May 2017

“Beautiful” to Learn

Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful” is a simple song that packs a big punch.

Click on the thumbnail images below to access “Scars to Your Beautiful” accompaniment charts for standard Modern Band ensemble instruments (guitar, keyboard, bass, drums).


A few notes about the symbols and terms here:  1) The guitar, bass, and keyboard charts all include thick, straight lines that denote the starts and ends of measures. In between these lines are smaller diagonal lines that stand for beats. There are four beats to each measure, meaning that the song is in 4/4 time. 2) The guitar chord diagrams show how the chords should look on the fretboard. Their positions on the neck are indicated by the numbers to the left of the diagrams, which tell you what the lowest fret is. The numbers inside the black dots indicate which fingers of your fretting hand to use on which notes. 3) The Xs above the guitar and bass diagrams represent strings that shouldn’t be played, while the Os are strings that should be played open. 4) The chord diagrams in the main section of the keyboard chart show that chords can be formed a few different ways by changing the order of their notes. A fancier word for this is inversion, which you may notice in parentheses next to the F chord, which is played with the root note (F) as the highest note. It’s still the same chord as it would be if you played the root note as the lowest note, but changing the note order brings out interesting new characteristics. 5) At the bottom of the keyboard chart, the Rhythm section shows how to play the chords in the verse and chorus. In the verse, the left hand (black) plays the root note and the right hand (light gray) plays a full chord; both hands press the keys at the start of the measure and keep their position until its end. In the chorus, the left hand does the same thing as in the verse, but the right hand breaks up (or arpeggiates) the chords, alternating their two lower notes and one highest note in an eighth-note pattern.

If you still have questions about what’s in these charts, ask your teacher.