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Guitar Songs To Learn – Stand By Me




Hey there, budding guitarists. I’m Tomas Michaud. Thanks for joining me in my five-video series “Guitar Songs to Learn” for beginning guitar.

This first one, “Stand By Me” by Ben King, is a great one to learn by guitarists because it uses a very standard chord progression that’s used in lots of songs in its era, and if you watch all the way to the end, I’m going to show you first a basic, easy version of this song and I’ll throw in a cool little lick at the end to show you something you can actually work for. Let’s get going.

Welcome back. Let’s do the basic chord progression. Four chords, the G-chord, the E-minor, the C-chord and the D. Finger the G-chord any way you want, but I like to use the one with my pinky. Easier to get to the E-minor and C from there. Up to you.

Let’s play that chord progression nice and slow. Four chords, four strums … to the E-minor … C … and D. That’s about 99% of that song.

There’s one part at the end of the “Stand By Me” chorus where it goes from … at the end, it goes from the G, back to the D and play the D a couple more times. I’m going to show you where that is. First, let’s do a simple strum to go with this. Make your G-chord and here’s the strum. It’s down … mute … down … mute, and there’s a little syncopation there.

You can try to get it by imitating me and playing along with the video. If you want, look at my series, Basic Guitar Chords, and I do a more detailed version of that strum and spend a little more time on it.

For now, we’re going to put the two together. Listen.

Try that with me. Nice and slow. We’re just going to do G, E-minor, C and D. Ready, go. To G, then two E-minors … one C … one D … and then G. Here’s the ending part. Listen … and then, start again. That’s the whole song.

Ready for a cool lick? I wouldn’t call this a beginning lick, but to give you something to work for. Check it out.

Not that hard.

First, the six-string, I’m going three notes, that’s open E, F-sharp, that’s the second fret and then third finger G, then make the G-chord. I just hit that G-note again in the third fret. Then I go down, the same notes, and make the E-minor chord. Open E there, that’s the open E base note. Then to the C, that’s the fifth string. That’s open second fret and third fret. Then, open D-string, that’s the fourth string, and then start over. That’s the whole lick.

Listen again. You can try playing along if you want.

Thank you for joining me, that was fun. I look forward to seeing you in the next video.

Take care for now. Bye.


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