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the Verve - the Drugs Don't Work


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

Hello again people. Thought it was high time I posted another song on here, been very busy recently so apologies for not doing so earlier. It's 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
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---0-0-0--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.

C – x32013
Fadd9 - xx3213
Gadd11 - 320013
Gadd11/B - x20013
Am - x02210
Asus2 - x02200
Em - 022000
F - 133211 or xx3211 if you prefer

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

all the best, see what you can make of it and leave feedback please

thanks

Matt


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(@mbroughton)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 17
 

Once again Matt this is great. Had an attempt at this song a little while back but couldn't get it to sound any good, however with the strum pattern and the chord changes you suggest I think I nearly have it. The subtle changes from Aminor to asus2 really make a difference.

The strum pattern took me about 30 minutes to get but once you have it becomes relatively easy to deviate from it (in a kind of untabbable way) and still keep the feel I reckon.

Once again thanks.


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

thanks for the feedback. Yeah that Am Asus2 bit really makes it doesn't it.

all thebest

Matt


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(@onebadskwerl)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 13
 

I love this song, I'll have a go at it this weekend.


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

nicely laid out and like you say once you have the strumming pattern down its fairly straigtforward.

The problem for me is adding the vocals on top but thats another story

Edit: at the end of each verse he seems to give it a thrash with the 4 downs on the c as normal then it seems to move to a DUDUUD for the G


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