“Vertigo” by U2

Difficulty: Easy

Composer – U2

Where to find this song – How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

Pre-Verse And Verse

Here’s what the pre-verse riff sounds like with guitar and bass:



For the verse only the bass guitar plays. It just continues with the same riff it played for the pre-verse.

Guitar

You won’t have any real trouble with this riff. What you will be playing are simple power chords and are arranged as followed:

No matter where you are on the frets, always use your 1st finger to play the lower notes, and your 3rd and 4th fingers to play the higher notes.

Begin the first measure by placing your 1st finger on the fifth fret on the “A” string. Place your 3rd and 4th fingers on the seventh frets on the “D” string and the “G” string. Play that once, and then immediately move to the seventh and the ninth frets on the same strings. Then, just move back again to what you started playing. Notice that you will be playing the same two chords in the first measure over and over. Just follow the pattern and you will be fine.

For the second measure, you will need to keep your fingers in the same arrangement that they already are in. Begin by placing your 1st finger on the fifth fret on the “low E” string and your 3rd and 4th fingers on the “A” string and the “D” string on the seventh frets. Play that about four times, and then move your fingers in the same arrangement to the fourth and sixth frets, and then end the measure by moving them to the third and fifth frets.

Bass

For the bass part, you will have even less trouble learning this. Notice that they are predominantly root notes of the guitar being played before.

Begin the first measure by placing your 1st finger near the “D” string on the second fret, but don’t press down yet. Just play the “D” string open once, and then push down with your 1st finger on the second fret. You will be repeating this over and over for the first and third measure. For the second and fourth measure, simply play the “A” string open four times, and then use your 1st finger to play the fourth fret on the “E” string, and slide it to the third fret. Slide by holding down the string with your 1st finger, not letting up at all. That is the difference between sliding a note and just playing a note. When sliding, you are changing the sound of a note without stopping, making a much more fluent sound.

Chorus

Both guitar and bass:

Guitar

Ok, take a second and look at what you will be playing for the chorus. Look familiar? It’s the same thing you played for the verse, with just a different timing and longer notes being held. The slides at the end of each measure is probably the only thing that may confuse you. Notice that it also says to allow the notes to ring. This is great when sliding, because by just moving to the next chord and allowing the notes to ring, and not picking the strings again, you ARE sliding by default.

Bass

Pre-Chorus

This part is the most difficult of all. Begin the first measure by using your 3rd finger on the twelfth fret on the “high E” string. You are going to want to slant your 3rd finger so that you can play both of the twelfth frets on the “high E” string AND the “B” string. Then you will just be using your 2nd finger for the tenth fret on the “high E” string, followed by your 1st finger on the ninth fret on the same string.

The bass guitar plays the same riff from the chorus…

Riff Resources

Complete Transcription To “Vertigo” (PDF)

Complete Transcription To “Vertigo” (Power
Tab)