Category Archives: Music

Guitar Tab – Wish I by Jem

Here’s a peaceful and relaxing song by Jem:

There’s a melodic tune recurring in the background. This is how I play it:


If you check out the live performance of this song, you’ll notice it’s performed differently… but I think the version above sounds closer to the official video, which sounds nicer than the live performance.

How Learning to Play an Instrument Makes You a Better Professional

I briefly mentioned the importance of experience in my recent article, “On Military Intelligence“. There are many skills which you can only learn in one specific way: by doing it a lot. Such skills include reading, writing, driving, art, programming, and music. That’s why “practice makes perfect”.

Music is a daily commitment, requiring lots of practice in order to learn and master the theory, practice, techniques and styles. One could even go as far as to say that it quickens the mind, as the arrangement of notes into various scales and patterns is almost mathematical in nature, and one learns to reason about them.

However, beyond the music itself, learning to play an instrument can help you develop certain characteristics that are particularly important at work. Let’s see what these are.


Music is like software: if you’re going to work on it, then it’s worth taking the time to do it properly, as I’ve written in my earlier article, “On Goal-Orientedness and Mediocrity“. Attempting to rush something will only result in poor quality. While such deficiency may go unnoticed for several months in software, it is much easier to realise when a tune you’re playing doesn’t sound right.

Music gives you the patience to take the time to do things the right way.


Playing in front of other people, even if it’s just the teacher, can be intimidating. Aside from any possible confidence issues that one might have, there is the fear that doing something wrong in front of others will make you look stupid.

And that’s a good thing, because this pressure causes you to prepare well for when you need to do something in front of people. The next time you give a presentation at work, or you lead a meeting, you know you’d better know what you’re talking about.

And at the same time, playing regularly in front of people and getting used to the fact that you’re doing it right has the effect of boosting your self-confidence and helps you overcome any fear of audiences.


When you’re a 27-year-old who’s been playing for six months, and you’re in the same room with 12-year-olds who have been playing for six years, that’s a pretty humbling experience. They’re kids, so you should know more than them, right?

It’s also possible that there are people with less experience, but who are much better than you are. The same can happen at work – someone younger might have a lot more talent than you.

You can be arrogant, and perceive such people as a threat. Or you can accept the reality that they have a lot to offer, and try to learn from them, and in doing so benefit from their experience and become better at what you do.

Bass tab – Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes

Pretty cool song (video below), which was later corrupted by Italian football fans into a completely degraded “po po po” song.

This song is in the key of C, like the others I’ve tabbed so far. The basic tune is pretty straightforward:

  • E E G E D C B

…which on a tab would read as:


Then there is the instrumental which is basically the same as the above, but every second time it is played, there is an extra bit, which is:

  • E E G E D C D C B

Which is just:


So basically, for most of the tune you play the first one. During the instrumental, you play the first one, then the second one, then the first one again, then the second one again.

Guitar/Bass tab – Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult

This is “Don’t Fear the Reaper”, a song by Blue Oyster Cult released in 1976, which makes it close to 40 years old. Wow. There is also an Apollo 440 cover (1995) which I think is pretty decent.

The basic tune, which is in the key of C, goes:

  • A E A G
  • G B D G
  • F C D G
  • A E A G

This guitar tab is a pretty good rendition of the tune, so I’ll quote the main part below as-is (just added the string names at the left side):

     Am       G        F       G

Since only the top four strings of the guitar are used, the same tab can be used directly on bass guitar without any modifications.

Guitar Tab – Prayer in C by Lilly Wood and The Prick

If you’ve heard the Robin Schulz remix of Prayer in C by Lilly Wood and The Prick, or even the original, you’ll recognise the catchy guitar tune. As the name suggests, it’s in the key of C, and that means no sharps or flats. The tune goes something like:

  • A A B C B A E
  • E F E D
  • D E F D
  • F F G F

This could translate to the following guitar tab:


This is not very different from other guitar tabs for this song out there, but it has the advantage that the notes are concentrated between the 5th and 8th fret, allowing you to play the tune without ever needing to slide your left hand.