Songnotes

the hand-crafted music library of @davidpots

 

follow Songnotes:

Matilda

alt-J

from the album An Awesome Wave released in 2012

jump to: lyrics / notes & tabs / videos / chord progressions / song info

Lyrics

Refrain

(Em) (A) D This is from... this is from... this is from Matilda D ... D ... D ... D ... x2 (...see below for guitar tab) G ... G ... G ... G ... x1

Verse

Em G ...Just like Johnny Flynn said Bm A "The breath I've taken and the one I must," to go on Em G ...Put the grenade pin in your hand Bm A So you understand who's boss Em G Bm A ...My defeat sleeps top to toe with her success Em A D Oh, this is from... this is from... this is from Matilda D ... D ... D ... D ... x1 G ... G ... G ... G ... x1

Bridge

Em D G D ...And she needs you... this is for Matilda Em D G D ...And she needs you... this is for Matilda Just like Johnny Flynn said "The breath I've taken and the one I must," to go on Put the grenade pin in your hand So you understand who's boss My defeat sleeps top to toe with her success ...And she needs you... this is for Matilda ...And she needs you... this is for Matilda ...And she needs you... this is for Matilda ...Elle a besoin de toi... cela vient de Matilda (queiter) ...And she needs you... this is for Matilda ...And she needs you... this is for Matilda (normal volume) ...And she needs you... this is for Matilda ...And she needs you... this is for Matilda

Ending

A G D D ...This is for Matilda... A G D D ...This is for Matilda... A G D D .............. Matilda... A G D D .............. Matilda... (end on sustained D)

Notes & Tabs

Guitar Chords Used

Nice and straightforward chords given the key of D. Here they are for guitar. I prefer playing the G with my ring finger draped on the low E string, muting the 5th string. This frees up my index and middle finger to riff on the higher strings, which I show in sections below.

e-|---2----3----0----0-----2----
B-|---3----0----2----0-----3----
G-|---2----0----2----0-----4----
D-|---0----0----2----2-----4----
A-|--------x----0----2-----2----
E-|--------3---------0----------
      D    G    A    Em    Bm 

Approximating the Guitar Intro

To play the acoustic guitar intro as heard on the album version of the song, you'll want to play something like this. Any basic fingerpicking pattern using the D chord will work here. The trick is adding your pinky on the 3rd fret (of the high string) at the right moment. Listen along, and play what works for you.

e-|---2----------2----------2----------2---3-----|--
B-|-----3---3------3---3------3---2------3---3---|--
G-|-------2----------2----------2----------------|--
D-|---0----------0----------0----------0---------|--  ...repeat this 4 times
A-|----------------------------------------------|--
E-|----------------------------------------------|--
      D 

For the four bars of G that come after the D, I play it like this. Note, the G could very well be an Em chord here. I prefer playing a G, as it makes the transition to Em (at the start of the verse) much more profound.

e-|---3----------3----------3----------3---------|--
B-|-----0---0------0---0------0---0------0---0---|--
G-|-------0----------0----------0----------0-----|--
D-|----------------------------------------------|--  ...repeat this 2 times
A-|----------------------------------------------|--
E-|---3----------3----------3----------3---------|--
      G 

An additional way to add some melodic voicing to the final measure of G in the intro / refrain is as follows. I play this by having my ring finger on the low E string, freeing up my middle finger to help with the 2nd fret voicing on the high E string. Listen along for reference! This shows only an approximation of the rhythm, and is more focused on the notes played.

e-|---3--x--------0---2---3---x---3---2------|---0--------3-----------
B-|---0--x--------------------x----------0---|---0--------0-----------
G-|---0--x--------------------x--------------|---0--------0-----------
D-|------------------------------------------|---2--------0-----------  ...etc
A-|------------------------------------------|---2--------x-----------
E-|---3--------------------------------------|---0--------3-----------
      G                                          Em       G 
                                               "Just like Johnny Flynn said..."

How I Play the Bridge

You can surely play the bridge using the chords shown above in any standard fashion, with whatever strumming pattern you please. With that said, here is how I prefer to play it. I prefer to walk up the bassline, as shown here. This lets the bridge sound a bit more distinct from the verse and refrain.

e-|---------------------------------------------------------------|--
B-|---------------------------------------------------------------|--
G-|---------0-------------2------------0-----------------------2--|--
D-|-------2-------------0------------0-----------------------0----|--  ...etc
A-|-----2-------------0------------2-----------------------0------|--
E-|---0-------------2------------3-----------------------2--------|--
      Em           D/F#          G                      D/F# 
           "And she needs you...        ...this is for Matilda..."

