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What’s Up Chords: How to Play the 90s Hit Song by 4 Non Blondes

If you are a fan of 90s alternative rock music, you might have heard of the song “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes. The song was released in 1992 and became a worldwide hit, reaching the top of the charts in several countries. The song is also known for its catchy chorus, where the singer Linda Perry belts out “Hey yeah yeah hey, hey yeah yeah” and asks “What’s going on?”.

The song is not only popular, but also easy to play on the guitar. In this article, we will show you how to play “What’s Up” chords using simple diagrams and instructions. You will also learn some background information about the song and its lyrics.

What You Need to Play “What’s Up” Chords

To play “What’s Up” chords, you will need a guitar, a capo, and a tuner. You can use either an acoustic or an electric guitar, but we recommend using an acoustic guitar for a more authentic sound. A capo is a device that clamps across the fretboard of the guitar and changes the pitch of the strings. A tuner is a device that helps you tune your guitar to the correct notes.

"What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes
 
Capo II
 
[Intro]
 
G  Am  C  G ,
 
Tab is not relative to the capo.
                G                         Am
      .  .
e|------------|-------------------------|---------------------------|
B|------------|-------------------------|---------------------------|
G|-/9-9--9--9-|-------------------------|------------2----------2---|
D|------------|-7-----------------7-7-\-|-4-----2h4-----4--2--4---4-|
A|------------|-------------------------|---------------------------|
E|------------|-------------------------|---------------------------|
 
   C                           G                         (over verse)
e|---------------------------|--------------------------|-------------
B|------------------------5b-|--------------------------|-------------
G|-2------------------7---5b-|--------------------------|-------------
D|------------------7---7----|-7------------------------|-7-----------
A|---------------------------|------------------7--5-7--|-------------
E|---------------------------|--------------------------|-------------
 
/ = slide up, \ = slide down, . = staccato, h = hammer on, b = bend (slight)
 
[Verse 1]
G
Twenty-five years and my life is still
Am
Trying to get up that great big hill
   C               G
Of hope for a destination
G
I realized quickly when I knew I should
         Am
That the world was made up of this brotherhood
   C                      G
Of man, for whatever that means
 
[Pre-Chorus]
         G
And so I cry sometimes when I'm lying in bed
        Am
Just to get it all out, what's in my head
      C                         G
and I - I am feeling a little peculiar
         G
And so I wake in the morning and I step outside
      Am
and I take a deep breath and I get real high and
  C                                           G
I scream at the top of my lungs "What's going on?"
 
[Chorus]
            G           Am
And I said "Heyeyeyeyey Heyeyey"
        C                 G
I said "Hey, what's going on?"
            G           Am
And I said "Heyeyeyeyey Heyeyey"
        C                 G
I said "Hey, what's going on?"
 
[Interlude]
G     Am  C   G
Ooh, Ooh Ooh
G     Am  C   G
Ooh, Ooh Ooh
 
[Verse]
      G                   Am
And I try, oh my God do I try
              C                  G
I try all the time, in this institution
      G                    Am
And I pray, oh my god do I pray
                    C
I pray every single day
          G
For a revolution
 
[Pre-Chorus]
         G
And so I cry sometimes when I'm lying in bed
        Am
Just to get it all out, what's in my head
      C                         G
and I - I am feeling a little peculiar
         G
And so I wake in the morning and I step outside
      Am
and I take a deep breath and I get real high and
  C                                           G
I scream at the top of my lungs "What's going on?"
 
[Chorus]
            G           Am
And I said "Heyeyeyeyey Heyeyey"
        C                 G
I said "Hey, what's going on?"
            G           Am
And I said "Heyeyeyeyey Heyeyey"
        C                 G
I said "Hey, what's going on?"
 
[Chorus]
            G           Am
And I said "Heyeyeyeyey Heyeyey"
        C                 G
I said "Hey, what's going on?"
            G           Am
And I said "Heyeyeyeyey HeyeYEYEYE"
        C                 G
I said "Hey, what's going on?"
 
[Interlude]
G     Am  C   G
Ooh, Ooh Ooh
 
[Outro]
G
Twenty-five years and my life is still
Am                                      C
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
           G
For a destination

How to Play “What’s Up” Chords: The Intro

The intro of the song consists of two measures of G followed by two measures of Am, then two measures of C followed by two measures of Gsus2. This pattern is repeated twice before the verse begins. Here is how it looks in tablature:

e|—————–|—————–|—————–|—————–| B|—————–|—————–|—————–|—————–| G|—–0——-0—|—–2——-2—|—–0——-0—|—–0——-0—| D|—0—0—0—0-|—2—2—2—2-|—2—2—2—2-|—0—0—0—0-| A|-2——-2——-|-0——-0——-|-3——-3——-|-x——-x——-| E|-3——-3——-|-x——-x——-|-x——-x——-|-3——-3——-|

To play this intro, start by playing a G chord and strumming it four times with a steady rhythm. Then switch to an Am chord and strum it four times as well. Then do the same for C and Gsus2 chords. Repeat this sequence once more and then you are ready for the verse.

