Beginner Guitar Course Week 10

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The Drugs Don’t Work Chords + Strumming Pattern!

I hope revision week was successful for you. Keep those charts and revisit the songs in your own time.

Today we start looking at a new song in The Verve’s monster hit “The Drugs Don’t Work’.

First we look at the basic progression, then the strumming pattern.

Week 10 – Step 1 – 10 min

The chords from ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ are all from the key of C, no variations are used.

Here are the different sections:


| I | I | VI | VI | III | IV V | I | I |
| C | C | Am | Am | Em | F G | C | C |

Before M8

| I | III | IV V | I | I |
| C | Em | F G | C | C |


| IV | III | VI | V |
| F | Em | Am | G |

Chorus 4

| III | IV V | I | I |
| Em | F G | C | C |


| I |
| C |

Strum through the chord progressions above and aim to hear each chord as a number.
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Week 10 – Step 2 – 10-20 min

Let’s take a look at the strumming pattern for this song. We are dealing with a 16th note pattern at a slow pace.

It’s the same pattern for all chords, even when there are two chords in one bar.

The notation below show how to play the Intro/Verse/Chorus section with all rhythm slashes.

On line three you can see how this can be written in a simpler way. Bar 10 has sign that means: play the same again.

In bar 11 you see the text “simile” under the notation. This means “same” or “similar”.

To make charts as simple and clean looking as possible is always a good idea.

Beginner Course Week 10 part 2 Drugs Don't Work basic strumming

Pair this strumming pattern with the entire progression for the song.

When you feel you got it, play along with the video.

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Today we learned the chord progression and strumming pattern for a new song.

You also learned that when writing a chart it is best to make it as simple as possible.

In three days time we’re gonna try a second guitar part for “The Drugs Don’t Work’.

See you then!

Dan (your guitar guru)