The 21st Century: why we need to learn to play “Yellow” by Coldplay

ADMIT IT – y’can’t keep playing mid 70s rock and the blues forever! At some point you might have to sneak your guitar learning into the 21st century. No really, it might do you some good.

I know, the kicking and screaming has already begun but I’m going to persevere. First and foremost for my younger students and for the world out there, people who have, in fact, listened to and enjoyed a band as massively successful and popular as Coldplay.

This track – Yellow – was their first major success back in the year 2000 and so it has, just, sneaked into a category of a song to be learned from this century. For me, it provides the perfect opportunity to introduce more techniques into my guitar workshops – eighth timing, a chugging downward strum, a break away from the rules of traditional rock pop formats by jumping in early on all the verses and using suspended chords for a droning sweet melancholic sound.

The risk is that the older generations have all the money, the redundancy payments, the pensions, the expensive guitars, the property and the money for lessons and so The Eagles-tendency appears to be something I’m frighteningly stuck with.

A small amount of commercial self harming then for a guitar teacher, such as myself, to try and introduce Coldplay to friends who prefer more manly music in the tradition of the macho 70s. One great bass player that I gig with on occasion has even described such indie music as “bed wetter” music .

At the risk of sounding boring though…I’m not going to keep rolling over the same boring sounds that turned me into a punk-reggae fan in the late 70s forever, it just kills my appetite for learning and teaching. Eventually I’ll simply quit out of misery.

The Beatles, Coldplay, The Verve, The Coral, The Doors, Morcheeba, The Everly Brothers, Dodgy, Oasis, Blur, The Stranglers, Blondie, The Specials, Bob Marley, Steel Pulse, Third World, Small Faces, Velvet Underground – are just some of the great bands that brought me the joy of listening to music. Beyond the white Tory suburbs of the 21st century was a world of very famous, very successful bands on a global scale who probably seem like drug using leftie, art loving,  pansies to your average Brexiter guitar hero – but so what.

So off we go!


Published by mikekneafseyguitar

Musician, blogger, songwriter and guitar tutor. Full time professional musician/tutor since 2005. Originally graduated in Sociology, trained and worked as a local journalist before working in FE teaching and environmental education.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: