Iris Guitar Lesson – Goo Goo Dolls

In this video guitar lesson you will learn how to play the acoustic smash hit "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls.

First off, you will need to re-tune your guitar to what will probably be the strangest tuning you have ever used. Guitarist John Rzeznik favors these types of tunings for his acoustic work.

The tuning he uses for "Iris" requires you to tune your 6th string down to a B. Then all of the other strings are tuned to a D. So the complete tuning is: B  D  D  D  D  D

This creates a sound almost like 2 twelve string guitars playing together. The lower B string is usually just used for the moving bass lines. All in all it creates a nice full sounding and unique sound.

Your guitar may not like such a drastic tuning change though. Mine certainly didn't which I complain about a bit in the video lesson.  🙂

Your guitar may require a little intonation adjustment for you to make everything sound in tune all over the fretboard.

In any case, this Iris guitar lesson video will teach you the whole song in it's entirety. It really is quite a beautiful song that is made very easy to play due to the unique tuning.

If anyone out there is hoping to play "Iris" for their significant other, I am sorry that I can't help you with the vocals. I am the last person on earth you would want to take a singing lesson from. Haha!!

Enjoy! Carl..

If these free lessons help you, please donate to keep new ones coming daily. Thanks!! 🙂

Donate to GuitarLessons365
Other Amount:

Iris Guitar Lesson


  1. Jim Doerfler on August 13, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Is it possible they played this on a strummer? (4-string)

    • Carl Brown on August 14, 2014 at 9:28 am

      Nah he used a six string with this one. The tuning is very strange I know but that is what you get with any Goo Goo Dolls acoustic music. 🙂

  2. Barbara on September 14, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I watched an interview with the group and…it turns out that the lead singer had the song stuck in his head one night and “ran downstairs to the studio and recorded it, one of the strings was broken on my guitar so I ended up recording using only five strings, four notes But hey, it worked and we decided to leave it like it was.”

  3. Natalie on July 26, 2017 at 5:21 am

    Hi Carl,
    love how you always point out the positive sides to it… creepy tuning, but a really unique one also. I am serious, it’s a rewarding try even though you find other versions for standard as well… so thanks for taking the time 🙂

  4. Mason Carter on April 15, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Hey Carl, Is it possible that you could do a lesson for Before It’s Too Late by Goo Goo Dolls?

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.