Whistle For The Choir + Chordal Exercises!
Today we start working on a new song as we play ‘Whistle For The Choir’ by The Fratellis.
I’ve recorded this song in the two keys of E and A. During the song there’s an instrumental section that modulates down a tone, this means we have four keys in total to learn.
To fully capitalize on this we’re going to work on playing all these chords in every position of the neck.
Week 3 – Step 1 – 15-30 min
Let’s start off by learning the main progression for the Verse/Chorus of ‘Whistle For The Choir’ in the original key.
The progression is simple and repetitive using the chords: I – III – II – V.
In the key of E this means: E – G#m – F#m – B. The final chord, the V, or a B, can be extended to a dom7. When you do this you make the pull back towards chord I stronger.
The opening chord is played using the low E and a C shaped chord. String 5 is muted with the fretting hands ring finger.
Between chord III and II, or G#m and F#m, I put a chromatic chord in between.
Taking all this into consideration and we end up with this chord progression on a loop:
| I | I | III | III bIII | II | II | V | V7 |
| E | E | G#m | G#m Gm | F#m | F#m | B | B7 |
The strumming pattern for ‘Whistle For The Choir’ is simple and repetitive.
Here’s the video lesson, play along using the chords and rhythms as discussed.
Week 3 – Step 2 – 15-30 min
Whenever you learn a new song you should consider learning from it. Today we do this by playing the chords in all positions.
Let’s take the progression and move it to all possible areas of the neck.
Here’s some notation for you describing this concept. Use the video above to play along.
Example 1 use the open position E followed by Em shapes, I’ve made the chords bigger than in the transcription that demonstrated what I did in the video.
The final B7 is a C shape, memorize this unique open string shape, it’s very useful.
Example 2 use a D shape for the E chord. It can be a bit tricky to skip all those strings between the low open E and the top chord but practice makes perfect.
For the G#m and F#m I’ve put in an alternating bass line as well. The final B7 is now an A shape.
Example 3 use the C shape as I do in the video. For G#m and F#m I use a Dm shape with an alternating bass line. The B7 is in a G shape.
Example 4 use an A shape for the E. The G#m and F#m are difficult, the Cm shape can be very hard to stretch to. If you cant do it, strum string 4-2 instead of playing the bass note first.
The B and B7 are E shapes with an alternating bass line.
Example 5 use a G shape for the E and Am shapes for the G#m and F#m. The final B and B7 are D shapes.
Spend no more than 30 minutes playing along with the video using all these examples.
Today You learned the basic progression for the Verse/Chorus of ‘Whistle For The Choir’.
We also took this progression and found it all over the neck. Depending on what shape you used, you could apply alternating bass lines.
In three days time you’ll receive step 3 and 4 where we will look at playing this song in the key of A, find all those chords all over the neck, play the chords for the instrumental section as well as look at a second guitar part in all 4 keys.
See you then!
Dan (your guitar guru)