Learn Fade Into You on Guitar
This post is a guitar lesson on how to play Fade Into You, by Mazzy Star, on guitar.
I've rated this tutorial to be at about a 3/10 difficulty rating if you choose the easy version, or a 5/10 difficulty rating if you choose to learn the accurate version. Either way, this song requires knowledge of at least three basic chords and an ability to play guitar strumming patterns at a fast tempo. I suggest that you have around 10-15 songs under your belt before you start learning this song.
This song uses either the A–E–D chord system or the G–Emin–C–D chord system, depending on which version you want to learn. The easy version is G–Emin–C–D, while the accurate version requires a B minor barre chord.
What skills are required? What are the benefits to learning Fade Into You?
It's probably not a good idea to approach Fade Into You unless you have knowledge of at least three basic chords and an ability to play guitar strumming patterns at fast tempos. The benefits, however, are that you’ll speed up your strumming as well as get an excellent chance to play some 6/8 guitar strumming patterns. 6/8 patterns, by the way, are used a good amount in popular guitar music.
Highly recommended: Download a copy for yourself
Mazzy Star has a fan-base, people who love her music, people who buy her merch. This shouldn’t deter you from purchasing her music. Artists make pithy amounts of money from streaming services! Please consider shelling out the (very small amount of) money for your own copy, which you can then use in Capo and slow the song down.
See? Perks and good karma! Who wouldn't want either of those?!?
Getting familiar with and approaching Fade Into You
Fade Into You is a simple song, with one chord progression and one strumming pattern throughout 98% of the song. I think it's best to be familiar with a song before playing it, as doing so makes the entire process go much faster.
Stuck for how to get more familiar with this song? Try singing along. Try dancing. Try moshing. Try memorizing the lyrics. Try getting to know more about Mazzy Star. Try listening to this song at least four or five times. Get creative, and get more familiar!
Approaching Fade Into You
After getting familiar with the song, it's time to jump into the guitar part. We are going to do the strumming pattern first, the easy chord version next, and finally the accurate chord version last. It’ll be a party...
Here's where you can find all these chunks on the YouTube video, (posted below for your convenience):
Strumming Pattern — 3:13
Easy Chord Version (Verse and Chorus) — 4:43
Accurate Chord Version (Verse and Chorus) — 7:14
Putting the song together
How to practice the strumming
If you have the chord progression but the strumming pattern is just too fast for you, don't worry about it for now. I suggest taking it at a moderately slow tempo at first. You need time to let it bake in before you can speed it up. Take it slow at first, then speed it up later. Speaking of which...
Push the tempo to master the Strumming and the Chord Progressions
Make sure that you can play the verse note-perfectly at a slow tempo before you speed it up. Why? It's no fun to be tripped up by mistakes when you're trying to play much faster.
Aim to take it at about 10-15 BPM faster than the record, which is a good tempo to shoot for since you could easily play along with the recorded version of the song if you can play it that fast. If you're having trouble getting there, try the Up 10 Down 5 workflow. It helps...
Troubleshooting Fade Into You
"The C chord sucks!"
Overall, there are seven basic chords that you can learn on guitar. C major is most definitely the hardest. If this chord is giving you some trouble, I recommend just leaving it out altogether. The C chord is nice to have in this song, but it’s not totally necessary.
If you’re hell-bent on getting this song just right, then aim to get the chord sounding about 75% good. Trust me, that's good for now; You should count that as a win.
To make your C chord sound awesome, here are some suggestions:
- Play on your fingertips.
- Try to get your fingers as close to the frets as possible.
- Try to adjust the angle of your wrist by about a quarter of an inch up or down. This helps some people, but honestly, keeping your wrist straight works for 90% of all the students I work with.
"I've got the mechanics at a slower pace, but how do I take it faster?"
You need a different way to practice, that's how! That's what workflows help you do: Practice in a super smart, Einstein sort of way!
"The E to Bmin progression is really hard. Help!"
Yup. I know what you mean.
Try not to allow your ring finger to come off the guitar. Instead, it can act as a guide between the E Major and B Minor chords. Look closely at these two photos. The ring finger, third finger, stays on the D string from the E to the Bmin:
"When does that C chord/D chord come in, like in the chorus?"
Think of the chorus like this: A Stanza of four lines of poetry. Here are the lyrics:
Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think it's strange you never knew
Switch to the C chord/D chord on the third line of this stanza.
"This song goes so fast. How do I slow it down?"
It's not as hard as you might think. My suggestion is to apply a specific workflow, one of my personal favorites: Capo 10. This workflow will show you how to practice along with the song without getting behind.
"How will I know if I've mastered this song?"
When you play along with the recording, you've got this song. Congrats!