Intermediate Acoustic Guitar Course Week 5 Step 3 and 4

Last Request picking variations + Chart!

Today we finish off our study of ‘Last request’ by looking at some variations for the picking pattern as well as get a complete chart for the song.

Remember to try this song using both your fingers (as in the video) and a pick.

Should you feel adventurous, move the capo to a different area of the neck and come up with your own second guitar part.

Week 5 – Step 3 – 15-30 min

Let’s start today off with looking at a complete chart for ‘Last Request’.

Download and print this: Last Request

As you can see there are three sections:

  1. Intro/Verse
  2. Pre Chorus/M8
  3. Chorus/Outro


This section is picked in 8th notes for the first half of the bar, leaving the second half to ring out.

Experiment with using a different order for the picking pattern to what you see in the video. Keep the rhythm the same though.

Pre Chorus/M8

This section has a more complex rhythm than the other parts. In the video the bass notes are played separately to the strums.

Experiment with using only strums as well as just picking different notes form the chords. Keep the rhythm the same.


For the Chorus/Outro section, simply keep the pattern at 8th note pace throughout.

You can see Sam playing some more intricate strumming over the Gm chord, we’ll look at that in a bit.

There is nothing wrong with leaving a few rhythms out here and there to accommodate the vocal.

At first though, ensure you can play the part in exactly the same way throughout.

Usually, keeping it simple and repetitive sounds best anyway.

Here’s the video to play along with:

Week 5 – Step 4 – 15-30 min

Let’s take a look at some variations to the simple picking pattern I showed you a few days ago.

Some of these might enhance the arrangement, some might be better left out.

If you took the beginner course you might remember me saying that ‘Wonderwall’ should have been played more repetitive.

This is the beauty of filming yourself, you can analyse what works and what doesn’t in much more detail.

I would suggest you film yourself every time you feel you completed a song. Listen and amend whatever you’re not happy with.

Last Request Verse Variations

During the Verse, Sam sometimes add a couple of notes to the pattern. There are many options here, I’ve notated a few example here for you, try them all out and decide which work for you.

In Variation 1 you continue the pattern in 8th notes, just leave that tie over the middle of the bar in there or you’ll change the groove completely:
Last Request Verse Variation1
In Variation 2 you still hold for the middle of the bar, just add the last two notes over beat 4.
Last Request Verse Variation 2
In Variation 3 you add an 8th note after the tie and then finish off with a quarter note.
Last Request Verse Variation 3
Try all three variations and aim to combine them so it suits the vocal.

Last Request Chorus Variations 

During the Chorus, over the Gm chord Sam leave some space for the singer by holding a chord, therefore interrupting the strumming pattern.

Personally I feel this is a great variation that you might want to consider applying when you play the song. Here’s the TAB:
Last Request Chorus Variation 1
Personally I’ve found that adding a sus2 to the Bb and C at the end of the chorus work really well, try it:
Last Request Chorus Variation 2
Finally, during the Outro Sam play short stabs over F and Am. I’ve kept the Gm variation and the sus2′s in this variation:
Last Request Chorus Variation 3
Now that you have gotten to know the song from a few different angles, look through the video above for more details.

If you like them, memorise or even better, write the variations down and complete your own arrangement for ‘Last Request’.


Today we got a chart for ‘Last Request’ and studied some strumming details.

If this hasn’t taken you an hour, why not move the capo and work out your own version?

Maybe the vocal is too high for you to sing along, move the capo down or change key.

How far you take the study of ‘Last Request’ really is up to you.

Next week we start working on a new song, see you then!

Dan (your guitar guru)