Strum the Right Way in 10 Minutes

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You'll Learn:

  • The 4 Principles of Good Strumming
  • How to Read Strumming Diagrams
  • The Most Popular Strum Pattern Ever

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Bird on a Wire by Leonard Cohen, as performed by Willie Nelson

Chord Guide


A:    x02220


E:    022100


D:    xx0232


Asus4:  x02230


Bm:   x24432


Intro:  A (4)


           A                E                 A                           D

Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir

             A               E              A    Asus4 

I have tried in my way to be free

        A         E             A                                                         D

Like a worm on a hook, like a knight from some old-fashioned book

        A                     E                A (2) (walkup)

I have saved all my ribbons for thee


D (2)                         A (2)

  If I, if I have been unkind

Bm (2)                                      A (2)  

  I hope that you can just let it go by

D (2)                          A (2)

  If I, if I have been untrue,

Bm (2)                                       E (2)

  I hope you know it was never to you.


           A           E               A                   D

Like a baby stillborn, like a beast with his horn

           A            E                                    A (2)

I have torn everyone who reached out for me.

            A                 E               A                             D

But I swear by this song and by all that I have done wrong

          A         E              Asus4  A (walkup)

I will make it all up to thee.


D (2)                                                   A (2)

  I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch

Bm (2)                                                      A (2)     

    He said to me, "You must not ask for so much."

D (2)                                                          A (2)

  And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door,

Bm (2)                                                   E (2)

   She cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more?"


        A           E             A                   D

Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir

         A          E                     A (2)

I have tried in my way to be free


Instrumental Verse

This file is the author's own work and represents his interpretation of this song. It's intended solely for private study, scholarship or research.