Lessons

Background and Commentary

“‘Lessons’ is a rarity in that Alex gets the sole songwriting credit. But, in another sense, it is an atypical Rush song, opening quietly before rocking out.”—Bill Banasiewicz, Rush Visions

“The lyrics don’t mean a whole lot but they almost sound like the priests [from ‘2112’] are still rambling . . . ‘You know we’ve told you before!'”—Robert Telleria, Merely Players

The lyrics are in fact enigmatic, but they appear to pick up on the same theme as “Best I Can” from the band’s second album and even “2112” to a certain extent: despite moments of self-doubt, and despite opposing advice from others, the narrator knows what his goal is. He has to stop and remind himself periodically why he’s doing what he’s doing. The fact is, his goal is larger than his own wants and needs. As it is, he’s already advanced part of the way, and although what he’s experienced hasn’t always matched up to what he expected, he’ll press on, and he’ll press on despite the chorus of doubters who think he should have taken a different road.

Lyrics

Sweet memories
Flashing very quickly by
Reminding me
And giving me a reason why
I know that
My goal is more than a thought
I’ll be there
When I teach what I’ve been taught
And I’ve been taught

You know we’ve told you before
But you didn’t hear us then
So you still question why
No! You didn’t listen again
You didn’t listen again

Sweet memories
I never thought it would be like this
Reminding me
Just how close I came to missing
I know that
This is the way for me to go
You’ll be there
When you know what I know
And I know

You know we’ve told you before
But you didn’t hear us then
So you still question why
No! You didn’t listen again
You didn’t listen again

Tablature

By Jimmy Pena (jimmy@walrus.com)

Excerpted from Fretplay.

This song is in the key of A. It switches to E for the chorus.
The solo is incomplete and may have some mistakes in it.

| = not a standard bar line; just used to separate music
~ = vibrato or held note
h = hammer on
p = pull off
s = slide
b = bend string up to indicated pitch/fret
r = release bend to indicated string/fret
/ = slide up from infinity
\ = slide down into infinity
[5] = artificial harmonic (use thumb to follow through the pick attack)
o \_
o / repeat sign (always look for these!)

[Riff 1] – Freely

A D Dsus2 G D
e:———-2–2–0—–0-0–3~—3-3—-7—5—-2——————|
B:–2–2-2–3–3–3—–3-3–3~—3-3—-8—7—-3——————|
G:–2–2-2–2–2–2—–2-2–0~—0-0—-7—7—-2——————|
D:–2–2-2–0–0–0—–0-0–0~—0-0————-0——————|
A:–0–0-0——————-2~—2-2——————————–|
E:—————————3~—3-3——————————–|
A D Dsus2 G
e:———-2–2–0—-3—2—3—2———————————|
B:–2–2-2–3–3–3—-3—3—3—3———————————|
G:–2–2-2–2–2–2—-0—2—0—2———————————|
D:–2–2-2–0–0–0—-0—0—0—0———————————|
A:–0–0-0————-2——-2————————————-|
E:———————3——-3————————————-|

[Riff 2]
________________________________
E5 A B E D |1. A |2. A G
e:————————————-|———|———————|
B:——————2–4—-9—–7~—|———|———————|
G:o—————–2–4—-9—–7~—|——–o|———————|
D:o-2-2-2-2-2-2—–2–4—-9—–7~—|—-7—o|—-7—5————|
A:–2-2-2-2-2-2—–0–2—-7—–5~—|—-7—-|—-7—5————|
E:–0-0-0-0-0-0————————|—-5—-|—-5—3————|

[Riff 3]
G5 A5 G5 E5 A5 G5 G5 A5 G5 E5 A5 B5
e:———————————–|——————————-|
B:———————————–|——————————-|
G:———————————–|——————————-|
D:–5–5—7–7—5–5—2—7——-|-5–5–7–7–5–5–2—7—9—|
A:–5–5—7–7—5–5—2—7——-|-5–5–7–7–5–5–2—7—9—|
E:–3–3—5–5—3–3—0—5–3~–0|-3–3–5–5–3–3–0—5—7—|

[Riff 4]
G5 A5 G5 E5 A5 G5 G5 A5 G5 E5 A5 D5
e:———————————-|——————————–|
B:———————————-|—————————-3—|
G:———————————-|————————2—2—|
D:–5–5–7–7–5–5–2—7———|–5–5–7–7–5–5–2—2—0—|
A:–5–5–7–7–5–5–2—7———|–5–5–7–7–5–5–2—0——-|
E:–3–3–5–5–3–3–0—5—3~–0-|–3–3–5–5–3–3–0———–|

[Fill 1]
e:———————–15——————————————|
B:-15b17~~17–15–15b17—–15-15b17r16b17~~—–15p12—-12———|
G:—————————————————–14—-14b16—|
D:——————————————————————-|
A:——————————————————————-|
E:——————————————————————-|

e:——————————–5-5———–10p7—————–|
B:–12————–8p5—-5—8——8–5~~———10–10b12r10b12-|
G:—–14b16~~~———7——————————————–|
D:——————————————————————-|
A:——————————————————————-|
E:——————————————————————-|

For complete tab, go to Fretplay.

Tutorials

“Lessons” guitar cover

“Lessons” bass cover

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~ by rvkeeper on February 1, 2011.

 
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