Olivia Rodrigo: Traitor | fingerstyle guitar
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Traitor

Free download on SoundCloud.

I’ve taught Olivia Rodrigo’s Traitor at least a dozen times to my guitar students. It’s an excellent song both lyrically and melodically. The lyrical theme is brilliant. The “boyfriend dates girl that ex-girlfriend doesn’t like” is an ageless conflict that no one has articulated in a song until now.

I’ve also been recently re-inspired by Hozier — specifically his warm vocal tone and reverb mix. Check out his 52 second a-capella performance of The Humours of Whiskey. These two things converged in my brain this week, and I created a lower toned, and warmer version of Traitor for fingerstyle guitar. I guess I’m trying to get my guitar to sound like Hozier’s voice.

Quite a few of my guitar students sing — and I’m constantly encouraging them to write songs about what they’re experiencing right now. If they identify, and sing about an adolescent or teenage problem — other adolescents and teenagers will identify. Adults will identify. It wins all around.

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Gear used

For Traitor, I used my Cordoba C7 guitar. It’s a dark and warm sounding guitar that still retains the high note too. You can find a current list of my gear here.

How to play Traitor | fingerstyle guitar

The guitar tab for this arrangement is beautifully written across 4 pages. Although the chord shapes are easy to play, I recommend this piece for intermediate guitar players and up. Enjoy the guitar tab is available below:

My order of play looks like this in accordance with the guitar tab.

Intro, Verse, Pre Chorus, Chorus, Post Chorus

Verse 2, Pre Chorus, Chorus

Olivia Rodrigo: Traitor | fingerstyle guitar

My guitar is tuned one whole step down. From Low to high: D G C F A D. However, you can play this in standard tuning and it will sound great. The original Olivia Rodrigo key would be a capo on the 3rd fret.

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Matthew's dad, Jennifer's husband, bass player - New Invisible Joy, YouTuber, short-film composer, creator of modern content for guitar.