Written by Eddie Vedder long before he joined Pearl Jam, "Better Man" was eventually released on the band's third studio album Vitalogy. Despite the lack of a commercial single release, "Better Man" reached the top of the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and spent a total of eight weeks at number one.
The opening fingerstyle guitar riff is the most challenging part of the song. It requires a very specific rhythm that requires good synchronization between the picking hand and fret hand.
I will break down this fingerpicking pattern so that hopefully you will be able to lock into the groove of it pretty quickly.
Another element of "Better Man" that can be cumbersome is the use of the thumb to play the bass notes on the 6th string throughout most of the song. This can get tiresome, even if you are used to doing this technique. You may want to play the chords during the intro/verse with your index finger playing the notes on the string, and then during the bigger chord forms that appear later in the song simply use basic major bar chord shapes during the strumming parts.
Either way, you will still be playing the exact same notes so it will sound great.
I hope you guys enjoy tackling this highly requested song from Pearl Jam!
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