UPDATE: MAY 31st, 2020 -- Welcome! This will be the last of my May updates (it is the last day, after all! plus the servers are about to crash and stay down until june 2nd...) but I have a big SY project coming within the next few months - a few other non-SY things have to fall into place first, but I'm relatively optimistic. If you want to know when it goes live, keep checking the front page of SCREAMING FIELDS OF SONIC LOVE or if you're like me and get most of your band news from Facebook, come join Screaming Fields of Sonic Love, a page I started 8 years ago and have not used once.

Anyway! New tabs! It's funny to go through this site and still see tabs from 1997, the year I started it. There seemed to be a real sweet spot in '97/98 and another in 2002 where some great folks were figuring out these great songs and inspiring me to do great work by sharing them online. I really would love to overhaul or at least continue to update this site - I'm pleased with the quality of much of the content, but I'll admit that some of my own teenage tabs are pretty weak. I have a batch of new ones to offer, but even now I'm not going to praise my efforts too much - I'll save that for the handful of people who actually e-mailed me tabs over the past few years! They're all so nice and properly typed up and measured out and user friendly, while mine are still vague and blunt as always. So please, if you want to work some tunes out and send them in, I'm totally interested!

Speaking of quality tablature...if you haven't checked out the Gear Guide in a while, I've been documenting tons of guitar magazines that feature some kind of Sonic Youth content. Very, very few of them contain any attempt at tablature, but I picked out three that I wanted to share here. None actually transcribe a complete song (I've still never seen a full SY song in any guitar magazine, ever) but there's lots of interesting stuff to read and it's just so cool to see actual SY tunes tabbed out "properly". I cut the text out of the Japanese mag tabs, but they really put a lot of focus on different elements of the band's sound - riffs, solo, improv, structure, etc. These scans are taken from Guitar Player February 1989, Guitar Player August 1991, and Guitar (Japan) September 1992. Enjoy!

(On another note, I don't expect to update the Gear Guide for a while, so I've secretly added one more item since last week's update - an Italian magazine from January 1996 called Chitarre.)

I get a considerable amount of e-mails from people asking me about gauges for restringing to use SY tunings. While there's a lot of info on the gauges and tunings in the aforementioned Gear Guide, it's spread out amongst each guitar and not easily referenced, so I made a chart that you can look at to get a general idea of what gauge string Thurston or Lee use for which notes, and the differences between them.

Alright, here are some new tabs. I want to thank Cody Knoefel, Lee Moore, Laurie Hulme, Felipe Errandonea Althausen, and Cedric Maury for their submissions. Please feel free to send more tabs, or corrections for ones already posted. Most of these are mine, please note I often won't indicate how many times to play a note or when to change chords, unless it's a "riff" that needs more obvious spacing. Otherwise I tend to overthink, overtype, overexplain...

Some of these are brand new, some are parts that weren't there before, some are corrections to existing tabs, some gave all.

  • KAT N HAT (both guitars + bass)
  • SHADOW OF A DOUBT (both guitars)
  • STEREO SANCTITY (both guitars)
  • KOTTON KROWN (both guitars)
  • THE SPRAWL (thurston)
  • ERIC'S TRIP (both guitars)
  • HEY JONI (both guitars)
  • RAIN KING (both guitars)
  • MOTE (both guitars)
  • UNWIND (thurston)
  • LITTLE TROUBLE GIRL (bass)
  • HOARFROST (lee)
  • MOIST VAGINA (all guitars)
  • KARENOLOGY (all guitars + bass)
  • UNMADE BED (bass)
  • MARIAH CAREY AND THE ARTHUR DOYLE HAND CREAM (all guitars + bass)
  • STONES (bass)
  • PAPER CUP EXIT (all guitars + bass)
  • I LOVE YOU GOLDEN BLUE (thurston + jim + bass)
  • PEACE ATTACK (bass)

    Fillin' in some Thurston solo holes:

  • TREES OUTSIDE THE ACADEMY
  • BENEDICTION
  • CEASE FIRE
  • EXALTED
  • TURN ON

    That's it for now! I'm still twistin' pegs and crackin' riffs though, so it won't be twenty years til the next update...Please write if you have any comments/corrections/additions/time.


    UPDATE: OCTOBER 18th, 2017 -- I've added tabs for Lee's awesome new album ELECTRIC TRIM. They're mostly based on Lee's stripped down solo versions, which you should check out on YouTube!

