A simple strumming pattern (with a couple of accentuations), open chords, a typically formulaic song structure, and a great song. It doesn’t really get much better than this if you are beginning your guitar playing journey or are looking to learn new songs. And The One I Love by REM has it all.
This classic song is in 4/4 time and for beginners this generally means you can use a uniform down/up strum pattern to play along with the song before you begin to embellish it further by including extra down or up strokes, accentuate certain patterns or even make up your own style of playing the song.
Using the open chords Em, D, G and C you will quickly pick up the suggested rhythm Andy teaches you, giving you a hunger to add more to your strumming armoury……maybe American Girl by Tom Petty, also featured in this issue.
One tip Andy gives his numerous students is to keep a mini log of all the strumming patterns you learn, describing, in your own words, the rhythm you are playing. Because of the personal nature of your description, this will help you remember what you have played. Add the chord sequences after the description and, voila, you’ve future proofed your practice session.
If you have time, let us know how you would describe The One I Love and we’ll publish the best ones in the next issue.