We’ve learned the introduction to our song, “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd, so now we’re going to learn the next part – the verse. As we mentioned briefly in a previous lesson, the verse is a section of a song which repeats several times throughout the song and will usually include different lyrics for each repeat. A verse usually leads to the chorus, which is the catchy section of the song which people tend to remember. In the case of our current song, we don’t have a standard chorus – instead, we have a repeat of our intro section between verses, which is called an interlude. An interlude is a part of the song which breaks up its main structure to add variety and interest.
Verse 1 and 21:18 – 2:22
The structure for the verse is shown in the tab below. There are two verses after the intro to the song, so we’ll play the whole tab twice (notice the repeat brackets at the start and end of the tab). Our strumming pattern will follow the same quarter note / sixteenth note strumming pattern we used for the two measures of our introduction. Listen to the audio sample at the end of the tab to familiarise yourself with this pattern before you start practicing the song.
Verses 1 and 2 (1:18 – 2:22)
Tip 1: Chord Changes.If you are struggling with certain chord changes, it’s best to stop practicing the song and to concentrate on the chord changes you are having problems with. The temptation is to keep playing through the song, however it is likely you will make the same mistakes over and over again and reinforce the mistakes you are making by practicing them repeatedly. Pick a chord change you are struggling with and practice it slowly. Try to identify what you are doing wrong and see if you can come up with a way to make the change easier. This might include things like changing the position of your hand, trying an alternative fingering, or trying to minimise the movement of your fingers between chords. When you start to see progress playing at a slower speed, gradually increase the tempo until you reach the original playing speed (in the case of our song, 60 bpm), at which point you can try playing through the song again.
Tip 2: Mastered the Change? So you’ve practiced the chord change on its own, mastered it, then tried playing the song again, and what happens? You mess it up again! Don’t worry if this happens – this is perfectly normal. Playing a chord change in isolation can feel totally different to playing it in the context of a song. There’s a lot more going on in our heads when we try to play the full song, so it’s a lot easier to lose concentration when it comes to the difficult bits. You may need to repeat the process of practicing a chord change, then playing the song several times before your hard work pays off. It’s all part of the learning process, but you’ll get there eventually!