Killing Me Softly With His Song by Roberta Flack Lesson

Learn to play Killing Me Softly With His Song by Roberta Flack on JustinGuitar!

View the full lesson at Killing Me Softly With His Song by Roberta Flack | JustinGuitar

I really like her voice, it is pretty ^ w ^

1 Like

I’ve been looking at Roberta Flack’s Killing Me Softly from an old guitar learning book from 20-25 years ago. I’ve also watched Justin’s lesson for the song. In the book, the song is in the key of C. Justin has a capo on the first fret for the Roberta Flack version but he says for the Fugees version- play it without a capo.

These are Justin’s chorus chords
Em Am D G Em A D C G C Fmaj7 E

These are from the book
Am Dmin7 G C Am D G F C F Bb A

The same chord substitutions are used in the verse. For the last bar of the verse Justin has B7 and the book has E

Is Justin’s version in the key of G ?

The reason I ask is because the book has the melody notes and I want to play the melody but I’m not sure which key I should use. I’ve confused myself. Can anyone shed any light on this?

Thanks in advance


David, the chords you list for Justin’s lesson make it the key of E minor.
B7 is a borrowed chord from the parallel E major key. Borrowing V7 in minor keys is very common.
See my topic dedicated to borrowed chords.
E major at the end of the chorus is also borrowed, a special case called a Picardy third in which the minor tonic i chord is replaced by the major I chord.

The book is in the key of A minor with all comments equally applicable except it shows a borrowed V instead of a V7. The V and V7 are more or less interchangeable and either will work.

Hope that helps.
Cheers :slight_smile: Richard


I’m confused here Richard. If you play an Em shape with a capo at fret 1 you’re actually playing Fm.
Does that not mean the key would be Fm?


If the capo is at fret 1 then yes.

The capo is a movable beast so I analysed based only on the chord names listed in the question asked by @BurnsRhythm.


@Richard_close2u @sairfingers

Thanks guys.
I’m a bit out of my depth here. Been mulling over Richard’s reply and eventually worked out that the Fugee version is in Em so with capo on 1 the original Roberta Flack must be in Fm.
My old guitar learning book must have put it in Am to keep the chords and melody notes simple.