    If anyone wants to submit tabs for THE BEST DAY or ROCK N ROLL CONSCIOUSNESS, I'd be very happy to have those albums covered. There's lots of great songs, I'm just tired of decoding CGDGCD...!

    Otherwise, you may have noticed I've made some minor cosmetic changes to the site. The page launched in May 1997 (20 years ago!!) and I think this version of the design dates back to about 1999, so I suppose it was time. Don't worry -- it will always look like a website from the 90s, it's just less cluttered now.

    I'm most excited about the new "list by tuning" page, which replaces the previous mess that was the 20-year-old "tuning.txt" file. Check it out and let me know if you have any thoughts...there will be further updates to this site, hopefully with contributions by you!


    UPDATE: APRIL 16th, 2014 -- LAST NIGHT ON EARTH and (most of) CHELSEA LIGHT MOVING. The next update will be pure SONIC YOUTH...
    UPDATE: DECEMBER 8th, 2012 -- I've added a txt file w/ basic tabs of all the songs from Lee's "Between the Times and the Tides" LP. I will eventually add a proper section for them below, but for now they're together in a single txt file. I'm sure it's not perfect, so please send any corrections or additions you may have.


    UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 3rd, 2010 -- Good evening, and hi everybody! I get requests to add tabs once in a while, and for years one of the most common requests has been 'Psychic Hearts', and more recently 'Trees Outside the Academy'. I resisted for years, but boredom and the need to please has a funny way of making things happen, so I'm proud to bring you tabs for the entirety of "Psychic Hearts" and its related tracks, as well as the majority of "Trees Outside the Academy". I was originally planning on providing bass tabs as well as the Mascis solos, but I decided I wasn't that desperate for accolade. With all this attention on Thurston, I felt bad for Lee, so I've updated my outdated tab for his excellent solo acoustic piece "Here" (located under "Other Tabs") with the proper tuning, which also happens to be the tuning for the equally excellent "Lee #2", so I've updated that one too!

    Oh, I've also added complete tabs for every single part on 'The Eternal'. Enjoy!

    SEND ME YOUR TABS!

    site created and maintained by Chris Lawrence since 1997

    all tabs featured on this site are the unofficial work of individual interpreters and some are guaranteed to suck worse than others -- thrash at yr own risk!


    BURNING SPEAR Guitar Bass
    I DREAMED I DREAM Guitar Bass
    SHE IS NOT ALONE Guitar Bass
    I DON'T WANT TO PUSH IT Guitar Bass
    THE GOOD AND THE BAD Guitar Bass

    SHE'S IN A BAD MOOD Guitar Bass
    PROTECT ME YOU Guitar Bass
    I WANNA BE YR DOG Guitar Bass
    SHAKING HELL Guitar Bass
    INHUMAN Guitar Bass
    THE WORLD LOOKS RED Guitar Bass
    CONFUSION IS NEXT Guitar Bass
    MAKING THE NATURE SCENE Guitar Bass

    KILL YR IDOLS Guitar Bass
    BROTHER JAMES Guitar Bass
    EARLY AMERICAN Guitar Bass

    BRAVE MEN RUN Guitar Bass
    SOCIETY IS A HOLE Guitar Bass
    I LOVE HER ALL THE TIME Guitar Bass
    GHOST BITCH Guitar Bass
    I'M INSANE Guitar Bass
    JUSTICE IS MIGHT Guitar Bass
    DEATH VALLEY '69 Guitar Bass
    --
    SATAN IS BORING Guitar Bass
    FLOWER Guitar Bass
    HALLOWEEN Guitar Bass

    TOM VIOLENCE Guitar Bass
    SHADOW OF A DOUBT Guitar Bass
    STARPOWER Guitar Bass
    IN THE KINGDOM #19 Guitar Bass
    GREEN LIGHT Guitar Bass
    DEATH TO OUR FRIENDS Guitar Bass
    SECRET GIRL Guitar
    MARILYN MOORE Guitar Bass
    EXPRESSWAY TO YR SKULL Guitar Bass
    --
    BUBBLEGUM Guitar Bass

    SCHIZOPHRENIA Guitar Bass
    (I GOT A) CATHOLIC BLOCK Guitar Bass
    BEAUTY LIES IN THE EYE Guitar Bass
    STEREO SANCTITY Guitar Bass
    PIPELINE/KILL TIME Guitar Bass
    TUFF GNARL Guitar Bass
    PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY Guitar Bass
    HOTWIRE MY HEART Guitar Bass
    COTTON CROWN Guitar Bass
    WHITE KROSS Guitar Bass
    --
    MASTER-DIK Guitar Bass

