Open-mic Songbook: Radiohead – Karma Police
Ok computer’s strangely uplifting strummer is easy to play, but tough to learn. Confused? TG reveals all…
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.