Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Follow You Into the Dark

Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Follow You Into the Dark (Chords)

The second part of Captain Obvious Week and it’s Ben Gibbard again. A very different sound to last time but some very similar chords.

Suggested Strumming

For the verses you can go with:

d – d u

All the way through. But you have to hold some chords longer than others. For the verse you do it four times for F, Dm and Bb. Then twice for F and C.

The intro and choruses are a bit more tricky. Do it twice for Dm, F, Bb. Once each for F and F7M. Two for Dm and F again. Four for C. Two for Dm, F, A. One for Dm, Dm7. Two for Bb and Bbm. And four for F.

I hope you followed that. I never know how much detail to give for the strumming.

View Comments


  1. SadToots June 4th, 2009 7:57 pm

    I like C instead of F7M and Dm7

  2. Rembrand June 4th, 2009 9:22 pm

    I agree. That sounds much better. DJ Coffman once made it into a comic, even. But I can’t find it anymore. Too bad though, it had Death playing the song while strolling in a graveyard. :D

  3. Woodshed June 4th, 2009 9:33 pm

    SadToots and Rembrand: I think you’re both out of your minds!

  4. pam June 5th, 2009 5:03 pm

    I am both embarrassed and pleased to say that I played this tune on my uke at a friend’s wedding almost exactly one year ago. It’s a great uke song, I love it. Thanks for posting it.

  5. Mike June 6th, 2009 12:14 am

    Any suggestions for how to do the fingerpick/strum combo Gibbard does on the recording? I know guitarists learn this, but I’m not one.

  6. cardboardfrog June 6th, 2009 10:51 am

    hehe woodshed fancies ben gibbard!
    another excellent choice for captain obvious week.
    good chords too

  7. Woodshed June 6th, 2009 6:37 pm

    pam: I don’t think you have any reason to be embarrassed. But I did think this song was about suicide.

    Mike: It’s a bit different from the guitar. He’s plucking the bass notes. You could use your thumb to pluck certain notes and strum with your finger.

    cbf: I didn’t choose these songs. They chose me.

  8. Stephanie June 7th, 2009 2:04 am

    Great song, thank you!

  9. daydreamer June 7th, 2009 4:18 am

    I knew how to play this one already. But I used C instead of FM7.
    I also absolutley adore this song :D

  10. Benedict Goodwin June 7th, 2009 2:41 pm

    Nice one. I wonder about the use of the F and the Dm7 being voiced the same, I see that they both should be there, but shouldn’t Dm7 be 2213. I’ve played this through like this and it seems to make more sense.

    Cheers, B

  11. Woodshed June 7th, 2009 6:40 pm

    Stephanie: You’re welcome.

    daydreamer: If you need a substitute there, Am would be a better choice.

    Benedict: I chose that variation because the bass line is going from D to C – so it makes sense to replicate that on the uke.

  12. Madizonia June 7th, 2009 11:07 pm

    I actuallly kinda like A7 instead of FM7. I know it’s not right but I think it sounds so much better ^.^

  13. Woodshed June 8th, 2009 10:36 am

    Madizonia: Okay, I give in. Play whatever you like there.

  14. Rembrand June 12th, 2009 7:36 pm

    :D Nice job though.

  15. Woodshed June 13th, 2009 9:12 pm

    Rembrand: Thanks.

  16. Maya July 23rd, 2009 5:53 am

    Can anyone write this out so that the chords go with the words to the song? I don’t know why but it’s hard for me to grasp how to play a tab if it’s not laid out with the lyrics and I really want to learn this song. If someone could do that for me I would really appreciate it.

  17. Woodshed July 24th, 2009 9:36 am

    Maya: Click where it says “Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Follow You Into the Dark (Chords)” in red.

  18. spanish_roll August 4th, 2009 12:16 pm

    Great chords, great song.

    I’m also having a little touble with the picking/strumming..
    Also with recording.. any suggestions?

  19. Will August 26th, 2009 8:09 pm

    I love the amount of detail you give for the strum patterns! It makes it so much easier!! Thank you! :)

  20. Woodshed August 27th, 2009 3:50 pm

    Will: Glad you find it useful. I was thinking it might be too complicated for people to follow.

  21. Catherine August 30th, 2009 6:17 pm

    When you said:

    “For the verse you do it four times for F, Dm and Bb.”

    did you mean do the D-DU four times, or just a single strum four times?

  22. Catherine August 30th, 2009 6:42 pm

    Actually, nevermind. After playing with it for a while I figured it out. I love how you gave really in depth descriptions for the strumming that has helped me so much! Now, i’m trying to add in some picking, do you have any tips for doing that?

  23. Woodshed August 31st, 2009 9:38 pm

    Catherine: Glad you got it worked out.

  24. Zac September 13th, 2009 10:14 pm

    Great chords. I thought it sounded lovely as transcribed. Thanks

  25. Woodshed September 18th, 2009 4:19 pm

    Thanks, Zac.

