong on Guitar: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

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Learning to play “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters on guitar is a rewarding experience that combines energetic strumming patterns with iconic riffs. This track, known for its powerful chords and dynamic structure, has become a classic among musicians and fans alike. The guitar work by Dave Grohl offers both a challenge and an opportunity to enhance your playing skills, whether you are a beginner looking to master the basics or an intermediate player desiring to refine your technique.

How to Play Everlong on Guitar: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners
How to Play Everlong on Guitar: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

When you start your journey with “Everlong,” you’ll begin by tuning your guitar, as the song is played in Drop D tuning. This involves lowering the sixth string (E) down a whole step to D, which creates the opportunity for deep, resonant chords that are integral to the song’s sound. From there, you’ll progress through learning the distinctive chords and riffs that make up the song’s verses and chorus, paying attention to the nuances of the sound that make it so unique.

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Key Takeaways

  • Tuning your guitar to Drop D is essential for capturing the song’s depth.
  • Paying close attention to chord shapes and progressions will solidify the foundation of your rendition of “Everlong.”
  • Accurate strumming and riff execution will bring the energetic essence of the classic to life on your guitar.

Getting Started with Everlong

Preparing to play “Everlong” by Foo Fighters on your guitar involves a couple of crucial steps. You’ll need to ensure your guitar is tuned correctly and that you understand how to read the tablature for the song.

Guitar Tuning

To play “Everlong” accurately, your guitar needs to be in Drop D tuning. This involves lowering the pitch of your lowest E string to a D note, which gives the song its distinct sound and allows for easier playing of power chords. Here’s how to get your guitar into Drop D:

  1. Start with standard tuning (E-A-D-G-B-e).
  2. Pluck your lowest E string and the D string (4th string) together.
  3. Lower the pitch of the lowest E string until it harmonizes with the open D string.
  4. Verify tuning with a tuner for accuracy.

Understanding the Tab

A guitar tab, short for tablature, is a form of musical notation that indicates instrument fingering rather than musical pitches. Here’s a quick guide to understanding tab for “Everlong”:

  • Horizontal lines represent the strings of the guitar, from the lowest (top line) to the highest (bottom line).
  • Numbers on those lines represent frets; 0 means play the open string.
  • For “Everlong,” you’ll see numbers stacked, indicating chords to be played simultaneously.

Remember, this is a beginner-friendly lesson, so take your time getting familiar with the tuning and the tab before diving into playing.

Mastering the Chords and Riffs

To bring the iconic sound of “Everlong” by Foo Fighters to life on your guitar, you need to get comfortable with its distinctive chords and riffs. The song’s driving energy is all about the interplay between the verse, chorus, and bridge sections.

Practicing the Verse

The verse of “Everlong” introduces a unique riff that combines power chords with a sense of dynamic melody. Start by getting familiar with these chords in Drop D tuning (D-A-D-G-B-E). You’ll mainly use variations of D and A power chords, along with an open low D string as a pedal tone. Focus on precision and try to match the rhythm of the original track for authenticity.

Playing the Chorus

Transitioning to the chorus, you’ll continue with power chords but the progression changes to build energy. The chorus primarily revolves around the B, F#m, A, and E chords. Maintain the ardor of the song by strumming the chords forcefully, but ensure clarity by cleanly transitioning between chords.

Learning the Bridge

The bridge in “Everlong” takes the intensity down a notch and allows for a buildup back into the final chorus. This section uses a mixture of open and barre chords, creating a contrast from the earlier aggressive power chord riffs. Master the sequence of B, G, D, A, and E chords, paying attention to the subtle palm muting and dynamic shifts which characterize the bridge section.

Strumming Patterns and Techniques

Mastering the strumming pattern for “Everlong” by Foo Fighters is crucial, whether you’re playing on an acoustic or electric guitar. This section will guide you through the specific tempo and techniques needed for this song.

Perfecting the Strumming Tempo

The song “Everlong” is played in a 6/8 time signature, with a relaxed but steady tempo. To maintain consistency, you should start by practicing with a metronome set at a slower pace, around 75-80 BPM (beats per minute), before gradually increasing to the original speed of the song, which hovers around 158 BPM.

  1. Begin strumming without chords to focus solely on your rhythm.
  2. Progress by maintaining the strumming pattern while switching between the primary chords used in the song.

As a beginner, it’s important to internalize the rhythm, as this will be the backbone of your strumming through the whole song.

Applying Fingerstyle

While “Everlong” is often played with a pick, you can use fingerstyle to add a different texture, especially if you’re playing on an acoustic guitar. Here’s how you can approach this technique:

  • Use your thumb (T) for the bass strings and index (I), middle (M), and ring (R) fingers for the treble strings.
  • Practice the pattern slowly, ensuring each note is clear before increasing your speed.

Synchronize this fingerstyle pattern with the tempo you’ve established. Remember, consistency is key, so start slow and build up to full speed.

Playing Everlong on Acoustic Guitar

When tackling the acoustic version of the Foo Fighters’ hit “Everlong,” you’ll find the song’s raw emotion translates beautifully to the quieter timbre of the acoustic guitar. Start by ensuring your guitar is in standard tuning, which is pivotal for replicating the song’s authentic sound.

Chord Progression and Strumming Pattern:

  • The main progression cycles through Dmaj7, Bsus2, and Asus2 chords, with an emphasis on open, ringing strings to capture the song’s ethereal quality.
  • Employ a steady strumming pattern, with a mix of down and upstrokes to maintain the song’s driving rhythm.

Verse and Chorus:

  • During the verses, the dynamic is softer; play with a gentle, yet firm touch.
  • Rise to a bolder strum during the chorus, where the lyrics “If everything could ever feel this real forever” amplify both the song’s intensity and your playing.


  • The bridge involves a shift in chord shapes and possibly a change in strumming technique. Pay attention to the transition to maintain the song’s flow.

For a visual guide, searching “Everlong acoustic tutorial” on YouTube will yield several instructional videos. Watching a playthrough can help you understand the timing and the nuances of the performance.

Tablature and Lyrics:

  • Online tablature can provide a note-for-note representation of the song, helpful for those intricate parts.
  • Always keep the lyrics at hand to ensure your chord changes align with the vocal lines, adding to your performance’s authenticity.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Take it slow, enjoy the process, and you’ll be playing “Everlong” on your acoustic guitar with confidence.

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