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Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffet

    Difficulty: Easy


    Here is an easy riff to play complete with two guitar parts. The song is set to 124 bpm (beats per minute) and will be in drop d tuning for the first guitar.

    In drop D tuning the low E string is tuned down one whole step to D. This enables the guitarist to play power chords with a single finger. If your favorite band uses drop D tuning and you want to experiment with this tuning, by all means, do so. Whatever you do, don’t learn the guitar in drop D tuning-you’ll get all mixed up.

    To tune your guitar to drop D tuning, first make sure you are tuned to standard tuning. Then you’ll want to tune your low E string down to D (we drop it down one step, hence the name).

    Here is how the guitars sound together:

    Guitar 1

    Guitar 2

    This part is only played on the first three measures.

     Putting It Together

    By this point, we’ve looked at ways to strum Margaritaville on your guitar and we’ve reviewed the vocal parts. Now, the real fun comes in as we’ll try to combine the two and hopefully end up with a song.

    Step 1

    Start out by just strumming the chord once for every measure when the chord changes. Stick with just the basic chords: D, G, and A. This will allow you to focus more on the vocals. Watch out for those keywords where the chords change. Most likely,  you notice the change when you hear the song on the radio. Try not to stop if you come to a part you find tricky, even if you mess up. Just keep on going along with the beat.

    Speaking of the beat, don’t worry too much about the tempo that you are playing at this point. Just try to stay in time.

    Step 2

    Once you can make it through the song, as outlined in step one, try adding the full strumming pattern. Also, at this point, you may want to start adding the chord variations such as a D7 chord a beat before you turn into the chorus.

    Margaritaville Guitar Tab

    Complete Transcription To “Margaritaville” (PDF)

    Complete Transcription To “Margaritaville” (Power Tab)