This song was brought to me by two of my younger students, 8 year old Bodie and Louis. We looked at it with the capo on fret 2, using simplified partial chord shapes (e.g. G as xx0003, C as xx2010). Without the capo it makes a good bar chord workout for more advanced students. Ukulele players will need to play it in Bm to match the original recording key.
In a full band situation advanced players may want to try partial chord shapes up the neck, as you can see John Newman’s guitarist playing in this live band version. These are mainly chords played on the top four strings, based around the 7th fret (e.g. Bm: xx9777, A: xx7655, E: xx7775).
For the solo singer/guitarist you are better sticking to the full open chords, as in this live acoustic version. The more advanced of you can work out some of those licks too!
Another classic, this time from Otis Redding. Recorded in 1967, just days before his tragic death.
It’s a great tune for beginner guitarists to work on open chords, particularly the open B7 chord shape (and bring in the oft neglected little finger!). Alternatively, for those new to bar chords, it also makes for a perfect chord progression to practise your 6th-string (“E shaped”) bar chords up and down the neck.
Suggested strumming pattern for beginners:
D DU UDU
More advanced players can try a hit (X) or ‘chunk’ strum on beats 2 and 4:
D XU UXU
Bonus tip for ukulele players: If you are struggling with the E chord, try an E7! It often works instead of an E (but use your ears, it doesn’t always!)