Bar Chord Masterclass: Play David Bowie’s “Ashes To Ashes”

Bar Chord Training: David Bowie’s Ashes To Ashes

The best way to get your bar chords down quickly is by playing tons of songs that have a lot of bar chords.

One of those such songs is David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes.

Here’s the chord chart.

Before tackling this, here’s everything you need to know about bar chords

Ashes To Ashes consists of 2 song sections: an intro and a verse.
There are 2 verses only, and the intro plays 3 times.

The song form is

You probably want to strum the song with this rhythm: down down up up down up

The into is interesting: it is a 3-bar chord progression, played 5 times in a row.
This adds up to 15 bars, plus one Bbm ending bar = 16 bars

In the verse, the majority of the chords are 2 bars long.
Most of the time, when you see a shorter distance between chords in a chord chart, that usually means those chords are played for a shorter amount of time.

So is the case here: the Db and Fm in the 3rd line, are only 1 bar each.
Both the Ab and F chords in the 4th line are 1 bar long as well.

Don’t worry about the /A in F/A: just play a regular F bar chord. The A bass note is played by the bass player.

3rd line from the end: starting the Db chord on the word “glowing”, every chord for the rest of that verse and the following intro has the length of one bar.

The 2nd verse is exactly the same as the first verse.

Both verses are followed by the intro.
The last 3 chords you see at the very end of the verse lyrics are the first 3 chords of the intro.

For the Bbm chord at the end of the one before the last line of the verse (“Tom’s a junky…”), play the Am shape bar chord version on the 1st fret.
That Bbm chord shape is closer to the chord that comes right before and right after it.

At the end of the last verse line, play the Bbm chord on the 6th fret, because that is the intro part.

Here’s all the chord shapes in chord diagrams:

If you would LOVE to strum the song, but you don’t have the patience right away to learn all the bar chords first, there is a way you can get out of all the bar chords and still strum the song.
Shoot me an email and I can show you how to play the whole song with easier chord shapes.

For maximum progress, you want to play “Ashes To Ashes” twice a day along with the song, and say the name of each bar chord out loud as you’re playing it.
Naming the chord out loud while playing that chord, will speed up memorization.


Hit me up anytime at if you have any questions, or if you would like to book a lesson.

These free lessons are cool, but you will never experience the progress, joy, and results that my students experience in lessons when you’re learning by yourself from blogs and videos.

That is why people take lessons: way better results and progress, much more complete information, exposed to way more creative ideas than you can get from a blog or YouTube video.
There is only so much that self-study can accomplish.

If you want to see amazing results and progress in your guitar playing, buy your first lesson here and get started ASAP.

  • 1 Lesson = 75

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