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The Verve - the Drugs Don't Work. Mini Lesson


(@mattguitar_1567859575)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 884
Topic starter  

Hello again people…..its been a while (to say the least!) Thought it was high time I posted another song on here, been very busy recently so apologies for not doing so earlier. I haven't put a song on here for a long long time, but since the database has been re-organised and we now have an index, quite a few of my old songs seem to have surfaced and its been lovely to hear from the old faces on the site again.

Today's offering (most of the UK based strummers are bound to know this pretty well) is the Verve's beautiful “The Drugs Don't Work” off the album Urban Hymns. Great album if you haven't already got it.

As usual a few pointers, let's start with the chords. And I must confess, I am expecting a barrage of “that's not how you do it!” type replies to this one, but we will see…..!!!!!
Chords
C x32013 (pinky on high E 3rd fret)
Fadd9 xx3213 (pinky on high E 3rd fret)
Gadd11 320013 (pinky on high E 3rd fret)
Gadd11/B x20013 (same as Gadd11 but don't play low E)
Am x02210
Asus2 x02200
Em 022000
F 133211 (or easier xx3211 if you prefer!)

Hints on playing
This song relies on a couple of things for its “feel”. Firstly there's quite a bit of pulling off and hammering on of strings, for instance during the intro it goes from C x32013 to x30013 and back again. Similarly, the Am goes from x02210 to Asus2 x02200. Most of all though, it relies on a strumming pattern that gives the song a nice easy, laid back feel.

A very big tip
Go onto You Tube's website and type in “Richard ashcroft” or “the drugs don't work” and you'll find a nice acoustic version of this that will give you a very good feel for how its strummed. A pattern of D D D D uud dudu will get you started, for each chord unless I tell you different! Even better, if you can make the second and fourth Downstrokes a partial hit so you get something like this for the intro (remember to life your finger off the D string and hammer it back on) –
C (h=hammer)
e|-3---3-----3-3-3--3-3-3-3-|
b|-1---1-----1-1-1--1-1-1-1-|
g|-0---0-----0-0-0--0-0-0-0-|
d|-2-2-2-2---0-0-h--2-2-2-2-|
a|-3-3-3-3-------3--3-3-3-3-|
e|--------------------------|
D D D D U U D D U D U

Ok I know what you're going to say – that's not the strum Richard Ashcroft is using in the video! The problem is, he mixes it up a fair bit. This is a compromise that you will get away with throughout the whole song. If you're good enough to mirror the exact strum he is using, just use my chord shapes and away you go, fair play to you…and I am sure that people will contribute strumming patterns anyway (please?!).

Anyway, practice this C chord until you are comfortable with the rhythm of it and can play it over and over. You need to get some form of rhythm in your hands before moving on. I have put a complete intro in the tab of the song at the end of this so let's have a look at the progression and see what we can do with it
Intro Progression
C / C / Am Asus2 / Am / Em / Fadd9 Gadd11 / C Gadd11

We've covered the C chord (play that twice for the intro), now here's the Am and Asus2 part (easy, just take your index finger off the B string), remember the same rhythm throughout if you can (obviously you are changing chord half way through the bar, so after two beats -
Am Asus2
e|-0---0-----0-0-0--0-0-0-0-|
b|-1---1-----0-0-0--0-0-0-0-|
g|-2---2-----2-2-2--2-2-2-2-|
d|-2-2-2-2---2-2-2--2-2-2-2-|
a|-0-0-0-0-------0--0-0-0-0-|
e|--------------------------|
D D D D U U D D U D U

There is then a whole bar of Am without any finger movement, followed by a whole bar of Em, then you get to the Fadd9 / Gadd11 part like this -
Fadd9 Gadd11
e|-3---3-----3-3-3--3-3-3-3-|
b|-1---1-----1-1-1--1-1-1-1-|
g|-2-2-2-2---0-0-0--0-0-0-0-|
d|-3-3-3-3-------0--0-0-0-0-|
a|---------------2--2-2-2-2-|
e|------------------3-3-3-3-|
D D D D U U D D U D U

Finally the C / Gadd11 part
C Gadd11
e|-3---3-----3-3-3--3-3-3-3-|
b|-1---1-----1-1-1--1-1-1-1-|
g|-0-0-0-0---0-0-0--0-0-0-0-|
d|-2-2-2-2-------0--0-0-0-0-|
a|-3-3-3-3-------2--2-2-2-2-|
e|------------------3-3-3-3-|
D D D D U U D D U D U

If you can get that far…you can play the song. Simple as that.

