What’s happening everybody? Sean Daniel with Guitar Control here. Today we’re learning a classic Count On Me by Bruno Mars. Really a super simple guitar song. There are only two parts, kind of like a verse, a bridge, and then a chorus, which is the same as the verse essentially. And it’s just a feel good song. It should be in everybody’s repertoire if you’re a performer or anything like that. Make sure you click the link below because I’m going to have the chords for everything and I’ll just break it down into two parts. So, the whole thing is going to sound like this.
And then back to the verse. Okay? So, the first part is just going to be C major, E minor, A minor with a G, and then F.
Okay, so let’s go through the chords real quick and then we’ll talk about the strumming pattern, which is like a really classic strumming pattern that absolutely everybody should know, right?
So C major, just traditional C major. Ring finger, third fret on the a string, middle finger second fret on the D string, open G pointer finger, first fret on the B string.
So that’s going to be the strumming pattern, okay? That’s like two bars. One, two, three and four, and one, two, three, three and four.
Now the reason I’m counting it one, two, three and four and is because the word and is going to be upstroke. Everything else is going to be down stroke.
One, two, three and four, and one, two, three and four. And it’s the same as saying down, down, down, up, down. Down, down, down, up, down.
Now to make it a little more dynamic, on the one count you’re going to just aim for the lower part of the cord to get a little bit more of the base in there.
One, two, three and four, and one, two, three and four, and one, two, three and four.
So you’ll notice also on the three, I’m getting a lower part too, so you kind of have the low part of the strings and the high part of the strings, and it kind of dynamically adds some variance to it.
Low, high, low and high, and low, high, low and high.
It kind of adds a little bit more of a vibe to the strumming, okay?
So from there we’re going to go to an E minor chord, okay? Open E, two A, two D, open the rest of the way. Same thing.
Hear when I’m getting that low E. Then A minor with a G and a F.
So you’ll notice on the chord chart if you click the link below, there’s really just room for a G chord. Could play it like A minor, G, F, but I kind of like going A minor, which is again an open A, two D with your middle finger, two G with your ring finger, one B with your pointer finger.
One, two, three and four, and have your ring finger leave its post and grab the G on the E string. Then you kind of have this A minor seven over G type chord, which is just kind of how I like playing it, to F.
Now the reason I like that better and I think is more efficient whenever I play this song live, I do it like this is because you can just leave your pointer finger right here the entire time.
A Minor to G to F. Which again, the difference between an A minor to a G chord, it’s similar, it’s not identical, but it is just kind of like a similar dynamic, right? So it’s just kind of like one way we can kind of incorporate a little bit of a different vibe into that.
So now let’s go to the bridge of the song, which is going to be D minor to E minor to F major to G, and that happens right before we go back to the main part again, okay?
Now I want to talk a little bit about the chords first, but I want to talk about how we’re going to number them in the key. So first and learn the chords. D minor right here, pointer your finger first fret, and the high E string pinkie or ring finger on the third fret of the B string, middle finger on the second fret of the G string.
Same strumming pattern. One, two, three and four, and one, two, three and four. And E minor, one, two, three and four, and F, and then to G. Pause. Back to the main part, all right?
Now, the nice thing about this is you’re going to, and this is really kind of true for a lot of pre-choruses or bridges in general, you’re going to get this ascending feeling that leads you somewhere, okay? So if you notice the first letter in the names of these chords, D, E, F, G, right? We’re just ascending through the actual key of the notes in the key of C. C, D, E, F, G, A, B, all right?
Again, like I said before, this is in the key of C, all right? So we’re really just going through kind of like a chord scale in that key, and I think a really easy way to remember this is to make all the letters, all the notes in the key of C as numbers. C, D, E, F, G, A, B, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, all right?
So D minor E minor to F to G is really just a two, three, four, and five. If you start paying attention to some of these numbers, you’ll notice that five is almost always, like 90% of the time a five chord is followed by a one chord. So that’s what’s called the harmonic function of what is actually like a dominant seven chord, is kind of like the music theory behind it. So the five chord and the one chord have a very strong relation, that’s why you see C and G in a lot of different songs in the key is C, right? G is a very important chord that will lead you home to one.
So we can actually number the entire thing, right? Remember, the the first part of the song was C, E minor, A minor with a G, and then to F. Now if we turn those into numbers, we have a one to a three, to a six, to a five, to a four, and then we can go to the pre-chorus. Two, three, four, five, then start back on one, three, six, five, four.
Now again, this is a great example of, “Well didn’t you just tell me that the five chord is almost always followed by the one chord?” This is a great example of when it’s not. We’re descending back through something. Six, five, four.
Almost always, the five chord will lead your ear to the one chord. One great example of when it doesn’t is when you’re kind of descending along the line, like a six, five, that’s leading us to the four. Otherwise, that five board almost always wants to send you to the one chord, right?
So this is kind of like a really easy way to maybe start breaking into some of the reasons to learn music theory because it makes the songs so easy to learn. On the one hand, this isn’t a very difficult song conceptually because like okay, C, E minor, A minor, G, F, and the bridge D minor, E minor, F, G.
It’s like okay, that’s not impossible to remember, but it’s so much easier being like we’re in the key of C, it’s a one, three, six, five, four, followed by a two, three, four, five. So much easier to communicate to another musician. So much easier to put down on a notepad. It’s a lot easier to remember, too.
Now the last thing I want to do is when we have that transition between the bridge back to the chorus. So one thing that I like to do when I play this one live is instead of going, so D minor, E minor, F, to G, two, three, four, to one. One thing I like to do is take that F chord and actually just slide it two frets higher to get a different type of G. So now it’ll sound like this.
One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, and F.
I think it just has a little bit of a different kind of a sound when you go back to the C chord, right?
So, a feel good, happy song, uplifting. It’ll just, like I said, take the souls and just fill them up for all the people around you listening. Really easy to remember. Put it in your repertoire and make a little note in your phone or whatever, because it’s something that you can always just kind of reach into that bag of songs and pull out really quickly, and a lot of people recognize it, and it’s just kind of like a newer classic song that everybody should know.
So hopefully you learned something, and try to apply some of that number counting through chords to songs you already know and you might find that it’s easier just to remember songs in general, all right?
Then when you’re done with that, make sure you click on other videos [inaudible 00:09:48] by myself and other great instructors on the Guitar Control channel. And as always, let us know what you guys think and what you guys would like to see more of. Thanks so much for stopping by.