Summary: Thinking Out Loud

This is one of the few Ed Sheeran songs where he plays an electric guitar, and it's definitely a favourite of ours here at YGA. The Hendrix-esque flicks between chords combined with the really cool guitar solo midway through the song makes for a must learn guitar piece.

The Chords: Verse, chorus and bridge

The main progression in the song is during the verse and the chorus, which are identical just with a different vocal melody on top. We are just using 4 chords with fingerpicking. The 4 chords are all basic open chord shapes, but as you are picking just certain strings within the chords, you can play them as shown below. When we get to the bridge (or pre-chorus), we have a few more chords to learn. All the chords are below:

Rhythm: The main groove

For the groove we are playing the chord on the 1st beat, followed by the 'slap' on the 2nd beat. The slap is when you throw your right hand onto the strings to create a percussive effect. You then play the next chor on the "2+" beat. Here is the rhythm pattern:

Solo: D major Pentatonic

For the solo Ed Sheeran is using the D major pentatonic scale in position 1 and 2 to create the whole solo. Thomas walks you through every lick, but make sure that are relating every single lick to the shapes below.

    Keep Learning: Soloing fun!

    Many thanks for watching this video and visiting the website. If you enjoyed the solo from this song, but struggle to play through it at the speed of the track, you may enjoy our beginners lead guitar full course. We show you how to play solos and improvise your own lead! You can find it here: Beginners Lead Guitar Course. Give it a try!

Ready to move on? Remember to check out every lesson in this unit first – then try the next unit...


This Ed Sheeran song is a beautiful track from the album Divide. It's got a real cool little guitar part that uses open chords and fingerstyle playing. It's very repetitive through the song, so it gives us a chance to really master this part and get our fingerstyle up to scratch.