How to Play Crooked Teeth on Guitar (Beginner’s Guide)

Are you ready to rock like Death Cab for Cutie? Do you want to know how to play Crooked Teeth on guitar? The hit song Crooked Teeth is a fan favorite, and it’s surprisingly easy to play on guitar! Follow these steps, and you’ll be strumming away in no time. 

Whether you are starting or an experienced player, this guide will help you learn how to play Crooked Teeth. So, what are we waiting for? 

Let’s get started!

How to Play Crooked Teeth on Guitar

Chords & Strumming Pattern

Crooked Teeth consists of three chords: C, G, and Am. The song follows a basic strumming pattern that alternates between downstrokes and upstrokes. 

Start with four downstrokes (down-down-down-down) followed by two upstrokes (up-up). Repeat this throughout the entire song. When playing the C chord, strum from the A string down to the low E string. 

For G and Am chords, strum from the low E string up to the A string.

Lead Guitar Solo & Outro Riff

Once you have mastered the chords and strumming pattern of Crooked Teeth, it’s time to add some lead guitar parts. The solo in Crooked Teeth is relatively simple but sounds excellent when played correctly. 

It consists of four notes repeated twice before transitioning into an outro riff which is also made up of four letters. 

Make sure you practice both parts slowly at first before attempting full speed. This will ensure you don’t make mistakes while playing with your favorite Death Cab for Cutie tracks!

Speed & Timing

Now that you know how to play Crooked Teeth on guitar, let’s talk about speed and timing. 

Play each chord at a medium speed – not too fast or slow – so it sounds natural when transitioning between them during playback. 

As far as timing goes, make sure to start each chord right on beat one so that every note is ideally in sync with your backing track or bandmates if they’re present. 

With enough practice, even novice players can master this classic tune!


Learning to play Crooked Teeth on guitar can seem daunting, but if you follow these steps closely, you’ll have no problem mastering the chords and lead parts of this Death Cab for Cutie classic! 

Practice makes perfect, so take your time with each step and remember timing and speed when playing with others or backing tracks. 

With enough dedication and determination, even college students can become intermediate-level players in no time! So grab your guitar, plug it into your amp or headphones, and let’s learn how to play Crooked Teeth on guitar together!

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