    TEENAGE RIOT Guitar Bass
    SILVER ROCKET Guitar Bass
    THE SPRAWL Guitar Bass
    'CROSS THE BREEZE Guitar Bass
    ERIC'S TRIP Guitar Bass
    TOTAL TRASH Guitar Bass
    HEY JONI Guitar Bass
    CANDLE Guitar Bass
    RAIN KING Guitar Bass
    KISSABILITY Guitar Bass
    THE WONDER Guitar Bass
    HYPERSTATION Guitar Bass
    ELIMINATOR JR Guitar Bass

    DIRTY BOOTS Guitar Bass
    TUNIC Guitar Bass
    MARY-CHRIST Guitar Bass
    KOOL THING Guitar Bass
    MOTE Guitar Bass
    MY FRIEND GOO Guitar Bass
    DISAPPEARER Guitar Bass
    MILDRED PIERCE Guitar Bass
    CINDERELLA'S BIG SCORE Guitar Bass
    TITANIUM EXPOSE Guitar Bass

    100% Guitar Bass
    SWIMSUIT ISSUE Guitar
    THERESA'S SOUND-WORLD Guitar Bass
    DRUNKEN BUTTERFLY Guitar Bass
    SHOOT Guitar Bass
    WISH FULFILLMENT Guitar Bass
    SUGAR KANE Guitar Bass
    ORANGE ROLLS, ANGEL'S SPIT Guitar Bass
    YOUTH AGAINST FASCISM Guitar Bass
    NIC FIT Guitar Bass
    ON THE STRIP Guitar
    CHAPEL HILL Guitar Bass
    JC Guitar Bass
    STALKER Guitar Bass
    PURR Guitar Bass
    CREME BRULEE Guitar

    WINNER'S BLUES Guitar
    BULL IN THE HEATHER Guitar Bass
    STARFIELD ROAD Guitar Bass
    SKINK Guitar Bass
    SCREAMING SKULL Guitar Bass
    SELF-OBSESSED AND SEXXEE Guitar Bass
    BONE Guitar
    ANDROGYNOUS MIND Guitar Bass
    QUEST FOR THE CUP Guitar
    WAIST Guitar Bass
    DOCTOR'S ORDERS Guitar Bass
    TOKYO EYE Guitar Bass
    IN THE MIND OF THE BOURGEOIS READER Guitar Bass
    SWEET SHINE Guitar Bass

    BECUZ Guitar
    JUNKIE'S PROMISE Guitar
    SAUCER-LIKE Guitar
    WASHING MACHINE Guitar
    UNWIND Guitar
    LITTLE TROUBLE GIRL Guitar Bass
    NO QUEEN BLUES Guitar
    PANTY LIES Guitar Bass
    SKIP TRACER Guitar Bass
    THE DIAMOND SEA Guitar Bass

    CONTRE LE SEXISME Guitar
    SUNDAY Guitar Bass
    FEMALE MECHANIC NOW ON DUTY Guitar
    WILDFLOWER SOUL Guitar
    HOARFROST Guitar
    FRENCH TICKLER Guitar
    HITS OF SUNSHINE Guitar Bass
    KAREN KOLTRANE Guitar
    THE INEFFABLE ME Guitar
    SNARE, GIRL Guitar
    HEATHER ANGEL Guitar

    FREE CITY RHYMES Guitar Bass
    RENEGADE PRINCESS Guitar
    NEVERMIND (WHAT WAS IT ANYWAY) Guitar
    SMALL FLOWERS CRACK CONCRETE Guitar Bass
    SIDE2SIDE Guitar Bass
    STREAMXSONIK SUBWAY Guitar Bass
    NYC GHOSTS & FLOWERS Guitar Bass
    LIGHTNIN' Guitar

    THE EMPTY PAGE Guitar Bass
    DISCONNECTION NOTICE Guitar Bass
    RAIN ON TIN Guitar Bass
    KAREN REVISITED/KARENOLOGY Guitar Bass
    RADICAL ADULTS LICK GODHEAD STYLE Guitar Bass
    PLASTIC SUN Guitar Bass
    SYMPATHY FOR THE STRAWBERRY Guitar Bass

    PATTERN RECOGNITION Guitar Bass
    UNMADE BED Guitar Bass
    THE DRIPPING DREAM Guitar Bass
    KIM GORDON & THE ARTHUR DOYLE HAND CREAM Guitar Bass
    STONES Guitar Bass
    DUDE RANCH NURSE Guitar Bass
    NEW HAMPSHIRE Guitar Bass
    PAPER CUP EXIT Guitar Bass
    I LOVE YOU GOLDEN BLUE Guitar Bass
    PEACE ATTACK Guitar Bass

