Sex Pistols Anarchy in the UK TAB and Guitar Lesson I Am An Anarchist

In this guitar lesson, we will be looking at the Anarchy in the UK TAB. The lesson will take you through this punk rock classic one step at a time and by the end, you’ll be able to play it all the way through with ease. Anarchy in the UK was the debut single of the Sex Pistols and it was later included in their album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols.

This is a loud and in your face heavy distorted track that’s packed full of power chords. The rhythm is straightforward too, making this an ideal song for beginner guitarists or those who just love the song or want to learn something fun and loud. There’s a couple of short guitar solo sections in there as well which are relatively simple. We’ll look the solos later but we will dive right in at the most natural point, the intro.

anarchy in the uk tab and guitar lesson

Anarchy in the UK TAB – Intro

The intro very much sets the tone for the entire song. Lots of power chords, lots of eighth notes and lots of fun. We kick things off with a G power chord up at the tenth fret. Very distinctive yet very simple. From there, we move gradually down the A string with that same power chord shape until we reach the C power chord at the third fret. We remain there for four bars before the start of the verse section. You have a bar there where you only hit the chord once, but don’t get used to that. Here’s the TAB for the intro section of the song.

The most complex thing about the intro is that bar that is split in half between the E power chord and the D power chord but even that is nice and even.

Power chord shape

You will have noticed that the TAB I showed you above uses the two finger power chord shape and if you scroll down, you’ll notice that the rest of the TAB features that same shape during the power chord based sections.

Its up to you whether you want to use the two-finger shape that I’ve shown in the TAB or the three-finger power chord shape instead. It honestly doesn’t matter so do what you think sounds best.

For the beginners out there, the three finger shape can be achieved by fretting the string below where your third finger is sitting at the same fret for example, with that opening G power chord you would add your fourth finger to the twelfth fret on the G string. This shape would remain the same as you moved it around.

Anarchy in the UK TAB – Verse

The power chord theme continues as we move into the verse section of Anarchy in the UK but there is an interesting and subtle little alteration to our power chord shape. Here’s the TAB.

This is easy once you get the hang of it but it can look a little intimidating in the TAB. Think of it more like this. You lift up that first finger on the second beat of the bar, and on the fourth beat of the bar.

Also, pay attention to the repeat marks. You’re to play that first section where you move up to the higher chords three times before moving back to that C power chord riff thing for the last two bars. You can hear this in the recording quite clearly.

You can also hear the open A string at the points in the bar that I mentioned in the recording too so listen closely and learn the rhythm that way if you’re having trouble with the guidance.

Anarchy in the UK TAB – Chorus 1

We’ve now covered the intro section and the verse section for Anarchy in the UK. Next, we need to look at the chorus. There are two sets of TAB for the chorus section because it’s played in two slightly different ways. Then there’s the final chorus section but we’ll cover that at the end. Here’s the first variation.

There isn’t much guidance required here as this is all just power chords. The section is very similar to the intro so you may find that you pick it up quickly. There’s a little jump up from the C to the F and E which occurs at a specific time and then there’s the introduction of a G power chord that has it’s root on the string above but this is a brief visit for just a bar.

Anarchy in the UK TAB – Chorus 2

The second variation of the chorus is pretty much identical to the first to be honest but there is a small difference. Here’s the TAB.

It’s the ending of the part that’s different. We no longer move to that G power chord on the low E string. We stay at C and play that little riff with the open string for a couple of bars.

I’m not going to tell you where each of these chorus sections live in the arrangement. I want you to use your ears and listen to the recording to spot where each variation is played. The G is quite distinctive so it shouldn’t prove to difficult. If you’re struggling, try harder. There is a pattern to it.

Anarchy in the UK Guitar Solo TAB (solo 1)

Anarchy in the UK features two guitar solo sections. Both are quite straightforward. We’ll attack them chronologically. Here’s the TAB for the first Anarchy in the UK guitar solo.

Use the recording as a reference for the rhythm of the solo and learn it one bar at a time. There’s a lot of repetition in there so this should be one that you pick up relatively easily. The first half of this guitar solo is quite distinctive so play it as you see in the TAB but the solo gets less distinctive as it goes on. The TAB provides a nice little lick for the last two bars but the solo in the recording isn’t the most audible so you can do whatever the hell you like there. Just be sure that it works over a G power chord. 

Anarchy in the UK Guitar Solo TAB (solo 2)

There isn’t a great deal to this second guitar solo section. It’s more or less just a neat little lick repeated a few times. Use the recording to get a grasp of the rhythm and be sure to include that open string because it sounds very cool and it fills out the performance.

Last chorus

The last thing that we need to discuss is the final part of the song. The chorus that repeats. Basically, play the second variation, the one without the G power chord. I’m not going to tell you how many times it repeats, I’ll let you count it out for yourself but what I will tell you is that at the end, don’t strum two full bars of the C power chord. Strum one full bar then hit the chord just once on the first beat of the final bar and let it ring out.

And that’s it. You now know how to play the song.

It’s all about energy vibe and conviction

We’ve now learned all the different parts for the song so there’s no more Anarchy in the UK TAB to look at, but I do have one final tip that I’d like to share with you before we wrap this lesson up. This is a song that you need to play with conviction. This will sound better if you approach it with the appropriate level of aggression and energy. It’s all about attitude. Play Anarchy in the UK when you want to blow of a little steam. Performing this track should feel like you’re hitting a punch bag or taking a baseball bat to your boss. Basically, don’t be a little wimp when you play this song.

What next?

That concludes the Anarchy in the UK TAB and guitar lesson. Want to learn something else power chord based? Try the Basket case TAB and guitar lesson. Brilliant Greenday track. Or, you could try one of my Blink 182 lessons. What’s My Age Again TAB and Guitar Lesson and All The Small Things TAB and Guitar Lesson

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