ELECTRIC BEGINNERS
Before tackling this course, you should be comfortable with all the material from Essentials Part 1

Welcome to Electric Beginners: Essentials Part 2! Now that we've covered some basics, it's time to kick things up a notch! In this set of five lessons, we'll be learning some trickier chord shapes, the "universal strumming pattern" and finally tackling a full song for the first time! We've got a lot to cover, and it'll be hard work, but it'll also be a lot of fun!

Summary: G, C & D Major chords

These major chord shapes are a step up in difficulty; they require more fingers and a wider stretch, but they sound great! The G and C are particularly hard work, so don't be disheartened if it takes a while to get them just right. Here are the three chords:

Exercise: Changing chords

Let's apply these chords to the strumming pattern we covered in the previous course. Using the chord chart shown below, repeat the pattern for three to four minutes until you feel you are ready to pick up the pace!

  • G /// //// C /// //// G /// //// D /// ///

Summary: The "universal strumming pattern"

We call this the universal strumming pattern because it seems to work with almost any song, regardless of the genre or style! It's also a perfect learning tool when getting used to reading strumming patterns. It goes like this:

Exercise: Changing chords whilst strumming

Once you feel comfortable playing the G major chord with this pattern, have a go at playing the chord chart below. This is a very hard exercise at first, so take things slowly and don't rush. Once you feel like you can play the chart with confidence, move on to the next lesson.

  • G /// //// C /// //// G /// //// D /// ///

Summary: 'Without you'

It is now time to learn our first song! This is a new challenge as for the first time we are playing alongside other instruments - the song features vocals, drums, bass and even secondary guitar parts. Therefore, we need to learn how to focus on just your particular guitar part, and to condition ourselves to avoid getting distracted. Have a listen to the song all the way through and then move on to the next lesson where we'll begin our walkthrough.

Summary: The verse

In this lesson we'll cover the intro and first verse of the song. The chord chart looks like this:

  • Intro
  • Em /// A /// Em /// A ///
  • Verse One
  • Em /// A /// Em /// A /// Em /// A /// C /// D ///
  • Em /// A /// Em /// A /// Em /// A /// C /// D ///

As for the strumming pattern, it's nice and simple in the verses. All we need to do is a single strum per bar on the first beat! Here is the pattern:

Materials: Without You Tab

Below, you will find a link to the full chord chart in tab format. How to read tab is covered in detail in the Lead Guitar Beginners course. This will help you gradually piece the song together and also allows you to slow things down to a comfortable tempo. As well as the video file on the tab, there are audio files that allow you to focus solely on your guitar part, without the vocals and other instruments as distractions.

Summary: The chorus

We will now take a look at the chorus part, and then piece the entire song together. As you may have anticipated, the chorus uses the universal strumming pattern! As a quick refresher, here is the pattern:

Now, here is the entire chord chart for the song, including every different section. Remember that the intro and verses have a different strumming pattern to the chorus.

  • Intro
  • Em /// A /// Em /// A ///
  • Verse 1
  • Em /// A /// Em /// A /// Em /// A /// C /// D ///
  • Em /// A /// Em /// A /// Em /// A /// C /// D ///
  • Chorus 1
  • G /// C /// Em /// D /// G /// C /// Em /// D ///
  • G /// C /// Em /// D /// G /// C /// Em /// D ///
  • Verse 2
  • Em /// A /// Em /// A /// Em /// A /// C /// D ///
  • Em /// A /// Em /// A /// Em /// A /// C /// D ///
  • Chorus 2
  • G /// C /// Em /// D /// G /// C /// Em /// D ///
  • G /// C /// Em /// D /// G /// C /// Em /// D ///
  • G /// C /// Em /// D /// G /// C /// Em /// D ///
  • G /// C /// Em /// D /// G /// C /// Em /// D ///

Materials: 'Without You' Tab

Below, you will find a link to the full chord chart in tab format. How to read tab is covered in detail in the Lead Guitar Beginners course. This will help you gradually piece the song together and also allows you to slow things down to a comfortable tempo. As well as the video file on the tab there are audio files that allow you to focus solely on your guitar part, without the vocals and other instruments as distractions.

Audio: 'Without You Tracks

Finally, here are the complete audio tracks to play along with. These are all at full speed so make sure you have practiced with the tab version before trying these. When you're able to play along with these backing tracks all the way through, congratulations - you've just learnt your first full song!

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

Essentials Part 3

In this course, we'll be learning three more open chords, including the notoriously tricky F major! We'll then explore the difference between swung and straight rhythm patterns and finally tackle a new song with a hint of Van Morrison about it!