Open-mic Song­book: Ra­dio­head – Karma Po­lice

Ok com­puter’s strangely up­lift­ing strummer is easy to play, but tough to learn. Con­fused? TG re­veals all…

Total Guitar - - CONTENTS -

086

As the sec­ond sin­gle to be re­leased from 1997’s epochal Ok com­puter, Karma po­lice was part of a rare run of four Ra­dio­head sin­gles to reach the UK Top 10. Ir­re­spec­tive of the giddy heights of chart suc­cess, this track is one of those un­usual Ra­dio­head songs that you can ac­tu­ally busk! There are a fair num­ber of chords to learn though, so it’s not ex­actly a three-chord trick, but they’re all open- and barre-chord shapes that shouldn’t pose much trou­ble.

Perhaps the most chal­leng­ing part of this month’s track is com­mit­ting the chord pro­gres­sion to mem­ory. Whereas many songs typ­i­cally fol­low short, re­peat­ing chord se­quences, the whole verse in Karma po­lice is one pro­gres­sion. Sure, some of the chords are re­peated once or twice, but full-length phrases are not.

Ex­pect to spend a lit­tle ex­tra time on each sec­tion just get­ting these tricky se­quences down. As ever, all the chords are writ­ten out for you be­low.

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