  26. Sandy January 18th, 2010 3:33 am

    I just got my uke, and this is my first song. Thank you so much! Is there any song in particular you can suggest for non-vocal people? I can get by, but when I’m alone, I can’t sing in public. >.<

  27. Woodshed January 23rd, 2010 10:53 am

    Sandy: If you’re looking to learn instrumentals, it’s a good idea to learn to read tab.

    There are a couple of single note xmas tunes here and here. And some slightly trickier non-xmas tunes here and here.

  28. Shelly June 15th, 2010 7:42 pm

    hii love the site! new to uke and determined to get it right!
    and i cannot get the strumming right.. could someone record it so i can hear how it is really supposed to sound?


  29. dylan July 1st, 2010 5:19 am

    im slightly confused… why is the F and the DM7 exactly the same fingering?

  30. Woodshed July 3rd, 2010 12:39 pm

    dylan: Dm7 has the same notes as an F chord but a D note in the bass (which isn’t played in that inversion of the chord).

  31. Jimmy July 4th, 2010 3:20 am

    Woodshed, always put what you think is too much for strumming, it helps

  32. Woodshed July 8th, 2010 9:24 pm

    Jimmy: Thanks. I’m never quite sure what to do with the strumming sections.

  33. jproctor October 8th, 2010 1:44 am

    It would be awesome if you could make a recording of the strumming so we can hear it. that would be helpful :)

  34. RosyRawrz October 15th, 2010 3:10 pm

    Im new to playing Uke and I picked it up fast since I know how to play guitar and ive studied almost all the cords but im just wondering here, What the Hell is a F7m? I read some of the comments and im guessing its a typo and others say its better too use C. So my question is what is the fingering for F7m or Fm7?

  35. Woodshed October 17th, 2010 9:40 am

    RosyRawrz: F7M (the capital M is important) if F major 7. The fingering for all the chords is at the top of the chord chart.

  36. Matt October 20th, 2010 4:26 pm

    When Ben Gibbard, nearing age 29, wrote “I Will Follow You into the Dark” he had never lost anyone really special in his life. Growing older during an ideal and comfortable time of his life led him to begin obsessing over death, the afterlife, and the weight of his relationships. He started to take stock of the importance of the people in his life and felt a need to say something about it. He wrote the song to deal with his problems of focusing on life by expanding his scope to include death and what comes afterward.

    “It’s just this idea that what if somebody dies and we’re just floating, just stumbling around in infinite darkness, and I’m just trying to find some kind of spiritual kind of peace with myself, and the world.”
    ~Ben Gibbard

  37. aquaticsloth November 3rd, 2010 8:21 pm

    Thanks for the tabs! This has always been annoyingly catchy.

  38. Moose January 6th, 2011 3:07 am

    I like to use D D U U D U insted of just D-D U, and for every time you go through D-D U twice (The first Dm in the intro for example)I do D D U U D U once, and for a single D-D U (first C in the intro)I do D D U. But that’s just me.

  39. Josh April 23rd, 2011 8:24 am

    i fail at ukulele cos im new so i dont know how to play an A and its not on the sheet :S help please :)

  40. Woodshed April 23rd, 2011 6:20 pm

    Josh: 2100 (from g to A). You can find it in any chord chart.

  41. Josh April 24th, 2011 4:07 pm

    thanks :)

  42. Andrea October 12th, 2011 9:39 pm

    Moose, I agree with the DD UU DU for the strumming I thought I was crazy. I the F7M and Dm7 weren’t working for me and I switched to Am its really simple and I think it sounds much better than C.

  43. Siddiqi January 29th, 2012 6:52 pm

    I’m having trouble doing the bar notes. Any help?

  44. j March 24th, 2012 2:21 am

    i’m trying to play this on the baritone so the chord charts don’t work for me… i change things over to the baritone fingering but i can’t find F7M baritone chord anywhere! help? sorry if this is dumb, just learning.

  45. Woodshed March 24th, 2012 11:02 am

    j: Try 3210

  46. Ryan Javery June 11th, 2012 9:09 pm

    Hey maybe I’m just dense but why does Dm7 look just like F? Isn’t it missing a D?

  47. Woodshed June 13th, 2012 2:31 pm

    Ryan: I wanted to emphasise the C note at the bottom to give it a descending low note.

  48. Wesley Elling September 21st, 2012 2:50 pm

    Thanks for the chords!! Here’s a cover a friend and I did with them :)

  49. Woodshed September 21st, 2012 9:29 pm

    Wesley: Excellent work on the cover!

  50. Anthony October 11th, 2012 2:07 am

    I think I might have a different opinion on the Fm7. I like it as is when I play the song on my soprano, but when I play my tenor I think C fits better. I’m not sure why I like it different on each of those but I do. In the end, that’s the most important part. Play it the way you fancy it.

  51. BecB October 15th, 2012 8:22 pm

    This is meant to be an EASY tune? Eep

  52. RainbowScience April 21st, 2013 12:30 am

    BecB: It’s easy because it used a simple strum throughout, and the chords themselves aren’t too difficult. Start by learning the chords and getting the strumming down. Play slowly at first if need be. This is a good beginners song.

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