How to Play The Silent Man by Dream Theater (Guitar Lesson)

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Nick Greathouse

The Silent Man

Nick is back with another acoustic song! This song is loaded with lots of dark, brooding, solemn chords that are a little bit different and less commonly used. So dig in and enjoy!

Taught by Nick Greathouse in Songs with Nick Greathouse seriesLength: 37:37Difficulty: 3.0 of 5

Video Subtitles / Captions

Member Comments about this Lesson

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chris sturtchris sturt replied on February 28th, 2018

the tab has been complicated with bracketed 1 first 3 beat 4 & the last bar..this is on the first page haven't looked at the rest yet.

Bradley.ConwayBradley.Conway replied on March 6th, 2018

Hello chris sturt! I took a look at the tablature for this lesson and personally didn't see anything out of the ordinary with the tablature. While there may be some degree of variation in the tablature for each lesson, what you see being used in Nick's lesson is standardized tablature which is often used to indicate more than simply the fret and string number. For instance, brackets in tabs are typically used to indicate an artificial harmonic. Here is a link that you can copy and paste into your browser to a great tablature legend that I defer to if I ever run across something in a tab that I'm not sure of: I hope that this is helpful! HAPPY JAMMING!!

mrguitarlabsmrguitarlabs replied on August 31st, 2013

Great song I've always been a huge Dream Theater fan and this is the first song i learned by them and NICK your a very good teacher you made all very easy for me to understand I cant wait to here more Thanks Nick !

thesnowdogthesnowdog replied on August 13th, 2012

Nice! One of my favourite albums. I'm looking forward to the rest of the suite. ;)

jpfanboyjpfanboy replied on November 29th, 2009

You have to make a dance of eternety lesson!!! im learning it but i need some help with some of the crazy parts ;D

zayatszayats replied on November 7th, 2009

Just a suggestion , if possible, if you can add the chords in the order in which they appear in the song, and then when they print out they will be easier to follow and adapt to what ever section one might be working on. Just a suggestion to make a great site even greater !!!!

buffy136buffy136 replied on August 9th, 2009

Having tabs and a cord chart is good to have, but would it be possible to add the name of the cord on the tab chart. for me it is easier to follow the song if I can see the cord name and at the same time remember this cord

blackriderblackrider replied on January 14th, 2009

Ok, so my problems continue with this song...I don't get how to make the percussive strum thing work leading into the Csus4 chord. Any suggestions on how to "practice" that particular transition? Other than that I have the verse working pretty well.

blackriderblackrider replied on January 7th, 2009

Hey Matt, thanks for adding those chord charts. So in my confusion, I notice that Nick calls a chord one thing and your chart has it under does one pick which chord it should be? Example Nick's Csus4 and your Fadd9/C or Nick's A9, and your C# half dim?

Nick.GreathouseNick.Greathouse replied on January 7th, 2009

Sometimes chords can be called by more than one name. The Csus4, Fadd9/C is a good evample (it depends on which note you consider to be the root). A Csus4 chord is spelled C, F, G. The 3rd of the chord (E) is omitted and replaced by the 4th (F). A sus chord of any type usually "assumes" it will be resolved to the major or minor chord of the same name (Csus to C or Cm). If you view F as the root you could call it a Fadd9/C. F could be considered the root, C the 3rd, the 5th is omitted and G would be the 9th. It would be considered a 1st inversion chord because the name tells you that C is the bass note. Either name works, just depends how you look at it.

Nick.GreathouseNick.Greathouse replied on January 7th, 2009

The same reasoning goes with the A9/C#, C# half diminshed. and A9 chord is spelled A, C#, E, G, B. And a C# half dim chord is spelled C#, E, G, B. I look at it as a 1st inversion A9 chord with the root omitted...but, once again, either name works.

blackriderblackrider replied on January 4th, 2009

Nick this is a great lesson, but it would help if the Tab or Notation had the chord names. What is the "C" chord you play which is C F# G D? I don't know this band, but this is an awesome song.

mattbrownmattbrown replied on January 5th, 2009

That's a Cadd9(#11) chord. It's the last chord diagram listed under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

lucashollandlucasholland replied on January 5th, 2009

I agree that chord diagrams for the chord used in the song would be a good idea because the chord shapes are rather unusual.

mattbrownmattbrown replied on January 5th, 2009

I just added the chord charts to supplemental content. With the exception of Cadd9(#11), they are listed in the order that they appear in Nick's song transcription.

