For my fifth learning project post, I did a quick tutorial on how to play the introduction of the song “Stupid Boy” by Keith Urban. The reason I chose this song to do a tutorial on is that it is a well-rounded song that requires a basis of knowledge in strumming, picking, hammer-ons, pull-offs and barre chords to play. The introduction of this song, in fact, requires all of those skills and the use of a capo. So really this song is a jack of all trades. This song and this introduction have been incredibly time-consuming for me to learn. In order to get the smooth(ish) chord transitions I have spent probably a total of 12 hours on this song, which may not seem like a lot, but in less than 2 weeks it has been a lot combined with working full time AND part-time, playing a competitive sport, and keeping up with the other components of this class. So it is far from perfect but I am pretty happy with my progress.
Here is my video tutorial on how to play the difficult version of the introduction:
Now, it is short but most guitar tutorials are on YouTube regardless of the difficulty because we have this magical thing called rewind, and on YouTube, we can do it fairly easily. So if you get lost you can simply replay over and over until what I am doing starts to make sense. But in case you struggle to keep up here is a step-by-step process:
- Place the capo on the first fret of your guitar. (Note: I will be calling out chords in reference to how they are on the capo, so when I say second, third, fourth, fifth fret, etc. I am pretending the fret behind the capo does not exist)
- Place your index finger on the third string of the second fret and your middle finger on the second string of the third fret.
- Strum down using only the bottom four strings.
- Hammer-on using your ring finger in the fourth fret on the third string (the same string your index finger is on except in the fourth fret) and do a back strum.
- Lift your ring finger off the third string in the fourth fret and strum down again.
- Pick the third string.
- Pull-off on the second fret third string where your index finger is.
- Use your ring finger to reach across to the fourth fret and press down on the fourth string.
- pick that fourth string with your right hand.
- Play a barred A chord with your left index finger in the second fret. Strum down, do a back strum and then back down again.
- Keep your finger barred on the A, and pick the fourth string using your right hand.
- Do a pull off on your barred A, emphasizing the fourth string.
In my video, I mentioned that YouTube is a great place and it has almost been my sole resource for learning to play guitar. There is nothing you can’t find on YouTube for guitar resources. I did also use two books to help teach me the basics. These are: Guitar for Dummies and Alfred’s Basic Guitar Method. I have attached pictures of mine below:
These two books will teach you, well, the basics for dummies which was awesome for me because I am not willing to put up money for professional guitar lessons. These were able to teach me the skills I needed to know before I had to go on YouTube and look up how to play songs. They are both relatively cheap and Alfred’s Basic Guitar Method even has a DVD to go with it. I wasn’t able to use the DVD so I can’t say what’s on it because the book was given to me and the DVD was no longer with it. If you want to know what the DVD is like before purchasing it, here are some reviews on Amazon that might give you a better idea.
Now, in my video I do talk about some more advanced guitar methods such as back strums, barre chords, pull-offs and hammer-ons etc. and you may get lost. So here are some videos that explain how to do each.
This video is an introduction to barre chords. It will teach you about finger placement and some different kinds of barre chords. Luckily for us, Stupid Boy only requires an A barre. To do this you simply have to use your index finger to press down on the 3 strings you would normally use your 3 fingers with for an A major.
Next, we have a pull-off. This is a more advanced technique especially paired with hammer-ons like we are required to do in Stupid Boy. Essentially they are exactly what they sound like. In a hammer-on, you literally hammer or press on a string and in a pull-off you pull a finger off of a string to create a note. I found this video that helps explain them a little more as well as give some great exercises to practice doing them.
I hope you enjoyed this video and can master this song because it really is quite fun to play and sounds really good. Thanks for watching!