How To Play Adele’s Someone Like You Chords – An Essential Guide

Adele’s Someone Like You chords are easy to play & memorize, and they teach us a lot about guitar playing – let’s discuss!

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In this free lesson you will learn…

  • How to play ‘Someone Like You’ by Adele
  • How to conquer barre chords
  • How to put this song in an easier key for guitarists
  • How to use a capo to play along to this song

Adele’s Someone Like You Chords Are Beautiful & Fun To Play

Tolstoy once said, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” He would have made a great goth. Oh, wait, he was.

Whether or not you share Tolstoy’s glorification of the state of misery, it’s  true that in music, every sad song has something unique to say.

  • Some songs, like Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep,” aim at claiming victory over suffering.
  • On the other hand, other songs, like Adele’s “Someone Like You,” really lean into the pain.

Are you ready to lay bare some heartbreak? It doesn’t have to be yours.


It’s time to learn everything you need to know to play Adele’s Someone Like You chords and sing your heart out.

This is a lovely and simple song, making it fun and easy to play and sing at the same time (even if you’ve just begun learning to play the guitar.)

What’s even better is that it is a series of simple four-chord cycles, which means that when you learn the Someone Like You chords, you are also learning the chords to hundreds of other songs.

All you need to learn this song is your guitar, a pick and some patience – let’s dive in!


Someone Like You Chords: The Song Background

The source material for Someone Like You is pretty well-documented, as is the song’s massive success throughout the world.

One of the main factors in the song’s success is Adele’s co-songwriter.

Dan Wilson is a Minnesota pop genius who has boosted the level of not only Adele’s music but also that of Pink and the Dixie Chicks.

  • He wrote Closing Time, a 1998 number one hit for his band Semisonic.
  • If you like that tune, you also need to make sure you don’t go through life without hearing Semisonic’s FNT – another masterful tune.
  • Before Semisonic, Wilson was in Trip Shakespeare, whose gorgeous Midwestern ballad Snow Days is covered here by fellow pop geniuses, Chicago’s Flat Five.


Someone Like You was recorded as a demo with only piano and vocals, with Wilson assuming that eventually a larger and more heavily produced version would be done for the album.

  • In the end, the piano and vocal arrangement was what made it onto Adele’s album 21.
  • Adele acknowledged Wilson’s contribution to Someone Like You when she won a Grammy for it, but that gut-punch delivery is all hers.
  • Her ability to reach into her audience’s heart is a rare gift, but you can also have the simple power of this song.

Let’s take a look at Adele’s Someone Like You chords.

We’ll also explore some guitar arrangement options so you can make your own connection with this song.


Someone Like You Chords: The Key

Adele recorded Someone Like You in the key of A major.

If you’re an intermediate guitar player, A major will work – although it’s a key better suited for the piano.

The Someone Like You chords are a little bit challenging to play in the key of A major because there are some barre chords involved.

Whether you’re at the point in your musical career where barre chords are not a problem, or if you are working on barre chords, this is a great song to practice.

The barre chords appear frequently, but you can get through the song without exhausting your hand.

Here are all the Someone Like You chords you’ll need:

A (x02220)


C#m (x46654)

F#m (244222)

D (xx0232)


E (022100)


Bm (x24432)


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There are four chord progressions, one for each section of the song.

The first progression of Someone Like You chords, for the verse, is as follows:

A  C#m  F#m D

There’s a pre-chorus, beginning “I hate to turn up,” and this is the progression:

D  D E  F#m

The chorus, “Never mind, I’ll find someone like you,” follows these chords:

A  E F#m  D

The Someone Like You chords include a bridge, “Nothing compares,” which has this progression:

E  E F#m  F#m

D  D Bm  C#m D E


Pro-Tip: Fascinated but intimidated at the prospect of playing barre chords?


It’s the best way to begin learning to navigate the entire neck of the guitar.


Barre chords give us uniform options for playing chords around the neck, and they help us to memorize chord positions with ease over time.


Check out this introductory lesson on how to play barre chords from your friends at the National Guitar Academy.


Someone Like You Chords: An Alternate Key For All Levels

It’s never necessary to play any song in the key of the recording.

In fact, learning how to change the key of Someone Like You can help you out in a few ways.

  • From a vocal perspective, changing the key of the Someone Like You chords enables you to put the song into comfortable territory for your vocal range.
  • Adele’s performance of this song spans two octaves, but the rest of us can sing the song without going too low or too high.
  • From a guitar perspective, changing the key of the song gives you the ability to play the Someone Like You chords using shapes that you already find comfortable.


If we put the Someone Like You chords into the key of G, the song becomes much easier to play without having to contend with a lot of barre chords.

Here’s how it works: Going from A to G involves moving down one whole step.

  • The major-or-minor character of each chord stays the same; we just have to find the chord that is down one whole step from the chords in the key of A.
  • The A major chord becomes the G major chord. C#m becomes Bm and Bm becomes Am. D becomes C and E becomes D. F#m becomes Em.

With that in mind, we’re now ready to put our Someone Like You chords together into the key of G major.


Someone Like You Chords: Key Of G Major

The key of G major is the people’s key. The guitar was designed to play in the key of G major. We can tell because all we have to do to make a G major chord is play the D, G, and B strings together.