How to Play “What’s Up” Chords: The Verse

The verse of the song follows the same chord progression as the intro, but with some variations in the strumming pattern and some embellishments on the G and Am chords. Here is how it looks in tablature:

e|—————–|—————–|—————–|—————–| B|—————–|—————–|—————–|—————–| G|-/9-9–9–9——|—–2——-2—|—–0——-0—|—–0——-0—| D|———–7–7\-|-4—–4h5–5–5-|-7—–7–7–7\-|-5—–5–5–5\-| A|-7–7–7———|-5—–5—-5—-|-8—–8–8——|-6—–6–6——| E|-8–8–8———|-x—–x—-x—-|-x—–x–x——|-x—–x–x——|

To play this verse, start by sliding your ring finger from the seventh fret to the ninth fret on the G string and playing a G chord. Then slide it back to the seventh fret and play a G chord again. Then switch to an Am chord and play it four times, but hammer on your pinky finger on the fifth fret of the D string on the second and fourth strums. Then switch to a C chord and play it four times, but slide your ring finger from the seventh fret to the fifth fret on the D string on the second and fourth strums. Then switch to a Gsus2 chord and play it four times, but slide your ring finger from the fifth fret to the fourth fret on the D string on the second and fourth strums. Repeat this sequence once more and then you are ready for the pre-chorus.

How to Play “What’s Up” Chords: The Pre-Chorus

The pre-chorus of the song changes the chord progression slightly, using G, Am, C, and G chords. Here is how it looks in tablature:

e|—————–|—————–|—————–|—————–| B|—————–|—————–|—————–|—————–| G|—–0——-0—|—–2——-2—|—–0——-0—|—–0——-0—| D|—0—0—0—0-|—2—2—2—2-|—2—2—2—2-|—0—0—0—0-| A|-2——-2——-|-0——-0——-|-3——-3——-|-x——-x——-| E|-3——-3——-|-x——-x——-|-x——-x——-|-3——-3——-|

To play this pre-chorus, start by playing a G chord and strumming it four times with a steady rhythm. Then switch to an Am chord and strum it four times as well. Then do the same for C and G chords. Repeat this sequence once more and then you are ready for the chorus.

How to Play “What’s Up” Chords: The Chorus

The chorus of the song is the most memorable part, where you get to sing along with Linda Perry’s powerful vocals. The chorus uses the same chords as the pre-chorus, but with a different strumming pattern and some pauses. Here is how it looks in tablature:

e|—————–|—————–|—————–|—————–| B|—————–|—————–|—————–|—————–| G|—–0———–|—–2———–|—–0———–|—–0———–| D|—0————-|—2————-|—2————-|—0————-| A|-2—————|-0—————|-3—————|-x—————| E|-3—————|-x—————|-x—————|-3—————|

To play this chorus, start by playing a G chord and strumming it once with a strong accent. Then pause for a beat and then strum it again with another accent. Then switch to an Am chord and do the same thing. Then do the same for C and G chords. Repeat this sequence once more and then you are ready for the interlude.

How to Play “What’s Up” Chords: The Interlude

The interlude of the song is a short instrumental section that uses the same chords as the intro, but with some variations in the strumming pattern and some vocalizations by Linda Perry. Here is how it looks in tablature:

e|—————–|—————–|—————–|—————–| B|–3–3–3–3–3–|–1–1–1–1–1–|–1–1–1–1–1–|–3–3–3–3–3–| G|–4–4–4–4–4–|–2–2–2–2–2–|–0–0–0–0–0–|–4–4–4–4–4–| D|–5–5–5–5–5\-|–4h5p4p2p4p5p4\-|–5h7p5p7p9p7\-|–5h7p5p7p9p7\-| A|–5h7p5p7p9p7\-|–x————–|–x————–|–x————–| E|–x————–|–x————–|–x————–|–x————–|

To play this interlude, start by playing a G chord and strumming it five times with a steady rhythm. Then switch to an Am chord and strum it five times as well, but add some hammer-ons and pull-offs on the D string with your pinky finger. Then do the same for C and Gsus2 chords, but add some hammer-ons and pull-offs on both the D and G strings with your ring and pinky fingers. Repeat this sequence once more and then you are ready for the

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