November 2017

“See You Again” Onstage

Here’s how you and your band can play a song known to billions.

For a short time this year, Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” featuring Charlie Puth held the record for the most-played song ever on YouTube, with over three billion views. (It has since been superseded by Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito.”) As our Modern Band article in the November 2017 issue makes clear, Puth was barely known when the song was recorded in 2015, and this story from Billboard shows just how close he came to not appearing on the recording or in the video, despite being one of the principal songwriters. Now, of course, Puth is a major star, and the popularity of “See You Again” had a lot to do with that.

Click on the thumbnail images below to access “See You Again” accompaniment charts for standard Modern Band ensemble instruments (guitar, keyboard, bass, drums). And if you’re not one of the three billion people who’s already seen the song’s video, scroll down a little further.


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 bass diagrams represent strings that shouldn’t be played. 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 (for example) the B-flat chord, which is played with the root note (B-flat) as the middle 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 Iconic Notation and Standard Notation sections both show how to approach the rhythms of the chordal accompaniment, also known as “comping.”  In the iconic section, the left hand (black) plays root notes at the same time as the right hand (light gray) plays full chords. In the “easy” comping pattern, those chords are played on beats 1 and the “and” of 3 in each measure; the standard comping pattern is slightly more complex.

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