The Animals - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
The Association - Along Comes Mary
The Association - Never My Love
The Beach Boys - California Girls
The Beach Boys - God Only Knows
The Beau Brummels - Just A Little
The Beau Brummels - Laugh Laugh
The Classics IV - Spooky
The Classics IV - Stormy
The Classics IV - Traces
Gerry & The Pacemakers - You'll Never Walk Alone
The Hollies - Bus Stop
The Hollies - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
The Small Faces - Itchycoo Park
The Turtles - Lady-O
Lesson 1: Spooky - Guitar Lesson
Spooky was an instrumental written by sax player Mike Shapiro before the Classics IV got a hold of it and guitarist James Cobb added lyrics. Vocalist Dennis Yost’s performance shot it up the charts in 1968. It also included a memorable sax solo, something that became a staple of pop hit over the next decade.
The song only uses four chords and this lesson looks at a few different ways of voicing them, starting with a challenge for the student to figure out a couple on their own. There is a simple strumming, Campfire Version, as well as a more difficult fingerstyle version using all four fingers and a bit of percussion.
Lesson 2: Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
This classic song by The Animals is one that will surely get you singing along. In this lesson you’ll get an inside look at not only how to play the guitar parts, but also how to use a looper to recreate the entire song from the vocal melody, through to the rhythms and the harmonies. By the end you’ll know everything there is to know about this awesome tune!
Lesson 3: Never My Love - The Association - Guitar Lesson
The Association had a couple big hits in 1966, Along Comes Mary and Cherish, and followed those with Windy and Never My Love in 1967.
Never My Love opened with a simple guitar line and included an unusual rhythmic pattern of a dotted eighth/sixteenth on the second beat of the measure.
This lesson goes into how we can get that to happen with a slightly percussive right hand technique. It also goes into a couple short solos, as heard on the original recording.
Lesson 4: California Girls - The Beach Boys - Guitar Lesson
In 1965, The Beach Boys continued with songs in a direction started by their 1964 landmark album Pet Sounds.
California Girls used complex harmonies and chord inversions, along with catchy lyrics by Mike Love.
This lesson presents a few different approaches, a Campfire strumming version, an intermediate level version that works in the shuffle rhythm bass part, and a very challenging version that incorporates as much of the instrumental back up as possible. A chord solo version may follow along soon.
Lesson 5: God Only Knows - The Beach Boys - The Campfire Version
I recently did a lesson on the solo guitar arrangement of God Only Knows and figured it was time to put together a simplified arrangement of just the chords to play or sing along with.
There are about 20 chords involved, many unusual and a few difficult ones. This short lesson covers a simple strumming pattern and keys to connecting some of the chords. There is even a hand made page of chord diagrams!
Lesson 6: Just A Little - The Beau Brummels - Guitar Lesson
A follow up to the Beau Brummels’ first hit Laugh Laugh, Just A Little, also written by guitarists Ron Elliott, hit the airwaves in early 1965 and continued paving the way as the San Francisco music scene evolved.
The song uses a simple chord progression but includes a nice lead fill, as well as a short solo that is easy to incorporate into a solo version. Be sure to check out Nils Lofgren’s versions as well.
Lesson 7: Laugh Laugh - The Beau Brummels - Guitar Lesson
The Beau Brummels were one of the pioneers of the San Francisco sound, that became part of the West Coast’s answer to the British Invasion. The core of the band consisted of vocalist Sal Valentino and guitarist/songwriter Ron Elliott. The song was released as a single in late 1964, then appeared on the band’s debut album, Introducing The Beau Brummels in 1965.
There are some unusual things happening with the chord progression and being comfortable with a lot of barre chords is an important aspect of being able to play Laugh Laugh.
The lesson includes a theory segment going over seventh chords, one on some fill ideas (a la the harmonica and lead guitar accents), as well as a look at playing it in different keys, one inspired by a 2006 video of Sal performing it very informally.
Lesson 8: Along Comes Mary - The Association - Guitar Lesson
The Association’s first hit, climbing to number 7 on the charts in 1966, was Along Comes Mary, written by Tandyn Almer.
The song opens with a cool bass riff, followed by syncopate, percussive changes over an A Minor sequence.
The rest of the progression is quite unusual, drawing chords from a couple nearby keys, ending with another heavily syncopated series of chords. This is a somewhat challenging strumming song.
Lesson 9: Stormy - Guitar Lesson
Although some might consider them a 3-hit wonder, The Classics IV were a very talented and creative band.
Their 1968 hit Stormy, written by bandmates Dennis Yost, James Cobb, and Buddy Buie, made it to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song features a jazzy progression, percussive strumming, some nice guitar fills, and a sax solo, which are all covered in the lesson.
There is also a short segment on double-time strumming.
Lesson 10: Traces - Guitar Lesson
The Classics IV had a handful of hits in the late 1960s. Traces, written by Buddis Buie, J.R. Cobb, and Emory Gordy Jr., made it to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969.
The song opens with an arpeggiated descending bass line under a minor progression, followed by an usual chord sequence outside the key of D, where the verse begins.
The lesson includes arpeggio picking, percussive fingerpicking, light finger strumming, and a lot of barre chords. The song modulates up a half step at the end, making the chords even a little bit more challenging.
Lesson 11: You'll Never Walk Alone
You’ll Never Walk Alone is a show tune from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical ‘Carousel’.
The song has been recorded by many artists, and was a big hit for British beat group Gerry & The Pacemakers in 1963.
This guitar arrangement is loosely based on how the piano player plays it, and uses a simple fingerpicking pattern. This could be done with a pick as well, and of course one could also strum through the song, like Gerry does.
We take a close up look at both hands, and break down the progression, which starts and ends in the key of C. There are many twists and turns with chords out of the key, maybe even a change to the key of F and back to C again. There are a few augmented chords, a dim7, and dominant 7ths.
Lesson 12: Bus Stop
Bus Stop was the Hollies’ 1966 hit that really put them on the musical map in the U.S. It was written by Graham Gouldman, who penned many hits for British bands before making it on his own with 10 C.C. This lesson goes over the rhythm guitar part, a solo way of playing the catchy intro, and the short duet guitar lead.
Lesson 13: He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother' is a ballad written by Bobby Scott and Bob Russell and has been covered by many artists. Originally recorded by Kelly Gordon in 1969, it became a worldwide hit for the Hollies later that year and also a hit for Neil Diamond in 1970.
This lesson takes a look at the version by the Hollies, which stands out by its amazing harmony-vocals.
It breaks down all the chords and the progression. As for the strumming, in my opinion the bass is quite prominent and personally I tend to want to copy that on the guitar, so we take a look at how to do that as well.
Lesson 14: Itchycoo Park - Small Faces - Guitar Lessons
We recently put out a couple lessons from the psychedelic days of the mid-1960s, each giving a taste of different parts of the US. We had The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Daydream representing New York and Scott McKenzie’s San Francisco, highlighting the West Coast sound.
Today we have an entry from the same time in the UK, Small Faces by The Small Faces. Written by Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott, later of Humble Pie, Small Faces captures the feeling of freedom one dreams about, playing hookey from school and just hanging out in a favorite spot.
The lesson includes a ‘Listen’ segment to have the student try to hear the progression as much as possible so hold off on printing the chart until you watch the first few segments.
Lesson 15: Lady-O - Guitar Lesson
Lady-O was the last real hit for The Turtles as they were at odds with their record company and disbanded in 1970. Judee Sill, who had become a mainstay in the Southern California rock scene by then, wrote the song. This lesson goes over the unusual chord progression and arpeggio picking, and takes a look at creating a chord solo out of it.