    REENA Guitar Bass
    INCINERATE Guitar Bass
    DO YOU BELIEVE IN RAPTURE? Guitar Bass
    SLEEPIN AROUND Guitar Bass
    WHAT A WASTE Guitar Bass
    JAMS RUN FREE Guitar Bass
    RATS Guitar Bass
    TURQUOISE BOY Guitar Bass
    LIGHTS OUT Guitar Bass
    THE NEUTRAL Guitar Bass
    PINK STEAM Guitar Bass
    OR Guitar Bass
    --
    HELEN LUNDEBERG Guitar Bass
    EYELINER Guitar Bass

    SACRED TRICKSTER Guitar Bass
    ANTI-ORGASM Guitar Bass
    LEAKY LIFEBOAT Guitar Bass
    ANTENNA Guitar Bass
    WHAT WE KNOW Guitar Bass
    CALMING THE SNAKE Guitar Bass
    POISON ARROW Guitar Bass
    MALIBU GAS STATION Guitar Bass
    THUNDERCLAP FOR BOBBY PYN Guitar Bass
    NO WAY Guitar Bass
    WALKIN BLUE Guitar Bass
    MASSAGE THE HISTORY Guitar Bass

    ORIGINAL SONGS
    KAT N HAT [live '85] Guitar Bass
    MACKIN' FOR DOOBER Guitar Bass
    FULL CHROME LOGIC Guitar Bass
    CORK MOUNTAIN INDICENT Guitar Bass
    MOUSTACHE RIDERS Guitar Bass
    TUCK N DAR Guitar Bass
    MOON IN THE BATHROOM Guitar Bass
    THOUGHT BUBBLES Guitar Bass
    RIM THRUSTERS Guitar Bass
    LINCOLN'S GOUT Guitar Bass
    COUGHING UP TWEED Guitar Bass
    PRE-POURED WOOD Guitar Bass
    HAIRPIECE LULLABY 1 & 2 Guitar Bass
    POCKETFUL OF SEN-SEN Guitar
    SMOKE BLISTERS 1 & 2 Guitar Bass
    THE DYNAMICS OF BULBING Guitar Bass
    SMOKE BLISTERS 3 & 4 Guitar Bass
    WEBB OF MUD 1, 2 & 3 Guitar Bass
    BACHELORS IN FUR! Guitar Bass
    MADE IN USA [Step-step-steppin' on Satan's Foot] Guitar Bass
    GUITAR LICK [Master-Dik EP] Guitar
    MACBETH Guitar Bass
    LEE #2 [Goo Demos] Guitar Bass
    GENETIC [100% single] Guitar Bass
    HENDRIX NECRO [100% single] Guitar Bass
    THE DESTROYED ROOM [Sugar Kane single] Guitar Bass
    TAMRA [Drunken Butterfly single] Guitar Bass
    THE END OF THE END OF THE UGLY [Sugar Kane single] Guitar Bass
    RAZOR BLADE [Bull in the Heather single] Guitar
    COMPILATION BLUES [DGC Rarities] Guitar
    MY ARENA [Diamond Sea single] Guitar
    BEE-BEE'S SONG [Suburbia] Guitar Bass
    TABLA IN SUBURBIA [Suburbia] Guitar Bass
    ANAGRAMA Guitar
    SLAAPKAMERS MET SLAGROOM Guitar
    STIL Guitar
    HERINNERINGEN Guitar
    COVER SONGS
    HALLOWED BE THY NAME [Lovedoll Superstars] Guitar Bass
    BURNIN' UP Guitar Bass
    INTO THE GROOVEY Guitar Bass
    BEAT ON THE BRAT [Master-Dik EP] Guitar Bass
    LOUDMOUTH [Hold That Tiger] Guitar Bass
    I DON'T WANNA WALK AROUND W/ YOU [Hold That Tiger] Guitar Bass
    TODAY YR LOVE, TOMORROW THE WORLD [Hold That Tiger] Guitar Bass
    I AM RIGHT [Melting Plot] Guitar Bass
    ROWCHE RUMBLE [Peel '88 - 4 Tunna Brix] Guitar Bass
    PSYCHO MAFIA [Peel '88 - 4 Tunna Brix] Guitar Bass
    MY NEW HOUSE [Peel '88 - 4 Tunna Brix] Guitar Bass
    VICTORIA [Peel '88 - 4 Tunna Brix] Guitar Bass
    TOUCH ME I'M SICK [Mudhoney split] Guitar Bass
    WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU [Sgt Pepper Knew My Father] Guitar Bass
    COMPUTER AGE [The Bridge] Guitar Bass
    BURNING FARM [Every Band Has A Shonen Knife...] Guitar Bass
    ELECTRICITY [Fast n Bulbous] Guitar Bass
    I KNOW THERE'S AN ANSWER [Smiles, Vibes...] Guitar Bass
    THAT'S ALL I KNOW RIGHT NOW [Kool Thing single] Guitar Bass
    IS IT MY BODY? [Sub Pop Singles Club] Guitar Bass
    PERSONALITY CRISIS [Sassy Flexi/Whores Moaning] Guitar Bass
    CA PLANE POUR MOI [Freedom of Choice] Guitar Bass
    SUPERSTAR [If I Were a Carpenter] Guitar Bass
    SIMPSONS THEME [Go Simpsonic w/ the Simpsons] Guitar Bass
    MOIST VAGINA [Sunday single] Guitar
    SIX FOR NEW TIME Guitar
    + - Guitar
    HAVING NEVER WRITTEN A NOTE FOR PERCUSSION Guitar
    FOUR6 Guitar
     

