Beginner Guitar Course Week 5

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Playing at different paces + Robin Hood’s chords!

Today we learn about the difference between strumming at 16th note pace vs 8th note pace.

We also start working on a new song that contain another slash chords. You touched on this when you played ‘Redemption Song’ when you played a G/B, today we learn a D/F# and have the option to play it with our thumb!

Let’s get on with it!

Week 5 – Step 1 – 10 min

To ensure you can see the difference between 8th notes and 16th notes, let’s take a few examples. The first picture show you a quarter note and two 8th notes.

This is what you played over the first two beats of Redemption Song in the previous lesson.

1 8th note, 2 16thsIf we double the tempo, or tap our foot twice as fast we would get the rhythm of: 1 8th note, 2 16ths.

Move between the two rhythms and ensure you can feel the difference.

Half the tempo vs doubling rhythm

1 half note, 1 quarter note, 2 8th notesLet’s look at a strumming pattern and ensure that you can see the difference if it is written at 8th note pace or 16th note pace, remember all you do is change how many times you tap your foot!

Use an open position G chord and play this rhythm, set a metronome to 140 BPM and play it as a loop.

Tap your foot along with the metronome.

Now half the tempo to 70 BPM, again tap your foot with every click and play this rhythm.

If what you play in both examples was identical then you are playing it correctly!
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Week 5 – Step 2 – 20 min

In ‘Robin Hood’ we play this final rhythm using a combination of picking and strumming.

The bass note is picked, followed by the 16th note rhythm as strums.

This is a great way to make a guitar part distinctive. As the chords of ‘Robin Hood’ move down the scale, this technique pin points that movement more clearly.

The chords are: G – D/F# – Em – D – C. The F# is a note from the D chord, by adding it to the bass we bind the G and Em together.

Here you can see the verse progression in TAB:
Beginner Guitar Course Week 5 Robin Hood Basic
This is a slightly simplified version of what you see me playing in the video below.

Start with playing it like the notation say, as you play the full song you could vary the strums a little as you follow the vocal. Saying that, there’s a lot to be said for playing a repetitive pattern with discipline!

Chords outside the keysnurra02

There is one chord in ‘Robin Hood’ which doesn’t belong to the key, it appears twice in the Chorus and then again during the Outro.

The chord is an A, if we stayed in the key it should have been an Am.

Here are all the chords from the key of G major:

G (I) Am (II) Bm (III) C (IV) D (V) Em (VI) F#m7b5 (VII)

Chord II is an Am, if we change it to an A we need to clarify this in the Roman Numerals. By adding an x to the numeral we indicate that the chord is now major, rather than minor. This can be done to all minor chords.

Here are all the chords for ‘Robin Hood’ in Roman Numerals. When you play the song, think in numbers and consider how each chord makes you feel.


| I V/VII | VI V | IV | Vsus4 V | x2   or   | G D/F# | Em D | C | Dsus4 D |


| I V | IV V | x2   or   | G D | C D |
| I | V/VII | VI | IIx | IV | Vsus4 | IV | V |   or   | G | D/F# | Em | A | C | Dsus4 | C | D |
| I V/VII | VI IIx | IIx |   or   | G D/F# | C A | A |


| IV | V | x2   or   | C | D | x2
| I V/VII | VI IIx |6/4 IIx |   or   | G D/F# | Em A |6/4 A |
| I V/VII | VI V | IV | Vsus4 Vsus2 V | I |   or   | G D/F# | Em D | C | Dsus4 Dsus2 D | G |

Using the lyrics sheet, the chords above and the video, start strumming your way through the progression for ‘Robin Hood’.

Here are the new chords in TAB that are used in the song.

Beginner Guitar Course Week 5 Robin Hood extra chords

The D/F# can be played like I do in the video, by using your thumb over the neck. Some guitar players prefer this, others don’t.

You could fret it using your index finger on the 6th string instead. This would leave your remaining three fingers to fret the top part of the D chord using: middle, little and ring finger.

The Dsus2 chord is played by simply letting the top string ring open.

For the Dsus4, just add your little finger on fret three, string 1.

The A chord can be played using just one finger by barring it or three fingers. If you play the top string open or just leave it out doesn’t matter, both ways are an A chord.

Here’s the video lesson for ‘Robin Hood’. Play along, aiming to pick the bass note, strum the chord.

We will in the next few sessions look at more details when playing this song, including a second guitar part!

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Today we have looked at the difference between 8th note pace strumming and 16th note pace strumming.

We also worked on picking the bass note, strumming the chord.

Following this you got the chord progression for ‘Robin Hood’.

There was a lot of information to digest today, perhaps it’s a good idea to retake this lesson again tomorrow and maybe even the day after tomorrow.

In three days time we will continue our work on ‘Robin Hood’, see you then!

Dan (your guitar guru)