A few of my beginner guitar students recently started learning Zombie by The Cranberries, so I thought I’d put together a quick “how to” video for how to play it.
It’s a really cool song for beginners because there are only four chords played throughout the whole song. The chords are also pretty straightforward to play.
The chords for Zombie are:
C major 7
Playing and Changing Chords
There are a couple of different ways to play and change between these chords, and I’ve selected what I consider to be the easiest form of action.
E minor to C major 7
We’re playing the E minor with fingers 2 and 3 and glide changing to the C major 7 using finger 2 on the A string.
C major 7 to G6
We then change to the G6 chord by bringing finger 2 up one string to the low-E string whilst simultaneously putting finger 1 on to fret 2, A string.
G6 to G6add2/F#
Next, we remove finger 1 and glide finger 2 back to fret 2 on the low-E string to play the G/add9F#.
G6add2/F# to E minor
And finally, we return to the E minor by bringing finger 2 down one string to fret 2, A string whilst simultaneously putting finger 3 on to fret 2, D string.
The Strumming Pattern
The original strumming pattern is quite tricky and looks like this:
D D D DU UD UDU
I’ve simplified it ever so slightly in the video to this:
D D D DU UD DUD
We can further simplify it by playing all down strums – 8 per chord (also in video):
D D D D D D D D
The Original – Live/Acoustic
Here is the original song played live, and this is the video I used to decipher what chords were being played. Notice that she actually plays the C major 7 and the G6 with fingers 2 and 3. You can try this too, although I’ve opted to use fingers 1 and 2 for these chords because they just worked better in the lesson for my students.