- Open chords
- Syncopated strumming
Viva la Vida is a nice, upbeat strumming song by Coldplay. It requires the use of a capo to offset the pitch of your strings, so if you don’t have one yet, go out to your local music shop or buy one online, it’s cheap and can be used in lots of songs.
This song requires learning a lot of chords, which is great because not only does it expand your personal library of guitar chords, you’ll be playing chord shapes offset by 1 semitone due to the capo, so you’ll get a chance to compare their sound to the normal pitched chords you know already.
The biggest challenge in learning how to play Viva la Vida on the guitar is getting a hang of the strumming pattern. It uses alternating normal-muted strums, which is a challenge for most guitarists not familiar with this technique yet. The song also uses a syncopated style strumming pattern, which will really improve your sense of rhythm and timing. Don’t worry if this turns out to be a slower learn, it will come with time, it’s just a matter of practice and effort.
In summary, this beginner guitar lesson will really improve your strumming and timing skills, so be sure to watch this video guitar lesson as well, and don’t neglect it if you don’t get it right straight away. The benefits of learning this style of strumming are tremendous.
Viva la Vida song details
Viva la Vida was written and performed by the English band Coldplay on their fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends in 2008. The song's Spanish title, "Viva la Vida", translates as "long live life", and was taken from a painting by 20th-century Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
The song was an immediate hit upon its release, becoming the first song by a British group to reach the top of the Hot 100 since the Spice Girls in 1997. Two music videos were filmed for this song, have a look on YouTube.
Viva la Vida awards and chart rankings
- Grammy Award: Song of the Year in 2009.
- U.S. Billboard Hot 100: #1
- U.S. Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks: #1
- UK Singles Chart: #1
- U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks: #1
- U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks: #1
- U.S. Billboard Pop 100: #7
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