10cc - Dreadlock Holiday
10cc - I'm Not In Love
Black - Wonderful Life
Chris de Burgh - The Lady In Red
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - The Power Of Love
Johnny Logan - Hold Me Now
Kim Wilde - Cambodia
Kim Wilde - Kids In America
Leo Sayer - Orchard Road
Phil Collins - Against All Odds
Phil Collins - Do You Remember?
Phil Collins - That's Just The Way It Is
Soft Cell - Tainted Love
Spandau Ballet - Through The Barricades
Ultravox - Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
Ultravox - Vienna
Lesson 1: Orchard Road - Leo Sayer - Guitar Lesson
Orchard Road is a beautiful ballad recorded by singer-songwriter Leo Sayer for his 10th studio album ‘Have You Ever Been In Love’, released in 1983.
It features a relatively easy progression in the key of C, but does have a few sudden key changes, to Eb in the chorus and A in the bridge.
The challenges lie mostly within incorporating the melody in the intro, picking out the bass notes when playing in the key of C, and being able to play barre chords in the key of Eb.
Last but not least are the vocals, which are too high for the average male voice. For that I’ve added a segment showing how to play the song in the key of G. From there, if necessary, one could capo it up.
Lesson 2: Dreadlock Holiday - 10cc - Guitar Lesson
10cc is an English art rock band who achieved their greatest commercial success in the 1970s.Their hit ‘Dreadlock Holiday’ is a reggae song written by Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman from their 1978 album ‘Bloody Tourists’.
Among two other sources, the lyrics were apparently inspired by real events that happened to Eric Stewart and Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues when they went on holiday together in Barbados.
In this lesson we take a look at the acoustic version as performed by the band in more recent years. The song features a relatively easy progression in the key of Gm and is raised a half step to G#m in the third verse.
The good news is that the strumming is one set pattern throughout the whole song. The ‘bad’ news is that it must be played with barre chords only.
The trick for the latter is to minimize muscle tension in the body as much as possible. For that, a segment with a few pointers is included.
Lesson 3: Wonderful Life - Guitar Lesson
Wonderful Life is a beautiful song written by Colin Vearncombe, who headed his band, Black. They were popular in the UK but never quite made it in the US. He is a very talented songwriter and singer and this song is pretty basic with a nice intro that sets the stage. Check out their videos. The main focus of this lesson is to start adding a little percussion to your accompaniment.
Lesson 4: The Lady In Red - Chris de Burgh - Guitar Lesson
Chris de Burgh is a British-Irish singer-songwriter and instrumentalist. He is most famous for his 1986 love song ‘The Lady In Red’, which became a massive hit in many countries.
This lesson shows how to play that particular song in the key of G, where the guitar is capoed on the 3rd fret to put it in the key of Bb as performed on the original recording.
The arrangement is very straight forward and uses six basic open chords only. The strumming should be done gently and in double time.
There are a few chords with a bass note other than the root and it’s nice to pick them out individually.
Lesson 5: The Power Of Love - Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Guitar Lesson
Frankie Goes To Hollywood, formed in 1980, was a British band, popular in the mid-1980s.
After ‘Relax’ and ‘Two Tribes’, they scored their third consecutive #1 UK single in 1984 with ‘The Power Of Love’, all taken from their debut album, ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’.
The lesson is somewhat based on live performances by vocalist Holly Johnson, which has a few differences from the original recording. It covers the progression and shows the chords in the key of Em, including a few shapes further up the neck.
We also take a look at the strumming which is, in my opinion, the most important aspect of the playing. It needs to be gentle and subtle in places and quite strong in others.
In order to play along with the original recording, one needs to capo the guitar at the first fret.
Lesson 6: Hold Me Now
Johnny Logan is a singer-songwriter from Ireland. He is known as being the only performer to have won the Eurovision Song Contest twice, in 1980 and 1987. He also composed the winning song in 1992.
In this lesson we take a look at his self composed song Hold Me Now, a gorgeous love ballad, earning his second win in 1987.
The original was recorded in the key of F, and goes up a whole step to G in the final chorus. This is not easy on the guitar, so I chose the key of C and D instead (Capo V). Even then it has its challenges.
We break down the chords, strumming and go through the arrangement with all its little details.
Lesson 7: Cambodia - Kim Wilde - Guitar Lesson
Cambodia is the fourth and another international hit single by British pop singer Kim Wilde. It was released at the end of 1981, a year in which she already scored three highly successful hit singles and a best-selling debut album.
The original recording was mainly synth-driven, with oriental-sounding percussion and was written by Kim’s father and brother Marty and Ricky Wilde.
The lyrics were inspired by the Operation Menu bombing campaign of Cambodia by the US during the Vietnam War. It tells the tragic story about a wife of an American pilot, who ends up being killed and never returns home.
The arrangement taught in this lesson is done in the key of Am and could be capoed anywhere to fit ones vocal range.
The chords and the progression are relatively easy. The main challenge is to somewhat copy the feel of the bass and to incorporate the main synthesizer riff featured in the intro.
There is also a segment included that shows the chords and progression as Ricky Wilde plays it on an acoustic guitar in the key of Dm, using primarily barre chords.
Lesson 8: Kids In America - Kim Wilde - Guitar Lesson
Kim Wilde is a British pop singer, who gained major popularity throughout the 80’s.
She burst onto the music scene in 1981 with her debut single Kids In America, written by her father and brother, Marty and Ricky Wilde.
