Channel Your Inner Bangle: A Hazy Shade of Winter Guitar Lesson + Tutorial

The Bangles’ infectious cover of “Hazy Shade of Winter” is a classic of the 1980s. Not only is it a catchy tune, but the guitar work is surprisingly simple, making it a perfect song for beginner and intermediate guitarists to learn.

In this lesson, we’ll break down the key elements of the song, including the chords, riffs, and strumming pattern. So grab your guitar, put on your favorite sunglasses (optional, but encouraged!), and let’s add a little sunshine to your winter with The Bangles!

A Hazy Shade of Winter Guitar

A Hazy Shade of Winter Guitar

Stylistic Tips:

  • Jangly Sound: The Bangles are known for their jangly guitar sound. Achieve this by using a clean tone on your guitar and strumming near the bridge for a brighter sound.
  • Palm Muting: Experiment with palm muting during the verses to add dynamics. Lightly rest the edge of your palm on the strings near the bridge while strumming for a muted effect.
  • Dynamic Changes: Pay attention to dynamic changes throughout the song. Build intensity during the choruses and ease off slightly during the verses for contrast

Gear Up

For this song, you can use any electric guitar you like. The Bangles used clean tones with a touch of reverb, so adjust your amp settings accordingly. You’ll also need a capo (optional, but recommended for easier fingering).

Chords and Riffs

The Bangles’ version of “Hazy Shade of Winter” relies on just five basic chords:

  • A minor (Am)
  • F minor (Fm)
  • C major (C)
  • E flat major (Eb)
  • D flat major (Db)

The intro features a cool little riff that sets the mood. Here’s how to play it:

  1. Start on the 8th fret of the A string (third finger) and play it twice.
  2. Move down to the 6th fret of the D string (second finger).
  3. Play the 8th fret of the D string (third finger).
  4. Bend the 8th fret of the D string up to a full step (10th fret).
  5. Move back down to the 6th fret of the D string.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 on the E string (starting at the 8th fret).

Tip: If bending is tricky at first, don’t worry! You can simply play the note at the 10th fret without the bend.

Strumming Pattern

The strumming pattern for the verses and chorus is a simple down-down-down-up-down-up pattern. You can adjust the speed to match the tempo of the song.

Putting it Together

Now that you know the chords, riff, and strumming pattern, it’s time to practice putting them all together! Here’s a breakdown of the song structure:

  • Intro: Play the riff 2 times.
  • Verse 1: Am – Fm – C – Eb – (repeat)
  • Chorus: Am – Fm – C – (repeat) x 4 (with the signature “ooooh ooooh” part)
  • Verse 2: Am – Fm – C – Eb – (repeat)
  • Chorus: Am – Fm – C – (repeat) x 4 (with the signature “ooooh ooooh” part)
  • Outro: Play the riff 2 times.

Learning Resources

There are many great resources available online to help you learn “Hazy Shade of Winter.” Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • A YouTube search for “Hazy Shade of Winter The Bangles guitar lesson” will bring up several video tutorials that walk you through the song step-by-step.
  • Websites with guitar tabs ( often have user-created tabs for this song, which can provide a visual reference for the chords and riffs.

Practice Makes Perfect

As with any song, the key to mastering “Hazy Shade of Winter” is to practice regularly. Start slowly, focusing on each chord transition and the strumming pattern. Gradually increase the tempo as you become more comfortable.

With a little dedication, you’ll be rocking out to this Bangles classic in no time! Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the process!

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