Once you have played the intro part, you play C once more and then the singing starts.

Really there's not a whole lot more to add here, maybe the best thing to do would be to use the chord shapes I am giving you, treat the strum pattern as your “starter for ten” and see where you can take this yourself. And don't forget to check the song out on youtube and see how Ashcroft plays it.

NOTE
As far as how I have tabbed this out, if you see a chord in brackets like this (Gadd11) it means this is held for 2 beats only, as is the PREVIOUS chord. So if you see

C Am (Asus2)
…….as you lay down on your side

It means play C for 4 beats, then Am for 2 and Asus2 for 2. I couldn't think of another way of explaining this, apologies. Please ask if there is any confusion here!
The Verve – the Drugs Don't work. 4/4 time, 76 beats per minute.


Intro
C / C / Am (Asus2)/
Am / Em / Fadd9 (Gadd11)/ C (Gadd11) /

C C
……all this talk of getting older
C (Gadd11/B)Am (Asus2)
…..its get-ting me down my love
Am Em
Like a cat in a bag, waiting to
Fadd9 (Gadd11) C
Drown this time I'm coming down

C C
…….and I hope you're thinking of me
C Am (Asus2)
…..as you lay down on your side
Am Em
Now the drugs don't work
Fadd9
They just make you worse
(Gadd11) C (Gadd11)
But I know I'll see your face again

C C
………but I know I'm on a losing streak
C Am (Asus2)
………as I pass down my old street
Am Em
And if you want a show
Fadd9 (Gadd11) Fadd9 (Gadd11)
Just let me know And I'll sing in your ear again
C Em
Now the drugs don't work
Fadd9
They just make you worse
(Gadd11) C (Gadd11)
But I know I'll see your face again

C F
………'coz baby oooooooooooooh
Em Am Gadd11 F
if heaven calls, I'm coming too, just like you saaaay
Em Am Gadd11
………you leave my life, I'm better off dead……all this

C
Talk of getting older……
C Am (Asus2)
..its getting me down my love,
Am Em
like a cat in a bag,
Fadd9 (Gadd11) Fadd9 (Gadd11)
waiting to drown, this time I'm coming down,
C Em
Now the drugs don't work,
Fadd9
they just make you worse
(Gadd11) C (Gadd11)
but I know I'll see your face again

C F
……'coz baby oooooooooooooh
Em Am Gadd11 F
if heaven calls, I'm coming too, just like you saaaay
Em Am Gadd11
………you leave my life, I'm better off dead……and if you want a
Em F (Gadd11) C
show, just let me know and I'll sing in your ear again,

C Em
now the drugs don't work,
F
they just make you worse but I
(Gadd11) C (Gadd11)
know I'll see your face again
C (Gadd11) C (Gadd11)
Yeah I know I'll see your face again
C (Gadd11) C (Gadd11)
Yeah I know I'll see your face again
C (Gadd11) C (Gadd11) C
Yeah I know I'll see your face again

Like I say, make this your own, just try and get a feel for it if you really don't like the strum pattern I have given. And don't worry if you can't play this the first time, the biggest problem is likely to be keeping your pinky anchored on the high E string for chords like the Fadd9 - just keep at it, it will come.

all the best to everyone at Guitarnoise, this site STILL rocks...!!

Matt


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(@fingersnfumbs)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 40
 

[cough] been away a bit too long i fear [/cough]

https://www.guitarnoise.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=24245&highlight=verve

;-)


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(@mattguitar_1567859575)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 884
Topic starter  

Damn !!! How come I can't see this on the Index?

weird.

I searched for it before posting this, as i knew i had done SOMETHING on it, but not actually posted it.....!!!

Best i pick another song to "return" with ha ha.

thanks and regards

Matt


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(@ballybiker)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 494
 

your songs are well worth waiting for matt

i for one really appreciate the effort

what did the drummer get on his I.Q. test?....

Drool

http://www.myspace.com/ballybiker


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(@jase36)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 247
 

Glad you posted it again I'm going to have a bash at it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/jase67electric


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(@mattguitar_1567859575)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 884
Topic starter  

thanks guys, you've cheered me up. Giving up smoking is meant to help your memory etc - in my case it seems to have killed it completely!!!

Matt


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 Mike
(@mike)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2931
 

Sorry this one was missed in the index Matt!

If you can see any others that are missing, please let me know. I'll do a search as well later this weekend.

Have a good one!
Mike


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