i promise

I Promise

I Promise and Man of War, are two of the best Radiohead songs ever. It’s hard to believe the band never released them until now (with Ok Computer OKNOTOK 1997-2017).

If you’re a Generation X’er like me, and longed for the guitar and bass driven version of Radiohead from The Bends, OKNOTOK will satisfy you.

The newly released songs are emblematic of Radiohead’s pure songwriting prowess. I feel this has gotten lost over the last 15 years with the band’s futurist push, and drive to be different with metronomic beats. 

The videos for I Promise and Man of War are also a return to Radiohead’s unsettling visual concepts from the mid – 90’s.

Gear Used

For I Promise, I used my Taylor GS Mini Mahogany. I like small acoustic guitars that sound BIG. I just find them easier to play. For a list of all of my gear, click here.

How to play, Radiohead’s I Promise for acoustic guitar

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With this arrangement, I wanted to ghost in Thom Yorke’s vocals within the original acoustic guitar part, for more of an advanced, and thorough instrumental. I’ve also captured the bass driven bridge section as well.

Click here for all of my Radiohead guitar arrangements.

I would recommend I Promise for intermediate guitar players and up. None of the chord shapes are too difficult to play, but this song favors those with a good internal sense of rhythm.

To indicate strumming, I used a (. . . .) symbol following the chords. I believe this intuitively imbues a sense of timing while not cluttering the guitar tab.

Within the intro, I have a D U D U underneath a few sections. D = Down, U = Up. It’s just a quick variation within the straight down strum.

The guitar tab is only two pages long, and my order of play looks like this in accordance with the guitar tab:

Intro, Verse 2x, Chorus — Verse 2x, Chorus, Bridge — Verse 2x, Chorus, Bridge, Verse 1x.

Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

I Promise is played in an Open E tuning. Your tuning looks like this from low to high: E B E G# B E.

I Promise, complete acoustic guitar

Please comment here or on YouTube to let me know what you think.