How To Strum The Only Exception By Paramore

Today, we're going to take a look at how to play Paramore's single, "The Only Exception." There's basically one rhythm used throughout the song with only an occasional change to quarter notes or a held chord. It's a nice song and a good one for a beginning guitarist to start with. One challenge for a newbie is that the tuning of the song is changed, but at least it's a very small change. We'll take a look at the tuning in a minute, but first here's the song info:

Song: The Only Exception
Artists: Paramore
Album: Brand New Eyes
Buy this song on Amazon orBuy it on iTunes.

Now for the tuning. It's pretty much standard, except that the 1st string (high-e ) is tuned down a half step to D# (some tuners would read as an Eb). To get there without a tuner, play the 4th fret of the 2nd string (the B string). This is the D# you want, so just lower the 1st string to match it. When your finished playing the song and you want to retune it, bring the 1st string up to match the 2nd string 5th fret. Here's how the tuning will sound:

E A D G B D#

Guitar Tuning for the Only Exception by Paramore

Now, let's take a look at the chords in the song: Click here for help on reading chords

The song is in 3/4 time and the tempo is 137BPM. There's also a shuffle feel on the eighth notes. Instead of playing the song straight through we're going to take a look at it one section at a time. At the end I'll tell you how many times to play each section and in what order.

The intro and verse

The intro guitar part and verse guitar parts are identical, the only thing different is the vocals are there during the verse. Here's the verse pattern

how to read a lead sheet

Click Arrow to Play

Here's the audio for the Intro/Verse:


The chorus uses the same rhythm throughout as the verse as well as the first chord being the same. It's also an eight measure pattern like the verse.

how to read a lead sheet

Click Arrow to Play

Here's the audio for the Chorus:


To Be Continued...

More of the song is continued on the next page