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Another Lonely Day by Ben Harper

    Ben Harper might as well be a direct offspring of Bob Marley himself. Combining surf-style music, reggae, and folk instrumentalism into his sound, Harper has created a very down-to-earth tone to his music. He now headlines with some of music’s most prolific artists, ranging from Dave Matthews to Carol King, and from Keith Richards to Isaac Hayes. He has been known for his brooding sense of love song ballads, and for the empowerment of everything from free speech to anti-governmental control. He is truly a modern-day hippie in the nicest sense.


    The riff itself isn’t difficult to play, but the moving chord arrangements are a little trickier. In this riff, you will need to know how to play a C chord, an Am chord, an Em chord, and finally a G chord. If you know how to play those, you can struggle through them by just playing them in that order. What makes the riff interesting, though, is how he incorporates the chords into his strumming patterns. Notice that you will begin by placing a C chord, and then transition into the Am chord by walking the fret with your 2nd finger on the second fret on the “A” string. Notice that once you go into the Am chord, you will immediately let off of it and play the same strings open. You will do this a few times.

    As far as the timing, the only thing that may throw you off a little is the transitional phrasings from C to Am. Just think like it is a Bob Marley song, and allow your fingers to flow. After you have played the Am chord and transitioned into the Em chord, notice that you are not playing the typical G chord that you may have learned before. The note that you are playing is the root G note. That would be on the third fret on the “low E” string. Practice this song over and over, and you will hear how the chords are so simple but add a great deal of depth to the overall sound.



    Riff Resources

    Complete Transcription To “AnotherLonely Day” (PDF)

    Complete Transcription To “Another Lonely Day” (Power Tab)