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John Lennon's "Woman" with added shimmer and sparkle


When asked what his favorite John Lennon songs were, John's son Sean Lennon responded with, "'Woman.' Oh ... 'Woman'! It just sort of shimmered, it felt like a dream. There's something so sweet and sparkly about that major chord change." (Quoted in Philip Norman, John Lennon: The Life

It's hard to disagree with him there, and words like "shimmer" and "sparkle" seem fairly accurate.

To achieve maximum shimmer and sparkle for your performance of this song, there are a couple of chord voicings that are must-haves, and you'll see why as soon as you play them for yourself.

Keeping in mind that the capo is on the first fret, the introduction ostensibly moves through a standard Dsus4 to D to Dadd9 and back to D pattern -- if you've ever played songs like "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" or "Mother Nature's Son," this is already a familiar progression.

The real hook here, however, is that the Dadd9 chord should really be voiced with an open G along with the open E string, creating what is actually a G6/D chord:



Ah yes. That's the sound we want.

For the chorus, your real money-maker is keeping the high E string open for the first three chords. The opening chord is often listed as a Dmaj7, which is a decent substitute for the real thing, but we want the chord that shimmers, which is a Dmaj9. Similarly, the final chord is often played as a straight A major, but in reality it's an A6, and that added top note makes all the difference:



Finally, there's the suspended chord that appears at the end of every verse as we transition into the chorus. It sounds like an Asus4, but that would be to miss two critical notes in what is actually a G6 played over a low A -- Paul McCartney uses almost this exact same chord in "The Long and Winding Road." It is voiced like this:



That's a great chord, isn't it? Especially as a transition to that Dmaj9 mentioned above.

One last thing: the song includes a key change for the final verse. I wouldn't even attempt trying to change the chord voicings to play in E flat major, so there's only one thing to do -- shift your capo up to the second fret as quickly as you can, and carry on.

Happy strumming, friends.

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