Sting Didn’t Write The ‘Shape Of My Heart’ Riff, Dominic Miller Explains

Guitarist Dominic Miller, who has worked with Sting for years, recently spoke to Rick Beato on his YouTube channel and revealed Sting didn’t create his most famous riff.

While discussing the ‘Shape of My Heart’ riff and its countless versions, the musician recalled:

“I got to tell you a funny story because I saw one of these videos that you’re talking about. There is some Dutch guy. I think he’s got a lot of followers or something, and he’s a very good guitarist and a good educator, but first of all, I saw the headline of the video which showed up on my feed, and it said, ‘Sting’s most iconic riff.'”

Then, he talked about his initial reaction to the video, explaining:

“I was interested to see what that might be up. Is it ‘Roxanne’? Is it going to be ‘Every Breath You Take’? I’m genuinely intrigued, so I turn on the video, and it’s ‘Shape of My Heart.’ Okay, first of all, that’s a mistake. I thought I wanted to see this video, so then he’s going on and on with the video talking about the song and everything.”

Miller also shared an observation of the guitarist on YouTube about the chords in the track:

“I went, ‘Well, that’s okay, I don’t really mind because why should I really care? It’s not that important,’ but then he’s talking about how difficult it is these chords. He says, ‘But the guy who plays it live, he doesn’t play that chord live because it’s a very awkward chord to play, but he does a variation.'”

Admitting he changes the chord while playing it live, the musician added:

“He takes the easy way out, and I thought, ‘Really?’ Then I thought that’s not true, but then actually it is true because the thing is that that chord is almost impossible to play if you’re standing. Sitting down is okay, of course, but if you’re standing playing, that is really difficult, so I modified it.”

In a 2021 interview with Beato again, Miller explained that the riff in ‘Shape of My Heart’ was originally just a musical exercise he created for himself, inspired by classical and jazz chord structures. He didn’t consider it a full-fledged song. Sting, through collaboration, recognized its potential and turned it into a song within a day.

You can watch his full interview below.