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How to play A Horse With No Name by America

I can’t believe it took me this long to do A Horse With No Name by America. It is an awesome song that you can add to your repertoire. Once we simplify the strumming pattern, even a total beginner guitarist will be able to play it.

I have used two sets of chords in this song in order to expand the harmony of the song. The core of the song consists of the chords Em and D6add9/F# and you can play the song by just strumming these two chords alone.

The second set of chords is something that you may add onto the chorus to spice up the sound. The original A Horse With No Name song features multiple guitars playing at the same time, so we need to try and find a balance to be able to play it in our own way.

Song structure:
Verse/Chorus: Em / D6add9/F#
Optional: Em9 / DM7sus2/E

 

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How to play Midnight Rider by The Allman Brothers Band

Midnight Rider by The Allman Brothers Band is a great example of how we can connect the guitar lead part of a song with the chord strumming. The lead part is based around strings 5 and 4. Pay attention to your finger choices.

In this example, I prefer to play the 3rd fret on the 5th string with my second finger. As explained in the video lesson, by doing it that way, it will prepare you to play it together with the chord, but also it is somehow easier to play lines like this one with the 2nd finger.

Song structure:
Verse: Dsus2 / Gm / C
Bridge : Dsus2 / C / A#

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Don’t look at your strumming hand

Are you struggling with your strumming hand and chord changes? Welcome to the club, you are not alone. Let me give you a tip on how to improve chord changes and improve your guitar strumming skills.

My advice is: stop looking at your strumming hand. It is as simple as that. If you are a beginner guitarist you may be tempted to constantly rotate your attention between the strumming hand and fretting hand. This is normal. I need to clarify that this advice applies to complete beginner guitarists or people who are very fresh with learning the guitar. It could be you studying with a local guitar teacher or doing online guitar lessons. At some same stage in your guitar development, it will be crucial to watch your strumming / picking hand, because it will become a weak link. But for now, focus on the fretting hand.

Here is a typical scenario, you look at your fretting hand trying to find the chord, once you have got it you switch your attention and look at your picking hand, then you are ready and start strumming. After you have finished the sequence you look again at your fretting hand, you try to find another guitar chord and you repeat the cycle.

By switching attention from one hand to the next, you lose a lot of time. The gaps between the chord changes and strumming get bigger – simply because every time you switch attention it takes some time to assess the situation. As a result, your strumming and song that you want to play will sound inconsistent.

For some reason you may feel like it is necessary to watch your strumming hand but maybe it is not. The guitar strumming you are performing are usually just simple repetitions of the same movement (a sequence of up and down strokes), so there is no need to constantly check what your strumming hand is doing.

You might be afraid that you will not hit the strings properly, or you will miss the strings. Don’t worry, guitar playing is always full of inconsistency, sometimes we may strum harder, sometimes we may miss some of the strings, this is what makes our guitar playing alive and dynamic.

You can always practice your strumming technique in isolation – without any chords at all, just by strumming empty guitar strings. That way it will prepare you to strum in a more relaxed way. But once you are integrating it with the chords and chord changes – force your full attention on your strumming hand.

So remember try not to look at your strumming hand. At least test if it works, let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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How to play All Of Me – John Legend

In this lesson, we will learn how to play John Legends song “All Of Me”. Although originally, the song was played on the piano, we will try to arrange this song for the guitar. 

The major strumming pattern is very easy and consists of only downstrokes. I have included more an advanced strumming version in the second part of the video too. A capo will be necessary if you want to play this song with the original recording and use open chords. In this arrangement we will use very common and popular open chord shapes.

Song structure:
Verse: Em / C / G / D
Bridge: Am / Am / G / D
Chorus: G / G / Em / Em / Am / Am / C / D

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How to strum Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd

The purpose of this session is to improve your rhythm techniques. I have arranged Lynyrd Skynyrd Simple Man in a strumming only version, so that you can play along and improve your strumming technique.

We will start with really basic strumming and then build up until it starts to sound like the real song – don’t skip anything, as I will cover all of the different parts that you will need in order to play this lesson.

I am not going to cover arpeggios in this video, if you would like to learn the arpeggio version of this song, you can learn to play that version here (LINK).

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