Difficulty: Level IILevel II
Length: 13:53
Iris Wikipedia pageWikipedia page
Iris music videoArtist website
Iris music videoMusic video
With our guitar tutorial on Iris, you will learn these guitar skills:
  • Alternate tuning
  • Strumming patterns

Iris is a truly excellent song, nearing the borders of a masterpiece if you ask me. The instruments used and the dynamics of the song are just amazing.

No wonder it was the longest-charting #1 single on the Billboard 100, with 18 weeks at the top.

Our guitar lesson on Iris will teach you how to play a very nice cover of the song, all the way through. It’s important to know that the original track uses a barrage of instruments (guitar, mandolin, violins, cellos), so you won’t be able to recreate that sound with a single guitar, but you can play along with the backing track to Iris after learning the song.

We’ll start out the tutorial on Iris by going through the alternate tuning you’ll need to use. You'll modify the tuning of 5 strings, but it only takes a few minutes. You'll be tuning your low E string to a B and all the other strings to a D.

Once you reach the tuning, you’ll notice that a simple strum will give a nice ringing effect, sort of like a 12 string guitar.

After you’re in tune, we’ll learn the first strumming pattern you’ll be using, then progress to learning the intro. Afterward, we’ll learn the verse and chorus, which use a different strumming pattern. After that, you’ll learn 2 interlude sections, as well as an instrumental bridge. Watch the rhythm while learning the different sections, since the tempo of the song goes from 4/4 to 3/4 and back several times.

Now as you can see, Iris is made up of several parts, but don’t worry, just download the tabs after logging in, and you’ll see the exact sequence of the given parts.

I think you'll have lots of fun learning to play Iris, and it'll really develop your strumming skills. Start learning it today, and once you can, make sure you play it to your friends and family!

Iris song details

Iris was released by the US band Goo Goo Dolls in 1998 and written by John Rzeznik vocalist and guitarist of the band. It was originally written to be part of the soundtrack of the movie City of Angels (Nicholas Cage, Meg Ryan), but was later released on their 6th album titled Dizzy Up the Girl.

The song was immensely successful, and contributed greatly to the success of Goo Goo Dolls, raising the band to stardom. The song was nominated for 3 Emmy awards and stayed at the top of the charts for a record-breaking 18 weeks.

The song was covered by a number of artists, including Boyz II Men, Avril Lavigne, Ronan Keating, etc.

Iris awards and accomplishments

  • 3 Grammy nominations (Record of the Year, Pop Performance by a Duo or Group, Song of the Year)
  • U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay: #1
  • U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks: #1
  • U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks: #8
  • US Billboard Hot 100: #9

If you want to refine the skills you learned in Iris, check out these lessons on songs by clicking these links:

Download tabs for Iris

Iris tablature download link Sorry, but you've reached a premium content area. The download of the Iris tablature file is only available to premium members.

Download backing track for Iris

Iris backing track download link Sorry, the same goes for the backing track. To download the backing track to Iris, please log in and revisit this page.

Please log in and revisit this page to download this song's tabs and backing track (along with hundreds more on the site).

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