Nick.GreathouseNick.Greathouse replied on January 5th, 2009

Thanks for taking care of that Matt!

AaronMillerAaronMiller replied on January 5th, 2009

Everything is fixed now we will be adding the chord names shortly! Sorry for any confusion.

lucashollandlucasholland replied on January 4th, 2009

Awesome song, awesome lesson. Keep the acoustic stuff coming, Nick!

dennis.hodgesdennis.hodges replied on January 2nd, 2009

hate to be a whiner, but the tab for the solo has the final descending line on the 3rd string G instead of 4th string D

Nick.GreathouseNick.Greathouse replied on January 3rd, 2009

I revised the tab and sent it to Vince and Aaron...I don't know how I missed that. Thanks Dennis.

manchildmanchild replied on January 3rd, 2009

I`am a huge Dream Theater fan and when I saw this lesson I fell out of my sit.Thanks and I will try my best at thiis one.You also have the same Sea Gull I have.rock on Nick

Songs with Nick Greathouse

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Greathouse delivers Phase 3 Lessons from technical guitarists such as Eric Johnson, Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan, Neil Zaza, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, John Petrucci, and Andy Timmons.

Lesson 7


Nick Greathouse takes you through every nuance of the John Mayer hit "Daughters".

Length: 27:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

The Silent Man

Nick is back with another acoustic song! This song is loaded with lots of dark, brooding, solemn chords that are a little bit different and less commonly used. So dig in and enjoy!

Length: 37:37 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

The World I Know

Nick Greathouse guides you through the Collective Soul hit "The World I Know," from their 1995 self-titled album.

Length: 21:41 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 25

Never Too Late

Nick Greathouse teaches you how to play this great song from the band Three Days Grace. This song has a acoustic and electric parts and is perfect for a beginner not scared of drop d tuning.

Length: 23:00 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only

About Nick Greathouse View Full Biography Nick Greathouse was born on December 11th, 1980 in Canton, Ohio. He was exposed to many different musical styles from a very young age. Growing up in the "MTV generation" some of his earliest memories involve watching Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and Guns n' Roses with his brother and cousin. His mother played piano, sang and filled the house with the sounds of singer-songwriters Cat Stevens, Jackson Browne and Elton John and his father was always listening to country music along with classic rockers Tom Petty and Bob Seger. He never had to look far to hear great music.

Though he was constantly surrounded by music, it wasn't until Nick heard his first Beatles album (Revolver) when he was 10 that he became interested in being a musician. Shortly thereafter, his older brother got an electric guitar which Nick began to play (while his bro was out of the house!). The moment his fingers touched the strings for the first time, he was hooked and had to have one of his own.

Throughout high school Nick took guitar lessons and would jam with his friends as much as possible, his skills on the instrument improved significantly. He would spend hours with his cd player learning Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix songs by ear. But after hearing Steve Vai's album "Passion and Warfare" guitar playing became an all out obsession.

After high school, at age 18, Nick began teaching guitar lessons at a local music store. He also entered the music program at Kent State University where he studied classical guitar with George Bachmann. During this time he performed many solo guitar recitals and also played with the guitar ensemble. When he honed his reading chops to a high level he started playing in pit orchestras and band for local theaters.

Nick took a break from Kent in 2004 when he moved to Hollywood, California for a short time to study at Musician's Institute (GIT). While there he had classes with Daniel Gilbert, Joy Basu, Tom Kolb, Carl Verheyen, and his private lesson instructor Jean-Marc Belkadi.

Nick returned to Ohio in order to finish his college education. He joined a local metal core band called Last Second Decision which was formed by his brother. During his tenure with Last Second Decision Nick began taking lessons from one of his heroes, Cleveland based guitar virtuoso, Neil Zaza. They became fast friends and since then Nick has gone on to perform with Zaza numerous times including television appearances, local club gigs and the holiday spectacular "Neil Zaza's One Silent Night" at Cleveland's Playhouse Square. Nick also appears on the 2007 CD "Neil Zaza's One Silent Night: A Night at The Palace".

Nick is a graduate of Kent State University (BA Music) and continues to teach privately at a music store in Kent, Ohio and also at his home. He is very excited to be a part of the JamPlay team!

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