Ask Paul: The Basics of Rock Guitar in Five Songs
05. "Message in a Bottle" – The Police
This was the song that made me say, “I didn’t know my fingers could do that!” Up until that point, I had lived in a bubble of barre chords, single notes and cowboy chords. This song had propulsion and a finger workout that helped me stretch to notes I didn’t think I could reach previously, and gave me my first taste of learning syncopation.
In addition to its being very progressive sounding, it was an easy song to learn. The whole arpeggio is only a two-bar figure and provides the movement during the verses and ends by giving both hands a break by reverting to simple barre chords and some chugging during the choruses.
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