Switching the Someone Like You chords into the key of G major makes the song accessible for everyone to play on the guitar.

If you’re in your first few weeks of playing the guitar, you can use these stepping-stone chord shapes to get through this song while you’re working up to full open chord shapes.


It may not seem practical at first, because you initially won’t be able to play the song.

Once you’ve learned the chords in the key of G however, you can move back up that whole step with a capo on the second fret.

Just like that, you’ll be playing G major chord shapes in the key of A major. Guitar magic!

G (320000)


D (xx0230)


Em (022000)


C (x32000)

Am (x02010)

Bm (xxx432)

That B minor chord is a bit of a challenge, and if there were an easier way, we’d show you. It’s a bit of a jump, but you can do it.

Practice moving back and forth between chords to get a better feel for how to jump between them without costing yourself a beat of music. The practice is well worth the reward.


If you’ve got a couple of open chord shapes in your fingers already, you can play the Someone Like You chords using these shapes.

They’re not very far beyond the above stepping-stone shapes, and they’ll sound fuller and more satisfying.

G (320003)

D (xx0232)

Em (022000)

C (x32010)

Am (x02210)

Bm (xx4432)

That B minor chord shape is a jump, but it is worth it as a stepping stone shape in its own right. Once you’ve learned it, you’re well on your way to learning the full B minor barre chord!

  • To practice the Someone Like You chords, pair them up and make a chord-changing exercise.
  • We like to use either four or eight beats on each chord while practicing, so you can give yourself time to anticipate the chord change and get there on time.


Now let’s take a look at these Someone Like You chords in sequence in the key of G major.

The verse progression goes like this:

G  Bm Em  C

The pre-chorus progression follows this order:

C C D Em

Here are the Someone Like You chords for the chorus:

G  D Em  C

Finally, the bridge chords go like this:

D  D Em  Em

C  C Am  Bm C D

The end of the bridge leads beautifully back to the quiet chorus with that rising Am-Bm-C-D buildup, making us expect the kind of big chorus that usually follows such a thing – but then Adele lets the bottom drop out.

It’s simply gorgeous, and you can do it too!


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Someone Like You Chords: Rhythm Ideas

It can be a challenge to figure out how to play a piano song on the guitar. In Someone Like You, Wilson played a lacy piano arpeggio for the chords that sounds intricate and lacy but is actually pretty simple.

As interpreters of songs, we aren’t stuck playing the Someone Like You chords exactly the way Adele has on her recording.  We can figure out new ways to move the song that are easy to do on the guitar.

In certain places, it might feel right for you to do a whole-note strum, or try one of these patterns:

Down, down, – up, down-up

Down, -, down-up, down-up

Down, down, down-up, –


There is something to be said for playing those arpeggios on the Someone Like You chords; it certainly worked for Adele.

We can accomplish this by trying a little fingerstyle pattern.

  • This is an excellent song for a first crack at fingerpicking, once you’re comfortable with each of the progressions of Someone Like You chords.
  • There are loads of ways to make chord arpeggios on the guitar. All you’re really doing is picking chords, one string at a time.
  • The only rule you really should follow is to play the root or bass note of the chord at the beginning of each measure.

Here’s a sample fingerpicking pattern for each of the Someone Like You chords:


Using a fingerstyle pattern like the one above gives a song a quiet and flowing feeling.

  • You are, of course, under no obligation to play the same rhythm or style throughout a song.
  • Adele’s voice goes from a whisper to a roar in this song, and you can use different rhythms to give your arrangement of the Someone Like You chords a variety of dynamics and energy levels.
  • Switch it up! You can always strum the guitar with your fingers if you choose to alternate between picking and strumming.

Pro Tip: Using one finger of your picking hand on each string will give you a lot more access when playing the riff above.


Don’t cruise through this with just the thumb, index and middle finger – give some action to your ring and pinky fingers as well!


Someone Like You Chords: Putting It All Together

Now that you’ve got the four progressions of Someone Like You chords, let’s get them together in sequence so you can follow along with Adele’s recording.

Here is a summary of your Someone Like You chords with the sequence of progressions you’ve learned.

For ease of guitar, we’ll put it in the key of G:

Intro: G  Bm Em C

Verse: G  Bm Em C x3

Pre-chorus: C D Em Em x2

Chorus: G  D Em C x5

Verse x2


Chorus x4




A complete chart of the Someone Like You chords and lyrics is right here for you.

Adele’s recorded version is arranged in a traditional way for popular songs: intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, chorus.

You can rearrange the segments of the song to suit your purposes.

  • If you’d like the song to be longer, you can repeat the bridge and the chorus.
  • That was a favorite arranging strategy in early John Lennon & Paul McCartney hits.
  • You can also abbreviate the song by eliminating the bridge, or you can add a segment in the middle to allow for instrumental interludes.

However you choose to arrange it, enjoy playing and singing this heartbreaker of a song!

Can’t Get Enough Of Adele?

Adele needs to put out an album every year. Playing and singing her songs is therapeutic and satisfying enough that we thought you might enjoy this collection of songs from her 21 album.

Go give the people some soul!

Recommended Resources

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