Losing My Religion Guitar Chords – R.E.M.

In this Losing My Religion guitar chords lesson, I will show you how to play this Grammy award winning hit by R.E.M.

Released in 1991 as the lead single off their Out Of Time album, "Losing My Religion" was to become the band's biggest hit single of their career.

"Losing My Religion" is dominated by a Mandolin riff. Obviously this isn't a mandolin lesson, so what I will be demonstrating through the video lesson is the acoustic guitar chords that are following along with the mandolin for the entire song. We will be using standard tuning.

There will be one section, the simple mandolin melody that closes out the song, that I will transcribe for guitar and show you how to play at the end of this lesson video. In addition to that, I will briefly show you how to play the main mandolin riff an octave lower while you are strumming the chords. This can be pretty tricky to do though, so you may just want to focus on the chords without the embellishments.

Overall the chords are pretty simple to play as long as you can play a simple bar chord and standard open position major and minor chords.

I will be demonstrating each section of the song just as it occurs on the original recording.

There are also 3 different rhythmic feels used in "Losing My Religion". Each one of those uses it own unique strumming pattern. I will demonstrate each one of those strumming patterns as well.

I hope you enjoy learning this classic from the great R.E.M. 🙂


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Losing My Religion Guitar Chords - R.E.M.


  1. Allan Donovan on July 10, 2020 at 8:52 am

    I find that playing this on a 12 string emulates the mandolin even better. Just saying!

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