U2’s Beautiful Day is a great song that seems to resonate with everyone. Lead vocalist, Bono, explained that the upbeat track is about losing everything but still finding joy in what one has. Its optimistic tone and power chords are uplifting and a perfect way to usher in springtime. You can learn how to play Beautiful Day on guitar using a few simple barre chords.
The song was the first track from the band’s 2000 album All That You Can’t Leave Behind. This was a return to the earlier raw, guitar- driven sound of the band in the 80’s. Released as the lead single, the song was a huge success and launched the album to multi-platinum status. The song has been one of U2’s biggest hits to date, winning three Grammy Awards and appearing in numerous videos and commercials. The group has played Beautiful Day at every one of their concerts since its debut on the Elevation Tour.
The Edge (real name – David Howell Evans) starts the song with his signature combination of harmonics and echo/delay. Then he plays the root of the chord changes muted using the palm of his hand and moves to an arpeggio using open strings to add a resonant drone. Then he drives home the chorus with big, crunchy power chords. Note his creative solo using heavy guitar effects.
Learning How to Play Beautiful Day on Guitar
- Grab the chords and TABs here. If you have Guitar Pro, then you can get that file here.
- Listen to U2 play it here.
- Here is a YouTube Playlist that covers the different sections of the guitar part, including the Intro, Verse, and Chorus.
- This Playlist has the effects settings, as getting the Edge’s sound will make the parts sound more authentic as you learn how to play Beautiful Day. And remember that if you learn about effects, power chords and other rock techniques to check out eMedia Interactive Rock Guitar. It makes learning how to play rock guitar easier with interactive lessons that listen to you play, videos and teaches you how to play more great guitar songs.
- A bass part TAB is here and the video is here, with the drums here.
HINT: Open the TABs/chords in a separate window in your browser from the videos so you can see them both!
GUITAR NOTES: The Edge has used numerous guitars in his career, from Fender Stratocasters to Gibson Les Pauls and Explorers. However, for guitar amps he has always seemed closely-tied to the Vox AC-30; known for their treble-oriented tone that is frequently referred to as “jangly” or having “chime”. He has always used effects as a big part of his creative tools when creating guitar parts. You can hear echo/delay effects on most of his recordings, going all the way back to the first U2 records. Here his long-time guitar tech, Dallas Shoo, runs down the Edge’s current stage set-up.
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