Andy Summers

Andy Summers Andy Summers is the exceptionally talented guitarist with The Police whose Fender Telecaster has been faithfully reproduced by the craftsmen at the Fender Custom Shop - the original guitar is shown below.
Among many other talents Mr Summers is best known for his use of add9 arpeggio shapes that employ wide spaced fingerings - Message In A Bottle and Every Breath You Take are both very good examples of this technique. The original song sounds approximately in the key of Ab but Hal Leonard's - The Best of Police puts it in G and Wise Publications' - The Police into A (obviously the chorus pedal used on the guitar is having a tuning effect on the recorded track.)

Andy Summers' Telecaster

Song Seeds Four Chord Analysis

For simplicities sake the key of G major will be used for this dissection of the introductory chord sequence to the Police's classic track - Every Breath You Take.
The underlying chord progression uses the base triads (3 note chords) generated by the G major scale as highlighted in the table that follows:-

G major - 4 chord progressions

Progression No.17 represents the chords that are used for the song's introduction listed in numerical order - however these chords were re-arranged as per the next table:-

Progression No.17

An enlarged portion of the previous table follows:-

Progression No.17 enlarged

The G major at the start of the progresion is repeated at the end - prior to replaying the whole sequence again. Rather than strum the chord shapes Mr Summers literally adds the ninth to each chord and arpeggiates using wide space fingerings. The following diagrams show the hybrid box shapes used for the G(add9) and the Em(add9) chords with the notes used in the song highlighted.

Gadd9 and Cadd9

Those who adhere to the principals of implied harmony (step forward Hal Leonard) believe that the C and D chords are implied as C(add9) and D(add9) respectively - even though Mr Summers does not play the major third. Whereas those in the literal harmony camp (step forward Wise Publications and myself) believe that the chords played are Csus2 and Dsus2. The diagram below shows the add9 chord symbols with the sus2 notes that are actually played by Mr Summers marked on the diagrams - you decide for yourself.

Cadd9 and Dadd9

The tab that follows details the chord sequence with a simplified arpeggiation:-

Alternately Suffocate My Gift

The tabs that follow detail the box shapes for C(add9):-

The tabs that follow detail the box shapes for Am(add9):-

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