    QUEEN BEE AND HER PALS Guitar
    ONO SOUL Guitar
    PSYCHIC HEARTS Guitar
    PRETTY BAD Guitar
    PATTI SMITH MATH SCRATCH Guitar
    BLUES FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE Guitar
    SEE-THROUGH PLAYMATE Guitar
    HANG OUT Guitar
    FEATHERS Guitar
    TRANQUILIZER Guitar
    STARING STATUES Guitar
    CINDY (ROTTEN TANX) Guitar
    CHERRY'S BLUES Guitar
    FEMALE COP Guitar
    ELEGY FOR ALL THE DEAD ROCK STARS Guitar
    --
    TEENAGE BUDDHIST DAYDREAM Guitar
    JUST TELL HER THAT I REALLY LIKE HER Guitar
    THE CHURCH SHOULD BE FOR THE OUTCAST... Guitar
    SUPERCHRIST Guitar

    FROZEN GTR Guitar
    THE SHAPE IS IN A TRANCE Guitar
    HONEST JAMES Guitar
    SILVER > BLUE Guitar
    FRI/END Guitar
    WONDERFUL WITCHES + LANGUAGE MEANIES Guitar
    OFF WORK Guitar
    NEVER DAY Guitar
    TREES OUTSIDE THE ACADEMY Guitar
    --
    MARIKA Guitar

    LIP Guitar
    SLEEPING WHERE I FALL Guitar
    ALIGHTED Guitar
    EMPIRES OF TIME Guitar
    GROOVY + LINDA Guitar
    BURROUGHS Guitar
    MOHAWK Guitar
    FRANK O'HARA HIT Guitar
    --
    HEAVENMETAL Guitar

    MORE THURSTON!
    BENEDICTION [Demolished Thoughts] Guitar
    EXALTED [Rock n Roll Consciousness] Guitar
    TURN ON [Rock n Roll Consciousness] Guitar
    CEASE FIRE [Rock n Roll Consciousness era single] Guitar

    WAITING ON A DREAM Guitar
    OFF THE WALL Guitar
    X-TINA AS I KNEW HER Guitar
    ANGLES Guitar
    HAMMER BLOWS Guitar
    FIRE ISLAND Guitar
    LOST Guitar
    SHOUTS Guitar
    STRANDED Guitar
    TOMORROW NEVER COMES Guitar

    LECCE, LEAVING Guitar
    KEY/HOLE Guitar
    HOME CHDS Guitar
    THE RISING TIDE Guitar
    LAST NIGHT ON EARTH Guitar
    BY THE WINDOW Guitar
    LATE DESCENT #2 Guitar
    AMBULANCER Guitar
    BLACKT OUT Guitar

    MOROCCAN MOUNTAINS Guitar
    UNCLE SKELETON Guitar
    LET'S START AGAIN Guitar
    LAST LOOKS Guitar
    CIRCULAR (RIGHT AS RAIN) Guitar
    ELECTRIC TRIM Guitar
    PURLOINED Guitar
    THROWN OVER THE WALL Guitar
    NEW THING Guitar

    MORE LEE!
    HERE [Guitarrorists/Amarillo Ramp] Guitar