Ed and Andrea Make a “Perfect” Match

“Perfect” Guitar Tutorial

This guitar tutorial  for the song “Perfect”, written by Ed Sheeran, should present few problems if you are an intermediate and aboveplayer. The song is exclusively played in the arpeggio style using the well-know I – vi – IV – V chord progression.

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This progression is still used today as almost a novelty (an insult if there ever was one) and has succumbed to the “extremely tired” I – V – vi – IV juggernaut that has produced so many lightweight pop offerings due to its ease of play and perfect fit for simple melodic doodling.

The song is in A Flat Major but of course, I’ve placed a capo on the first fret and played as in G. Hey, why struggle? I used a pick on this guitar part even though Ed favors a finger style approach on just about everything he plays. Additionally, I used my Taylor Koa instead of an electric.

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Keep your wits about you at the end of the chorus as the little interlude is the halfway point of the song. I’ve fingered that with all open strings after the root notes (although the D chord has the typical F# in the bass).

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“Perfect is a great song and an even greater collaboration with star-struck Ed Sheehan more than holding his own (relative to his genre) with the master vocalist Andrea Bocelli.

“Perfect” Guitar Pro PDF

“Perfect” Tutorial

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Rob the Quiet

In high school, the man who conducted my Psych class stressed the importance of asking “how?”, not “why?”.  Not “why did you strangle someone?”,  but rather “how you became the strangler?”.  Notice I said conducted, not taught.  Riding herd, more like.  Freud, emasculated, by professorial apathy. Still, that one item survived across the years, a useful filter to keep the mind agile.

db4dstill1Dominique Blanchar, George Tyne, Gary Merrill  in Decision Before Dawn, 1951, directed by Anatole Litvak

Today’s epiphany came courtesy of catching an old flick on youtube, Decision Before Dawn.  Brutal times, brilliant execution.  War was still fresh in ’51, I’m sure it resonated — no, wrong word… More like ripped out the viewer’s heart.  How? I was bored, and ran a search beginning with the word “dawn”, and up it came, grabbing my throat by the eyeballs.

That, in turn, led to The Man…

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“Fight Song” Chorus Guitar Rhythm

I’ve been asked about the strumming pattern for Rachel Platten’s acoustic version of “Fight Song”.

“Live” Acoustic Version

I discovered this version and will go with her approach to the chorus section.

Strumming Pattern

Take your time if you haven’t played this pattern yet. It is a basic strumming pattern but of course that’s relative.

You can refer to my original tutorial to learn the whole song.

“Fight Song” Tutorial

 

Ayala (Outro) XXXTENTACION Guitar Tutorial

The new album by controversial rapper XXXTENTACION is full of surprises. You wouldn’t recognize him if you know anything about his past releases.

This song is both lyrical and downright gripping. Who else could mix acousitic guitar and piano with such minimalist skill than X.

Then there are the lyrics…

Ohh, ahh, ahh

She showed me the thing love can’t forget

How we fell in love, ohh

I made a list of my regrets

And you were first love, ohh

Oh it hurts, I can’t forget

How we fell in love

Made a list of my regrets …

It would be great if X keeps on this track.

Here is the guitar pro score and video for anyone wanting to play a duo or (if converted a bit) solo arrangement/accompaniment to Ayalya (Outro).

I may tweak the tab a bit more to finish up a couple loose ends.

tentation

TUTORIAL

Alana (Outro) Tutorial

PDF

Ayala

“Love Yourself” Live from Manchester

Chord Overview

The chords that Justin Bieber plays on his solo acoustic performance, “Love Yourself (Live – #OneLoveManchester) are some of the hardest to see that I’ve run into. I’ve received more that one request to clarify my fingerings of the chords. So here goes:

First of all, Justin has his guitar tuned down 1/2 step, which is a common pattern I’ve seen from him over the last year.

Problem 1

Therefore, tune to Eb tuning. Now the confusion begins. Justin plays in what appears to be the key of F# minor. However, being that we have tuned the guitar down 1/2 step, the “sounding” key is really F minor. Ugh!!! Now what?? Well, don’t panic, just play the forms where I show you to play them and have a blast. Do not become thrown by the sometimes confusing theoretical details of keys and tunings, although you will want to take care of this gap in knowledge eventually.

Problem 2

Justin’s chord pattern is fairly basic, however if you have not played block/barre forms you may be a little confused. Basically, Justin plays, F minor 7 – F minor/Ab – C minor 7. Practice the following chords slowly and carefully. Do not become frustrated as they are very useful chord forms for many songs.

Here are your fingerings:

And there you have it. If you need further clarification on these chord forms let me know.

-Mark

Justin Bieber’s “Fast Car”

“Fast Car” by Justin Bieber (Live Cover) Tutorial

I’ve put this post up in order to “house” the Guitar Pro score of “Fast Car” by Justin Bieber that I transcribed. Some have had a hard time getting the link to work on Dropbox. Sorry about that.

Here is the link:

Fast Car

In addition, since it’s a tutorial on the live version I’ve had questions about the basic, and alterations of, the guitar strumming pattern for the song. I’ve also had more than a couple questions about the the outro section. Justin seems to “improvise” his way out of the tune thereby creating some very interesting rhythmic devices. It is a little tricky as Justin has clearly learned a thing or three from Dan Kanter🙂

Here are the links to part 1 and 2 of my tutorial set for Justin’s unique and guitar-friendly cover.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Lorde’s Three Shades of “Green Light”

Lorde’s new single Green Light is a study in contrasts for a guitar cover/tutorial/play-through. It’s the kind of song that grows on you after a couple listens. But, still you sit and ponder. It is worth it? But then you realize that this one has something to work with, it does have merit after all! After listening to what seems like a patchwork of disjointed ideas scattered about it soon becomes clear in the mind of the listener that Green Light does what all pop songs are programed to do.

66c454136a8b9858252bf1bc4124d64bThe content is not heavy. Basically, we have a 5 chord pop song like many others. Where as Green Light revs up slowly and patiently, most pop songs don’t have the patience for such maneuvering as their game is always centered on getting to the point early and often. It’s a mainstay of popular music. Lorde, is a “developer”. Her tendency is to take sparse material and dial things up as the minutes pass. Green Light is no exception,

The pre-chorus/chorus sections are a thing of lighthearted genius as a masterful but typical riff takes over that lights up the song with such energy that even Lorde can’t stay in control (check 3:03 of the video).

For your part, keeping the chorus riff even and controlled is no easy task on guitar, especially acoustic. Keep your right hand solid and bear down on the strumming pattern. That is, if you are covering it at it’s recorded tempo.

I can see this section played a little slower without damaging the intention of the writer. Experiment and see what you come up with.

-Mark

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Here is the guitar tutorial:

“Green Light” Acoustic Guitar Tutorial

Here is the chord chart for “Green Light”:

“Green Light” Chords PDF