Here's my unplugged version of the classic Michael Jackson track from the Bad album. Written by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett

Here's a musical analysis of "Man in the Mirror" of the version by Michael Jackson, including the chord progression

Chord Progression

The chord progression of "Man in the Mirror" primarily revolves around the key of G major. The progression for the verse section follows a pattern like G - Em - C - D, creating a sense of stability and resolution. In the chorus section, the progression shifts to Em - C - G - D, adding a subtle change in tonality while maintaining the song's emotional intensity. This chord progression provides a solid foundation for the song's melodic and lyrical content, contributing to its uplifting and empowering atmosphere.

Melodic Phrasing

The melody of "Man in the Mirror" is characterized by its smooth and flowing phrases that follow the chord changes seamlessly. Michael Jackson's vocal delivery showcases his range and emotive expression, especially in the powerful chorus sections where the melody reaches its climaxes. The melody builds gradually throughout the song, reflecting the message of self-reflection and personal growth.

Rhythmic Feel

The song maintains a mid-tempo groove with a steady rhythm that propels the music forward. The rhythm section, including drums, bass, and percussion, establishes a solid foundation for the song's melody and harmony. The rhythmic feel of "Man in the Mirror" is infectious and uplifting, encouraging listeners to engage with its message of empowerment and change.


The original "Man in the Mirror" features a diverse mix of instrumentation, including keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, and backing vocals. I play verse one on a nylon strung classical guitar (and reprise for V3) with an electric guitar on V2

Lyrics and Theme

The lyrics of "Man in the Mirror" explore themes of personal responsibility, social justice, and self-reflection. The song's message encourages listeners to take a critical look at themselves and make positive changes in their lives. The lyrics are delivered with sincerity and conviction, resonating with audiences on a deeply personal level.


"Man in the Mirror" is characterized by its polished Quincey Jones production and lush soundscapes. The use of studio effects and dynamic mixing techniques adds depth and dimension to the song's sound, creating a rich and immersive listening experience. The production enhances the song's emotional impact, reinforcing its message of empowerment and transformation.

"Man in the Mirror" is a timeless classic that showcases Michael Jackson's talent as a vocalist and performer. Its memorable chord progression, uplifting melody, and powerful lyrics have made it a beloved anthem of self-empowerment and social change.