This lesson is mostly based on an acoustic version, with brother Ricky and Nik Kershaw performing the song on guitar.
The arrangement consists of major chords only. Ricky Wilde uses barre chords from the E family, while leaving the two top strings open, and also a few basic open chords.
We take a look at the fast double time strumming, which changes to the speed of 8th’s back and forth, and a little bit of palm muting.
Lesson 9: I'm Not In Love - 10cc - Guitar Lesson
I’m Not In Love is a beautiful and unique song by English band 10cc, written by members Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman. It was released in 1975 as the second single from their 3rd album ‘The Original Soundtrack’ and became a breakthrough hit worldwide.
The song is particularly notable for its innovative and distinctive backing track, consisting mostly of the band’s multitracked vocals.
This lesson shows a stripped down arrangement as performed acoustically by the band in later years and Gouldman by himself.
The progression has a few interesting twists with chords changing from major to minor. It barely gets home to chord I and it takes quite a different direction in the bridge.
It features several colorful chords with relatively easy shapes, chords out of the key, and a few barre chords. Along with the random and easy double time strumming, it should be doable for most guitar players.
Lesson 10: Against All Odds
Against All Odds is a power ballad by English drummer, singer-songwriter Phil Collins.
It was recorded for the soundtrack of the movie with the same name (1984). The single reached the No. 1 position in several countries and earned him multiple nominations and a Grammy Award.
The arrangement was primarily done on a piano and translates very well to the guitar.
Besides the usual suspects such as the chords, the ballad strum, and the progression, we take a look at how to play its signature intro and outro, which is easier than one might think.
Lesson 11: Do You Remember?
Do You Remember? is a song performed by singer-songwriter Phil Collins released in 1990 as one of the singles from his album ‘…But Seriously’.
Like with many of his songs he performs it on piano In the key of F.
This lesson shows how to play it in the key of C, where the guitar is capoed on the 5th fret. This results in relatively easy chords, and an easy way to incorporate the main melody notes which reappears throughout the song.
Of course we take a close look at both hands as well as the progression. The latter is very straightforward and shouldn’t be a challenge for anyone.
Lesson 12: That's Just The Way It Is
That’s Just The Way It Is is a anti-war ballad by English singer-songwriter Phil Collins. It was released as a single in 1990 from his fourth solo studio album ‘…But Seriously’. (1989) It features David Crosby on background vocals.
This lesson teaches an arrangement in the key of D (Capo III) with the 6th string tuned down a whole step to D, Dropped D-Tuning.
It breaks down the intro, which is the main theme throughout the song, in two different ways. It’s effective, sounds lovely and with a little practice it should be doable for most guitar players.
We of course take a look at both hands and go through the progression. The latter repeats itself often and is very straight forward.
Lesson 13: Tainted Love - Soft Cell - Guitar Lesson
Soft Cell are an English synthpop duo who came to prominence in the early 1980’s, consisting of vocalist Marc Almond and instrumentalist David Ball.
Tainted Love was originally recorded by Gloria Jones in 1965, but it never made in to the charts. Soft Cell covered the song with a very different arrangement and in a lower key, making it a huge huge hit in many countries.
The lesson takes a look at how to establish the main bass part, while playing the chords. It involves dampening the strings and focused strumming, with a swing feel, to create a percussive effect while keeping the bass part going.
The progression is very easy and contains only five chords in the key of Em, with one chord out of the key. The guitar is capoed on the 3rd fret to match the absolute key of Gm.
Lesson 14: Through The Barricades - Spandau Ballet - Guitar Lesson
Spandau Ballet are an English new wave band formed in London in the late 1970s.
Through The Barricades is the title track of their 1986 album with the same name. It’s an acoustic ballad in the key of G, written by Gary Kemp.
This lesson covers the fast arpeggio style fingerpicking and the many chords and chord shapes.
We take a close look at all the parts, including the many details, which make the accompaniment of the song so beautiful.
Lesson 15: Dancing With Tears In My Eyes - Guitar Lesson
Dancing With Tears In My Eyes is the 2nd single from ‘Lament’, Ultravox’s seventh studio album, released in 1984.
This lesson primarily shows how former frontman Midge Ure performs it acoustically by himself, giving it more of a ballad feel.
He tunes his guitar almost always a ½ step down and plays with chord shapes in the key of A, including two barre chords and the addition of a sus4 and add9.
We also take a look at the key of G, which uses relatively easier chord shapes. It would probably suit the average male-vocalist a bit better too.
Lesson 16: Vienna - Guitar Lesson
Ultravox are a British new wave band formed in London in 1974.
Vienna, taken from their 4th studio album with the same name, became a major hit in Europe in 1981.
To date, it remains Ultravox’s signature song, being their most commercially successful single and is often played live by Midge Ure in solo performances. He co-wrote the song and was the band's lead singer and front man during most of the eighties.
This lesson is entirely based on how Ure plays it on guitar in such performances.
He plays it in the key of C Mixolydian, primarily using chords I, IV and VII, with the guitar tuned down a half step or sometimes even a whole step to fit his vocal range.
He doesn’t necessarily copy the rhythmic feel of the original recording, but does incorporate the main little piano riff.
The song is probably too hard to sing for most male vocalists, in particular the high notes in the chorus, so for that, we also take a look at the keys of A and G Mixolydian, which turn out to work really well.
A little bit of theory regarding the Mixolydian mode is included.