The Smiths – Pretty Girls Make Graves

My take on this glorious track from their eponymous debut album with that coda/outro. Like a strange (in a good way) song from some undocumented esoteric folk/post-punk hybrid genre.

I’ve transcribed based upon the way that Marr played this song live in 1984, which (to confuse things further) he approached based upon the studio ‘Cello Version’ originally recorded during the Troy Tate album sessions. These were later abandoned and the debut was pretty much completely re-done with John Porter as producer. However, this recording from the earlier sessions later appeared as a B-side to ‘I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish’. You can also see this version live on the Rockpalast TV performance from ’84 in various videos dotted around YT, which is what I used as my main resource to analyse the various parts.

I also assembled a basic backing track and attempted Andy Rourke’s bass parts.


For the audio, I’m using my 1964 Fender Telecaster AVRI into a DAW using the Overloud TH3 plugin. Boss-style Chorus into a compressor plus delay & reverb. Amp is AC-30-style with Fender Twin 2×12 cabinet. To my ears the Vox sounded better with its mid-range push for a slightly grittier sound.


Click the image below to view the tab on Ultimate Guitar.

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