How To Play The Pretender
By Jackson Browne

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How To Play The Pretender

Below on this page I'll explain to you how to play The Pretender by Jackson Browne.
The Pretender is a song that was written by Jackson Browne back in 1976 in various places before it was complete. The song wasn't a hit when it was released in 1977, peaking only at #58 in the US. But the song has become a crowd favorite over the years at concerts. David Crosby and Graham Nash sing backup harmony on the recording.

When describing who exactly is the pretender, Browne said its anyone who has basically lost their dream and their way in life. It's not about him specifically but it's difficult to imagine that he must have been pondering his place in life when he wrote the song.

Browne released this album just after the death of his first wife who committed suicide from an overdose at age 30. He re-married and divorced again then began dating actress Daryl Hannah. After they split, he settled down once more with an environmental activist Dianna Cohen, and has been with her since the mid 1990's.

Jackson Browne has never had a #1 hit but came close with "Doctor My Eyes" at #8 in 1972 and "Somebodys Baby" at #8 in 1982.

How To Play The Pretender By Jackson Browne
Kirby Style

I found the hardest part about this song was singing it properly and not in playing it. I start with a simple run to duplicate the piano in the key of G and then move into the song. The chords you'll need here are G, C, D, B note, Am, Em, B7, A7sus and A7. You'll you'll that intro riff in a few places in the song. I explain thes riffs in detail in the full instructional tutorial.

The Pretender - Demo Only - Full Tutorial is 9 min 45 sec

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How To Play Rhythm For The Pretender

Jackson Browne The Pretender

When you start this song consider playing it lightly on the bottom couple of strings with the dn-dn-up-dn-up-dn-up (repeat) pattern. Once you get past a few lines, you can strum all 6 strings. Carry on with this same pattern throughout the song. There are a few spots later in the verse where you'll play a chop of down strokes. But for the most part, we have one consistant rhythm pattern.

Take note that on the Em chord on the words The Pretender, I'm playing the bottom string on the 3rd, 2nd and open string. It's a short riff the piano puts in if you listen closely.

I hope you found this how to play The Pretender By Jackson Browne page useful and informative.

Jackson Browne Official Site


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Free Tab For
The Pretender