How To Play, Sing, And Record Frank Ocean's "Bad Religion" [Video]

I was particularly inspired to learn Frank Ocean's new track, "Bad Religion", from his addicting album, Channel Orange. The song was a lot of fun to play, so it seemed wise to make a tutorial for you.

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Below I have a chord sheet that I've tested the bloody crap out of. I played through that a bunch of times, and made all the adjustments necessary to make it very accurate.

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Now if you follow the 1st video, I'll take you through the whole process of playing the song (I have a closeup of the piano keys that you can watch, so you can learn it all yourself).

I also include some tips for singing the song, as Frank is an incredible singer and can be difficult to emulate. He has a lot of really syncopated jazz rhythms in his dynamics, especially in the outro.

I've made a 2nd video for you as well. In that video, I explain how to record this song in the easiest way possible, in which the end result is a fully show-offable version of Bad Religion, completely worthy of any Vimeo or Youtube cover!

Whoo hoo!

How To Play/Sing "Bad Religion" On The Piano

Make sure you set the video below to "1080p HD", and then set it to Fullscreen as well. Otherwise the video won't display properly, and it will be quite difficult to follow the tutorial.

You can set it to 1080p HD by clicking the little Gearbox icon at the bottom of the video, and clicking "1080p HD". You can set the video to fullscreen by choosing the very bottom-right button in the video.

"Bad Religion" Chord Sheet + Lyrics

Intro: E Abm C#m A


E

Taxi driver

Abm

You're my shrink for the hour

C#m | A

Leave the meter running


E

It's rush hour

Abm

So take the streets if you wanna

C#m | A

Just outrun the demons, could you?


[Pre-Chorus]

Am | E

He said "allahu akbar", I told him don't curse me

Am | E | E Eb D C# |

"bo bo you need prayer", I guess it couldn't hurt me


[Chorus]

C#m | C#dim7*

If it brings me to my knees

E

It's a bad religion


[Post-Chorus]

Am (+F#)

This unrequited love

Em | D

To me it's nothing but

Am (+F#)

A one-man cult

Em`| D | Am

And cyanide in my styrofoam cup

Em | D

I could never make him love me

Am

Never make him love me

Em

Love

D

Love

E | Abm | C#m | A


[Verse 2]

(Use chords from verse 1)

Taxi driver

I swear I've got three lives

Balanced on my head like steak knives

I can't tell you the truth about my disguise

I can't trust no one


[Pre-Chorus]

And you say "allahu akbar", I told him don't curse me

"bo bo you need prayer", I guess it couldn't hurt me

If it brings me to my knees

It's a bad religion


[Chorus] x1

[Post-Chorus] x1


[Outro]

E | F

It's a bad religion

G

To be in love with someone

A

Who could never love you

I know


E | F

Only bad religion

G | A

Could have me feeling the way I do


*F#mb5 = F#-A-C-E

*C#dim7 = B-C#-E-G


How To Record Frank Ocean's "Bad Religion" (Will Make You A Snollygostering Genius).

Use the following video to record your own cover of Bad Religion. I've included the steps you'll need to take below the video that you can follow along with.


1. Quantize

2. Copy + Paste Main Track to ALL (except drum + vocal tracks).

3. Label each section

4. Add in Piano Riff during Pre-Chorus.

5. Add in Claps during [Verse 2] - [Outro]

6. Adjust Clips for song areas

  • Intro: Organ
  • Verse 1: Organ
  • Pre-Chorus: + Piano
  • Chorus: +Orchestra
  • Post-Chorus: + Bass
  • Verse 2: Organ + Claps
  • Pre-Chorus: + Piano
  • Chorus: + Orchestra
  • Post-Chorus: + Drums
  • Outro: Keyboard + Claps

7. Record and Quantize Drums

8. Quick Mix


And there you've got it! With all of that information, you now have to tools to play and record this incredible song.

Feel free to share with me if you ended up doing any recordings yourself. You could take a video from your webcam, or you could even create a more complex multi-media production of your own.

I'm looking forward to hearing your samples :)

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About The Writer

My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.

If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.

Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot. 

I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.

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