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Learn to play Grenade by Bruno Mars

Updated on January 10, 2015

Learn to play Bruno Mars Grenade - last year's most romantic song?

Do you like Grenade by Bruno Mars? Today I want to show you some basic and easy guitar chords you can use to play Bruno Mars Grenade. Grenade - a number 1 hit in the UK - has to be THE song to play on Valentine's Day or other romantic occasion! I will show you an easier set of chords, the best picking pattern to use and give you links to the actual sheet music.There is music for guitar and piano available for Grenade. You could order the TAB book for Doo Wops and Hooligans if you like a more accurate transcription. The guitar tips I have given here will work for this lovely devotional song.

I have transposed it to an easier guitar key and its melismatic guitar picking pattern is not particularly new or unusual - you can use it on many songs.

Guitar graphics used here on this page are all my own.

Download Bruno Mars MP3s here

Chords for Grenade in E minor - These chords are a little easier for beginners....

Chords for grenade
Chords for grenade

The music I have for this song is in D minor but I thought E minor was an easier key to start with.

The picking pattern for the intro and verse is melismatic, the sort of thing any great rock guitarist might like to play to liven up their picking and make it more interesting.

The intro and chorus use mainly Em for 16 (eighth note) beats, followed by easy Bm for 16 beats, the pick up before the chorus goes Em for 16 beats, C for 8 beats and finishes with a B7 chord strummed once before a stop as the vocal leads into the main hook.

The picking pattern for intro and verse in string numbers is 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2

(Remember string 1 is the thinnest, treble string!)

When I say 16 beats - (eighth note) beats - it means you will play 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 twice.

You can pick that with your fingers: middle, index, thumb, middle, index, thumb, middle, index

If you use a plectrum, try economy picking: up, up, down, up, up, down, up, down

The pick moving in the direction you wish to travel makes it much easier to pick!

For Em, you can use the open strings of a normal Em chord, but to sound more like the song you should play version 2 of the Em chord.

The chorus goes Em C G D with 2 quarter note beats on each chord.

A simple strum would be:

Em Down, downup,

C Down, downup,

G Down, downup,

D Down, downup,

Repeat this four times, then go back into the picking for the next verse.

You will have to wait for the Bridge and Outro - I will add a chord chart later - but this should keep you busy for a day or two!

Bruno Mars Official Books and Sheet Music

Check out these free guitar lessons

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You can find all of these lessons on my pages.

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    • ronberry lm profile image

      ronberry lm 

      7 years ago

      The first time I ever saw Bruno Mars was on the Grammy's the othe night. I'd hear the name but never knew any of his music. I'm impressed by the young man.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      When I premiere this for my girlfriend on Valentine's Day she will flip. Thanks for the help on making my job a bit easier.

    • Richard-H profile image


      7 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Grenade is my favourite of many of Bruno Mars' songs. Great to see a tutorial for it :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Heard a few songs of his. Enjoyed them indeed!

    • APackageAtTheDoor profile image


      7 years ago

      Hadn't heard of him, but it is a great song. Thanks!

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 

      7 years ago

      I like Bruno Mars and Grenade is my favourite song of course :)

      Thank you for teaching us how to play this beautiful song. I will try this tutorial :)


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