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How to Play Psycho Killer Chords by Talking Heads on Guitar

Psycho Killer is a new wave song by American rock band Talking Heads, released in 1977 as the first single from their debut album Talking Heads: 77. The song was written by David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, and Chris Frantz, and produced by Tony Bongiovi and Lance Quinn. Psycho Killer is a catchy and energetic song that features a prominent bass line, a simple guitar riff, and quirky lyrics that explore the mind of a serial killer. The song was a hit for Talking Heads, reaching the top 40 in several countries, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The song has also been covered by many artists, such as Cage the Elephant, Velvet Revolver, and Foo Fighters.

In this blog post, we will show you how to play Psycho Killer by Talking Heads on guitar using chords, strumming patterns, and capo positions. We will also provide some tips and tricks to make your playing easier and more enjoyable.

Chords

The chords for Psycho Killer by Talking Heads are relatively simple and common. You will need to know how to play the following chords: A, G, F, Am, C, Bm, Em. If you are not familiar with these chords, you can find diagrams and tutorials online. Here are the chord shapes for reference:

A: x02220
G: 320003
F: 133211
Am: x02210
C: x32010
Bm: x24432
Em: 022000

You can also use a capo to transpose the song to a different key that suits your voice or preference. For example, if you put a capo on the first fret, you can play the song using G#, F#, E, G#m, B, A#m, D#m instead of A, G, F, Am, C, Bm, Em.

Strumming

The strumming pattern for Psycho Killer by Talking Heads is not very complicated either. You can use a simple down-down-up-up-down-up pattern for most of the song, with some variations depending on the rhythm and dynamics of the song. For example, you can accentuate the first and third beats of each measure by strumming harder or louder. You can also mute some of the strings with your palm or fingers to create a percussive effect. Here is an example of how to strum the verse:

D   D   U   U   D   U
A G I can't seem to face up to the facts
D   D   U   U   D   U
A G I'm tense and nervous and I can't relax
D   D   U   U   D   U
A G I can't sleep 'cause my bed's on fire
D   D   U   U   D   U
A G Don't touch me I'm a real live wire

You can also experiment with different strumming patterns and find what works best for you.

Capo

As mentioned earlier, you can use a capo to change the key of the song. A capo is a device that clamps across the fretboard of your guitar and shortens the strings, raising their pitch. By using a capo, you can play the same chord shapes in different keys without having to learn new fingerings or use barre chords. For example, if you put a capo on the first fret and play an A chord shape, you are actually playing an A# chord.

Read more about How to Play Badfish by Sublime on Guitar

Using a capo can have several benefits for playing Psycho Killer by Talking Heads on guitar. First of all, it can make the song easier to sing along with if you have a higher or lower voice than Byrne. You can adjust the capo position until you find a comfortable range for your vocal cords. Second of all, it can make the song sound more interesting and varied by changing its tonality and mood. You can experiment with different capo positions and see how they affect the feel and emotion of the song.

Here are some suggestions for capo positions for Psycho Killer by Talking Heads:

  • Capo on 1st fret: This is a higher key that can make the song sound more bright and upbeat. You can sing in a higher octave or use falsetto if you have a lower voice.
  • Capo on 3rd fret: This is the original key of the song as recorded by Talking Heads. You can play along with their track or sing in their pitch if you have a similar vocal range.
  • Capo on 5th fret: This is a lower key that can make the song sound more dark and melancholic. You can sing in a lower octave or use chest voice if you have a higher voice.

Conclusion

Psycho Killer by Talking Heads is a popular and catchy song that you can learn to play on guitar with some basic chords, strumming patterns, and capo positions. You can also use your creativity and personal style to make the song your own and express your emotions through music. We hope this blog post has helped you to play Psycho Killer by Talking Heads on guitar and have fun with it.

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