How I Play the Ending

Again, you can approach this however you want. I prefer to emphasize the top strings, moving downward to the lower frets from the higher ones. As shown below. Pick / strum the chords shown here however you want, but these are the positions I use.

e-|----5----------3------------2---2----|---5---------3------------2---2--|--
B-|----5----------3------------3---3----|---5---------3------------3---3--|--
G-|----6----------4------------2---2----|---6---------4------------2---2--|--
D-|----7----------5------------0---0----|---7---------5------------0---0--|--
A-|-------------------------------------|---------------------------------|--
E-|-------------------------------------|---------------------------------|--
       A          G            D   D        A         G            D   D 
      "...This is for Matilda...           ...This is for Matilda..."

Videos

Songnotes Guitar Lesson

Here is a video I made showing how to play this song, using the chords and tabs shown on this page. If this is helpful, subscribe to the Songnotes YouTube channel for more tutorials and lessons like this.



Official Music Video

To hear the official album version of this song, check out the music video here.



alt-J Live Acoustic Version

Here is a nice and intimate version of alt-J playing this live. Nice to see how they're approaching things on the guitar.



Recommended Cover Versions

Here is a great solo acoustic cover of this song. Note that it is played in a different key (E, instead of D).



Likewise, here is a ukulele version I enjoy.



Chord Progressions

Refrain

"This is from, this is from... this is from Matilda"
| Em . . . | Em . . . | A . . . | A . . . | A . . . |
Instrumental, without lyrics
| D . . . | D . . . | D . . . | D . . . | x2
| G . . . | G . . . | G . . . | G . . . | x1

Verse

"Just like Johnny Flynn said..."
| Em . . . | G . . . | Bm . . . | A . . . | (repeat)

Bridge

"And she needs you..."
| Em . . . | D . . . | G . . . | D . . . | (repeat)

Ending

"Matilda... Matilda..."
| A . . . | G . . . | D . . . | D . . . |
                       (repeat, end on D)

Song Info

Song: Matilda
Artist: alt-J
Album: An Awesome Wave
Year: 2012
Label: Infectious Records

Tip Jar

Want to support Songnotes? If you would like to donate a dollar or few, that would make my day. I've spent over 1000+ hours building this site and transcribing these songs -- and happily make everything available freely. Visit my PayPal page if you'd like to toss something back my way.

Donate via PayPal

Thanks so much!

Video Lessons

Here are some of the video lessons I have made recently. I typically aim to create 3-4 lessons per month. Subscribe on YouTube to be sure you never miss a new lesson.



View my notes & tabs for Issues →

View my notes & tabs for 2U →

View my notes & tabs for Uh Huh →

View my notes & tabs for Meet Me in the Hallway →

View my notes & tabs for Stairway to Heaven →

View my notes & tabs for Wish You Were Here →

View my notes & tabs for Shape of You →

View my notes & tabs for Simple Man →

View my notes & tabs for Highwayman →

View my notes & tabs for Audition (The Fools Who Dream) →

View my notes & tabs for Strangers →

View my notes & tabs for A Lovely Night →

View my notes & tabs for this song →

Browse All Songs

Here's a list of the 173 songs I've added to the site since December 2012. Each song was added by me personally.

Songs are grouped by the year they were released.

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1985
1984
1983
1982
1981
1980
1977
1975
1974
1972
1971
1970
1969
1968
1967
1965
1964
1961
1960
1958
1957

About

My name is David Potsiadlo, and I created Songnotes to share my collection of guitar tabs, chords, and lyrics for my favorite songs.

Since I started playing guitar over 10 years ago, I've often been frustrated by the preponderance of mediocre and incomplete song tabs littered across the internet. To combat this, I started keeping my own collection of notes for each song I learn -- always taking the extra time to make sure accuracy and completeness are never compromised. Years later, my collection grew to the point where I knew I had to share it online with fellow aspiring musicians.

In December 2012, I began designing & developing a website that became Songnotes. Here, I share my personal collection of hand-crafted music notation with all those online. I hope you enjoy.

You can also view my personal website or follow me on Twitter / Dribbble / GitHub / LinkedIn.