LEARN TO PLAY 3 NON BLONDE’S WHAT’S UP



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how to play what's up by 4 non blondes

What’s up, Riff Riffers!!

Today’s post and video is about the big hit of the 1990s band called 4-Non Blondes.

This is their second single form the album: Bigger, Better, Faster, More. Released in 1992, it reached Number 14 in the US charts and Top 2 in the UK and Australia!

If you noticed when you play the song, there is no mention of the title phrase “What’s Up?”.

There is the “What’s Going On” part but they did not use it to avoid confusion with the 1971 Marvin Gaye R&B classic.

Trivia: 4 Non Blondes is an openly lesbian group just like the Indio Girls and of course (not a group) K.D. Lang.
K.D. Lang

how to play 4 non blondesHow to Play What’s Up by the 4 Non Blondes

The whole song uses 3 chords. This is an easy song to play so if you are a beginner, do not fret! All you need to do is to learn A major, B minor (Bm) and D major. That’s it. Just listen to the records for the strumming pattern.

How to play “What’s Up”


As for the lead part, the guitar riff, check out the guitar tablature on the right. The whole intro (like the song) is played over the A-Bm-D chord progression.

After the first bar (4 count), the riff enters on the 3rd and 4th beat of the second bar. It is played by the open high E string and ends on the first beat of the 3rd bar on the A note (the second fret on the 3rd string).

The second part of the riff is planed over the E Major chord. That’s the 4rth bar, F# note on the 4rth string. It drops 2 frets to hit the E note. (you can refer to the image and/or the video above for clearer explanation.)

What’s Up Guitar Chords


Intro: [A] [Bm] [D] [Asus] 2x

Verse 1:
[A]
25 years of my life and still
[Bm] [D]
Tryin’ to get up that great big hill of hope
[Asus]
for a destination.
[A]
I realized quickly when I knew I should
[Bm] [D]
That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man,
[Asus]
for whatever that means.

Pre Chorus:
[A]
And so I cry sometimes, when I’m lying in bed
[Bm] [D]
just to get all out, what’s in my head, then I,
[Asus]
I’m feeling, a little peculiar.
[A]
And so I wake in the morning, and I step outside
[Bm] [D]
And I take a deep breath, and I get real high, and I,
[Asus]
scream from the top of my lungs, “What’s going on?”

Chorus:
[A] [Bm]
And I say, “Hey yeah yeah hey, hey yeah yeah.”
[D] [Asus]
I said, “Hey, what’s going on?”
[A] [Bm]
And I say, “Hey yeah yeah hey, hey yeah yeah.”
[D] [Asus]
I said, “Hey, what’s going on?”

Interlude:

Oooh ohh… etc

Verse 2:
[A] [Bm]
And I try, oh my god, do I try
[D] [Asus]
I try all the time, in this institution.
[A] [Bm]
And I pray, oh my god, do I pray
[D] [Asus]
I pray every single day, for a revolution.

Pre Chorus:
[A]
And so I cry sometimes, when I’m lying in bed
[Bm] [D]
just to get all out, what’s in my head, then I,
[Asus]
I’m feeling, a little peculiar.
[A]
And so I wake in the morning, and I step outside
[Bm] [D]
And I take a deep breath, and I get real high, and I,
[Asus]
scream from the top of my lungs, “What’s going on?”

Chorus:
[A] [Bm]
And I say, “Hey yeah yeah hey, hey yeah yeah.”
[D] [Asus]
I said, “Hey, what’s going on?”
[A] [Bm]
And I say, “Hey yeah yeah hey, hey yeah yeah.”
[D] [Asus]
I said, “Hey, what’s going on?”

Chorus:
[A] [Bm]
And I say, “Hey yeah yeah hey, hey yeah yeah.”
[D] [Asus]
I said, “Hey, what’s going on?”
[A] [Bm]
And I say, “Hey yeah yeah hey, hey yeah yeah.”
[D] [Asus]
I said, “Hey, what’s going on?”

Interlude:

Oooh ohh… etc

LEARN HOW TO PLAY “WHAT’S UP” by 4 NON BLONDES on the guitar!

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DID YOU KNOW….

4 Non Blondes started in San Francisco in 1989 and gained traction at a time when record companies were looking for authentic female rockers who could translate to the Pop realm.

This was the first Top 40 hit by an openly lesbian group (somehow the Indigo Girls never got higher than #52).

The title is not in the lyrics. The chorus refrain is “What’s Going On,” but that’s the name of a 1971 Marvin Gaye R&B classic, so they always called the song “What’s Up.”

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1 Comment on LEARN TO PLAY 3 NON BLONDE’S WHAT’S UP

  1. A 3-chord song.. Peanuts!

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