Skinny Love – Birdy (original Bon Iver) – (No Capo) Beginner Guitar Tutorial

by IanM on March 8, 2013

An easy beginner guitar tutorial to help you learn the song Skinny Love by Birdy (original by Bon Iver) on guitar fast with easy chord options, no complicated theory and without a capo (if you don’t have one or don’t want to use one). Learn how to play and sing this song in 2 easy steps.


Click here to watch the video on YouTube


Click Here for Chords & Lyrics on
Note: Chords on Ultimate Guitar may be different from the tutorial above due to being in a different key or because the author has simply used different chords from my version. Use the transposing tool available on their site to transpose chords to the key you wish to play in.


If you have trouble with chord changes, replace the D, Em and C chords with Dsus4, Em7 and Cadd9 respectively. Also, you can try replacing Bm with D throughout the song if Bm is proving to be a challenge to use. It’s not ideal, but it will help you get through the song.

Using these chords make chord changes much easier for beginners and in some cases even makes the song sound better than if you just used the normal chords.

The original key of the song is E so capo the 9th fret and use the chords below if you want to play in the same key as the original song.



Easier Chord Options (4): G Cadd9 Dsus4 Em7

  • Tutorial Song Key: G
  • Original Song Key: E (Capo 9th fret)


Down Strokes Only: (Recommended for beginners)
  • down down DOWN down | down down DOWN down
Up and Down Strokes:
  • down down DOWN (down up) | down down DOWN (down up)

Help Me Dude – I’m a COMPLETE beginner and still need help

  1. Check out the Free Beginner Guitar Course and Lessons  on the site to see if they help
  2. Send me an email through the contact form here and I’ll do my best to help answer your question (silly questions allowed).

Back to the song list!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolyn January 7, 2015 at 9:11 am

Ian, I just started playing the guitar 2 weeks ago and started watching your videos and tutorials. I have never had lessons but just with your guidance I’ve learned to tune my guitar strum up and down with my hand and so so with the pick. Also learned over 8 chords and can get theough the song “say something” very very slowly. I don’t know if I just have a natural knack for this or if you are just a kick ass teacher. I love your website and thank you so much for providing such awesome tutorials!!


IanM January 9, 2015 at 9:37 am

Haha thanks Carolyn, I’ll say its because of your dedication to practice willingness to put up with my sleepy voice :P. Keep up the good work!


Adam Mark III February 2, 2015 at 7:59 pm

Good teacher, good teachings, good job Ian, u got me playin guitar flawlessly less than a month, thank you


Kevin February 1, 2016 at 6:54 pm

Well done! You’re awesome.


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