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Nirvana’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” is a haunting and powerful song that showcases the band’s raw talent and emotion. Released in 1994 as part of their MTV Unplugged performance, this cover of the traditional folk song has become one of Nirvana’s most iconic and memorable tracks. In this article, we will explore the chords used in this song and provide answers to some common questions about it.

The chords used in “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” are relatively simple, making it accessible to beginners while still maintaining its emotional depth. The song is played in the key of E minor, and the chords used are E minor, G, A, and B7. The main progression throughout the song is E minor – G – A, with the B7 chord being used sparingly.

When playing the E minor chord, place your index finger on the second fret of the A string, middle finger on the second fret of the D string, and ring finger on the second fret of the G string. To transition to the G chord, keep your index finger on the second fret of the A string, place your middle finger on the third fret of the low E string, and your ring finger on the third fret of the B string. For the A chord, move your index finger to the second fret of the D string, your middle finger to the second fret of the G string, and your ring finger to the second fret of the B string. Finally, the B7 chord is played by barring the second fret with your index finger and placing your ring finger on the fourth fret of the D string.

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Now, let’s move on to some common questions about the song:

1. What is the origin of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”?
“Where Did You Sleep Last Night” is a traditional folk song that dates back to the early 20th century. It has been covered by various artists over the years.

2. Why did Nirvana choose to cover this song?
Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, was drawn to the raw emotion and haunting melody of this traditional folk song. He felt a deep connection to the lyrics and wanted to bring his own interpretation to it.

3. What makes Nirvana’s version of the song unique?
Nirvana’s rendition of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” is known for its intense and emotionally charged performance. Cobain’s raspy vocals and the band’s raw instrumentation create a chilling atmosphere that resonates with listeners.

4. Are there any variations in the chord progressions throughout the song?
While the main progression is E minor – G – A, Nirvana adds variations and dynamics to the chords during the performance. They sometimes play the chords with more intensity or add embellishments, creating a sense of tension and release.

5. Can beginners play this song?
Yes, beginners can definitely play this song. The chords used are relatively simple, and with practice, anyone can master them.

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6. Are there any recommended strumming patterns for this song?
The strumming pattern can vary depending on personal preference. It is recommended to start with a basic downstroke strumming pattern and experiment with different rhythms to find what feels right for you.

7. What is the significance of Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged performance?
Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged performance is considered one of the most iconic and memorable in the show’s history. It showcased the band’s versatility and ability to deliver powerful performances in an intimate setting, solidifying their place in music history.

In conclusion, “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” is a captivating song that showcases Nirvana’s talent and emotional depth. Its simple chord progression makes it accessible to beginners, while its intense performance leaves a lasting impact on listeners. If you’re a fan of Nirvana or looking to explore their music, this song is definitely worth a listen.
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