We’re back with another Beatles song for you to learn. This time, we’ll be looking at the Can’t Buy Me Love chords and TAB. This one is ideal for the beginner guitarists out there. It can be performed with one strumming pattern almost all the way through and the chords are all nice and simple. The progressions used are extremely easy to memorise and even the guitar solo is an ideal one for the newer guitarist thanks to it’s easy to follow rhythm.
This is one of the first songs that I ever learned to play all the way through on guitar so I know it’s an easy one from personal experience. It’s perfect for beginners who’re looking to fine tune their strumming, timing, and chord changes and for those who’re looking to branch out into some lead guitar work. For more experienced guitarists, Can’t Buy Me Love is a great sounding and fun/upbeat song that’s quick to learn and extremely enjoyable to play.
It’s a real crowd pleaser too. Can’t Buy Me Love topped the charts in multiple countries. Nobody will ever be disappointed when you perform this classic. It was released in 1964 and was included in the band’s A Hard Day’s Night album. The song was credited to the Lennon-McCartney partnership but was primarily a Paul composition. George Martin also contributed to the song by suggesting alterations to both the ending and the beginning of the track.
As for the meaning of the song, Paul said this in the late 60s. “I think you can put any interpretation you want on anything, but when someone suggests that ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ is about a prostitute, I draw the line. The idea behind it was that all these material possessions are all very well, but they won’t buy me what I really want.”
Next, we shall learn how to play Can’t Buy Me Love on guitar. We will start by identifying the chords that you’ll need.
Can’t Buy Me Love Chords TAB and Guitar Lesson – The Chords
Here are the chords that you will need to know in order to play Can’t Buy Me Love on guitar.
Just six chords there. All major or minor apart from that one D minor 7 chord. By the way, I know that a more dominant 7th approach could be used for this song but these chords are fine too and this way is more beginner friendly so if you don’t like it, too bad I guess.
Now that we know the chords that we’ll be using, we can start to learn the different parts to the song starting with the short introduction section.
Can’t Buy Me Love Chords TAB and Guitar Lesson – The Intro
Before the first verse of Can’t Buy Me Love, we have a short and sweet intro section. The chord progression for the intro looks like this.
Em / Am / Em / Am / Dm7 / G
This is a six-bar chord progression and it appears like this nowhere else in the song.
As for the strumming, we can use the good old down down up up down up (DDU UDU) pattern for this. You should be familiar with that. If you aren’t, I’d recommend looking into some basic strumming tutorials before continuing.
This same strumming pattern will be used throughout the entire song apart from at one specific point in the verse sections. We’ll look at those next.
The Verse Sections
The verse sections of Can’t Buy Me Love may feel rather familiar to a lot of guitarists out there. That’s because the verse sections of this song follow the standard twelve bar blues progression. We’re in the key of C here which means that the verses look like this in terms of the progression.
C / C / C / C
F / F / C / C
G / F / C / C
The progression remains the same for all of the verses.
As I mentioned earlier, the down down up up down up strumming pattern can be used throughout apart from at one specific point. That point comes in the verse sections and it’s when you arrive at that G major chord which is bar nine of twelve.
Bar nine of the verse and also bar ten move away from the strumming pattern and kind of do their own thing. For bar nine (the G bar) you want to play four quarter note downward strums. In other words, you want to play one downward strum on each beat of the bar (1 2 3 4) or, you must line up the strums with the lyrics “I don’t care too”. Get it? Easy right. It’s simple but very effective. Bar ten (the F bar) is even easier still.
For bar ten, all you need to do his hit one single downward strum on the first beat of the bar and then cut it off before the second beat arrives by lifting your fingers from the fretboard and muting with your strumming hand creating silence for the rest of the bar. In simple terms, the F chord is played over and only rings out over the word “much”.
The following two bars of C major are strummed as normal.
You now know how to play all the verse sections of Can’t Buy Me Love. Next, let’s look at the chorus sections.
The Chorus Sections
There’s nothing particularly confusing about the chorus sections but we do move away from that twelve bar structure. Here is the chord progression.
Em / Am / C / C
Em / Am / Dm7 / G
These chorus parts are very similar to the intro section that we saw at the start only there’s two extra bars of C major right in the middle turning it from a six bar chord progression to an eight bar chord progression.
There’s nothing new to discuss in terms of strumming so all you need to do is memorise the progression.
Can’t Buy Me Love Chords TAB and Guitar Lesson – The Guitar Solo
Next up is the guitar solo which like the verses, is twelve bars long. There are a few bends in there but overall, this is a very easy guitar solo to learn and it’s accessible to players of all skill levels. It would be beneficial to know the modes of the minor pentatonic scale though as this solo uses the first and fifth minor pentatonic shapes. Let’s have a look at the TAB.
Like I said, nothing crazy here. Nice and easy to follow. Learn it one lick at a time then put it all together. There are some rests in there and things happen at very specific times but listen closely to the record. You shouldn’t have too much trouble.
The trickiest part is probably the bends. You want to get them to a full tone (bend to the pitch that’s two frets higher on the same string). That last little part with the lower notes could be hard to get spot on but it’s attainable with practice. If you’re struggling with note lengths, listen to the record.
Once you’ve finished the solo, you need to transition back into the chorus. If you’re the only guitarist, try filling out the end of the solo so it doesn’t feel like you’re hanging around. I would usually improvise something along the lines of this.
You may also have to consider how you lead into this solo in the first place. You will be strumming a C major chord immediately before so if you’re a solo guitarist, switching to the lead could prove difficult. Try something like this.
Same rhythm as my alternative ending and the TAB starts at the second bar of C major which comes before the solo. This will give you chance to move up to the right part of the fretboard and it doesn’t sound clunky or awkward. You can be more expressive with the percussive bits too if you like. Have fun with it you know.
You may even choose not to play the guitar solo part at all if you are alone. These are the things you have to consider sometimes. You would have to alter the arrangement in that case but you now have all the tools at least.
The final section that we need to learn is the ending. Like the intro to the song, the outro of Can’t Buy Me Love is unique in that it only happens once. Here’s the progression.
Em / Am / Em / Am
Dm7 / G / C / C
Quite similar to the intro section but we have that conclusive C section right at the end. Strum the first bar of C as normal and hit that final C just once.
And there you have it. You now know how to play Can’t Buy Me Love on guitar. This is a brilliant little strum along song and an ideal one for those learning how to sing and play at the same time too. The progressions are easy to follow and memorise and even the guitar solo part is straightforward.
Have fun. Hope you enjoy it.
That’s another Beatles classic in the bag. It joins a collection of other great Beatles songs that I’ve already covered here at Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat. Want to learn more? Try these.
Come Together TAB and Guitar Lesson
Hello. My name is Ryan J Mellor and I play the guitar. I’m also the creator of Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat. I’ve ben a guitarist for many years and my guitar playing has been described as “above average”. My guitar and music knowledge is somewhat impressive but most importantly, I have a passion for creating great guitar and music related content.