New Song: Iris for guitar, piano, bass, ukulele, and voice

Posted on February 21, 2019

Let’s get emotional with this classic 90s power ballad! You can now learn to play Iris, made famous by the Goo Goo Dolls, with Yousician. The song is available for GuitarPianoBassUkulele, and Voice. Find out what our Guitar teacher has to say about the different Guitar versions available in the app.

Iris for Guitar
by: James Neilson, Music Education Designer for Guitar

You might notice the unusual rhythm in this song: it changes between 4/4 (counted 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &), and 6/8 (counted 1 2 3 4 5 6), with a bar of 3/4 thrown in for good measure! You don’t need to count, but it’s worth listening through (in practice mode) to get a feel for those different rhythms. If you’re curious, you can also turn on standard notation to see where the time signature changes are.

In the melody exercise (level 4), you’ll play the vocal melody, as well as the strings/guitar melody during the instrumental sections. It’s great to practice vocal melodies – they’re fun to play as you get to pretend to be the lead singer, but also excellent for building your sense of melody (which often gets left out for guitarists strumming chords all the time).

In the cowboy chords exercise (level 5), you get to play the song using nice familiar chords (although there’s lots of Dm and F, so watch out!). It’s designed to use a capo on fret 2, but if you don’t have a capo you can just get Yousician to ‘transpose’ it instead, so you can play along as normal without the capo.

In the fancy chords exercise (level 6), you can play along with a range of chords that are closer to the original song. These chords may have intimidating names (Bm7, Asus4, D/F#), but they’re all relatively easy to play. Notice there’s the common trick of leaving the ring finger on fret 3 of the B-string through most of the song.

In the full rhythm exercise (level 7), you get to play the original acoustic guitar part. The main challenge here is the highly unusual tuning: B D D D D D. So many D’s! In the recorded song, all strings are tuned down to their respective notes, but the 2nd string is tuned up from B to D. The drawback is that tuning your string up can increase the risk of breaking the string, so in this arrangement we’ve chosen to tune the B-string down to D an octave lower, as we didn’t want to ruin anyone’s day with a broken string! If you’re game you can always tune that 2nd string up to D if you prefer, the recognition will still work in Yousician either way.

Hope you enjoy playing Iris!