Teardrop / House Theme

Animated Teardrop / House Theme tab by Massive Attack on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This is the guitar played in the Massive Attack song called Teardrop. It is also used as the theme music for the popular TV show called House.

This is a good tune for new guitarists and aspiring fingerpickers. It's a fairly simple fingerpicking pattern based around the same chord shape. This is great for practice. It means you can concentrate more on the fingerpicking because your fretboard hand won't be very busy just holding one chord shape.

The chord 'shape' is a D sus2 shape. It is also an A sus4 chord because the open A note is used in the bass a lot, but most people will 'see' the chord as a D sus2 shape, so we're sticking with that.

Notice that the fingers stay holding this shape throughout the whole tune. However, the bass notes (i.e. the low notes plucked by your thumb) change.

The main fingerpicking pattern is T1312123. It only differs from that once, and that difference is very small (the pattern here is T1312121 - only the last digit is different). Don't worry about that though. Just keep practicing the first pattern over and over with the D sus2 chord until you get it clean and consistent. Get the fingerpicking right with that one chord before moving on to the rest of the tune. Once you have it nailed, then the rest will be much easier.

The Thumb always plays the bass notes, and assign your fingers to strings in the following way:

T: Bass notes
1: Assign to the G string
2: Assign to the B string
3: Assign to the E string

So use your thumb to play the bass notes, and always use your 1st finger to play the G string, 2nd finger to play the B string and 3rd finger the high E string. The thumb is the only one that will need to play notes on different strings.

Assigning fingers like that will make the T1312123 pattern a lot less daunting. Watch the ActionTab a few times and you will get the gist of it. If lost, you need some groundwork first - so make sure you check out the Fingerpicking section in the Core Skills.


In both original soundtracks the guitar only plays the low A string as a bass note. However, this doesn't work so well when just playing by yourself. So, we have made this version that sounds good for just guitar. It's the exact same as the song, except that we play the same bass notes as the piano. It sounds loads better that way, and just like the song(s).

However, this does mean that to get the sneaky F bass note, you will need to bring your thumb around from behind the fretboard and fret it. This saves you moving your fingers off the other notes and getting nasty string scrapes etc while you do so. If this is too hard for you, then no problem - just play this F note instead. It's not as low, but sounds right!

When practicing the tune, don't be put off by the length. It's not as complex as it first appears. The fingers are nearly always playing the same thing throughout the whole song. So all you really need to learn is when to apply the right bass note!

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