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Lesson notes

Calamity Song is the second track of ‘The King Is Dead’ album by the Decemberists, featuring the R.E.M guitarist Peter Buck.

It is another great song for beginning but also intermediate guitar players and contains a very fun to play signature riff, an easy chord progression, four open chords in the key of D, along with a simple 4/4 strumming pattern.

In the lesson we take a look at a few patterns, how to finger some chords efficiently and the progression. More than anything I talk you through the challenging, main driving uptempo signature riff which needs to be played with consistency and focussed strumming. There is a segment in which I talk about how Colin Meloy dresses up his playing a bit with sus2 chords. I also explain how to play a sixteenth-note bounce which he uses a lot throughout the song.