How To Play Purple Rain By Prince

Check out this free lesson from Guitar Control instructor Darrin Goodman on how to play Purple Rain by Price. Be sure to click the link for the free tabs so you can easily follow along with How To Play Purple Rain By Prince.

purple rain


Hey everybody how’s it going? This is Darrin with bringing you this video lesson. Today I want to teach you how to play a simplified, easy rendition of Purple Rain by Prince. So I really dig this song and I just think this is a really great song, but some of the chords in it are kind of difficult, even if you’re not a beginner some of the original chord voicings are kind of difficult. So I made this arrangement for it that makes it much easier, you just need to have a capo on your first fret to be in the same key. So you could play this without a capo but you will be a half step lower than the original recording of Purple Rain. So anyhow be sure to click on the link in the description for the tabs and let’s get close up and take a look at How To Play Purple Rain By Prince.

Purple Rain Chords

First let’s just run through the chords that we’ve we’re going to be using for Purple Rain. So we have A suspended two (Asus2); so your A string is open and I’m on the second fret of the D string with my second finger, third fret of the G string with my third finger and the B and E strings are open; now this is in reference to the capo, so technically I’m on the third fret here, but since the capo is on the first fret that is now the second fret, so that’s Asus2. Then the next chord is A suspended two over F sharp (Asus2/F#); so it’s the same chord but the difference is now we’re gonna take our first finger and we’re gonna put it on the second fret of the low E so it just changes our bass note from this A to this F#… Then we have E major; so my low E is open and I’m on the second fret of the A string with my second finger, second fret of the D string with my third finger, first fret of the G string with my first finger and the B and high E strings are open. Then we have D suspended two (Dsus2); so this is just your regular D chord, but with the high E string open, so my D string is open, I’m on the second fret of the G string with my first finger and the third fret of the B string with my third finger and then the high E is open. All right so those are the chords that we’re using in the intro for Purple Rain by Prince.


All right so for the Purple Rain intro we start off with Asus2 and if you look at the tabs and then you compare it to how I’m playing it you’ll see that when I play through this you know a dozen times you may notice that I’m not always playing it exactly the same way; I’m more or less just kind of winging it for the most part, which is a skill that you really should you know strive to get because when you can just kind of wing it and feel your way through it takes a lot of the pressure off of stressing about making sure I hit this string or that string. So here I’m hitting five, four, referring to strings, and then the first three strings open and then back to the open A string, so that’s the first measure… Then the second measure… so the first two measures… Now we switch to the Asus2/F# and we more or less do the same thing, but now instead of starting on the A string we’re going to start on the on the low E and there’s two measures of Asus2 and then two majors of Asus2/F#, we go to the E, still same type thing, but now our bass note is on the open low E and then to the Dsus2 and with the Dsus2 our bass note is now gonna be the open D string. All right so that is the entire intro to the song and after that intro comes the verse.


So the verse for Purple Rain starts off exactly the same way so you end up playing through that whole intro sequence twice, but vocals here… Then we go back and we start again and it starts off the same way. The first four measures we have the Asus2 and the Asus2/F#… So after it goes through on that second time then we just go to this E major and we have this build up and it’s just all eighth notes… So A is a chord that we didn’t go over; so quickly open A string and then I’m on the second fret of the D, G and B strings and I just use my first finger and then the high E is open. So this is right before it goes into the chorus it has that build up… and then it goes into the Purple Rain chorus from there.


All right so for the Purple Rain chorus we start off with D major, so it’s like the Dsus2, but you just put your second finger on the second fret of the high E, its regular D major. So now we’re still in a strumming part here and again it’s really best to kind of really kind of feel it out, but you know if you look at the tabs and if you do the strumming as it’s showing on there it’ll get you through it, but as you practice it and play it, especially if you sing it while you do it, you’ll kind of come up with your own pattern. Now when I do it it’s never exactly the same way twice, which is totally fine, this is not supposed to be an exact representation of exactly how the song is being played note for note; we’re just using these chords and everything and this is just an easy way to kind of be able to get through it especially if you’re more of a beginner. This is just an easy way to learn a simplified acoustic version and then if you go to a barbecue or camping or something you have a nice big arsenal of material you can play. So for the chorus I’m going; down, down, down, up, down, down. There’s two measures of that Asus2 and then Asus2/F# and then to E again and it’s just like that other build up…

Performance Notes

So those are basically all of the parts to Purple Rain by Prince, it’s pretty easy with these parts to be able to put the entire song together. You can listen to Purple Rain and tell which part of the song is a verse and which part is a chorus. It goes intro, verse, chorus and then it goes right back into another verse and then it goes into another chorus and then after that I think it’s like where the guitar solo is and then there’s still another verse and then it just choruses out. So there’s the three main parts and it should be very easy with the tabs to be able to put it together and be able to play the whole the whole song… So vocals will start now… and then from there it would go into the chorus… So that chorus I just played there is shorter, but then after that before it goes into that build up it just repeats those four measures two or three times.


Alright so I hope you enjoyed How To Play Purple Rain By Prince and you got something out of it. If you like this lesson be sure to give me a thumbs up and leave a comment down below if you have any questions about this lesson or any other guitar related questions. I look through the comments and try to answer all the questions that I can. If you have not already done so please subscribe to the channel and hit that notification bell so you don’t miss out any of the content that we upload throughout the week. That is all I’ve got for you today. Thanks for watching How To Play Purple Rain By Prince and have a great day.

For more great songs like Purple Rain by Prince check out the 1980s Guitar Song Collection.

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