What’s happening everybody. Sean Daniel here with Guitar Control. Today we’re learning a classic R&B new school song. No Diggity by Blackstreet. It really translates well to acoustic guitar, so make sure you click the link below because we’ve got all the chords and lyrics for it because this is really a great song to match the chords to the lyrics. It’s only four chords. Sounds fantastic and it really, it just sounds like this.
So as you can see, the capo is on the third fret and let’s just run through the cords real quick, then we’ll talk a little bit about the strumming pattern. So it starts, E minor. What a great place to start a song, right? It started off easy. You work your way into it, couldn’t be any better. Middle finger second fret of the A string, ring finger second fret of the D string.
Now you kind of announce the beginning of the song before you go to the next chord. So this is just two big down strokes. Okay, now we’re going to move this down a string, go to A minor, but we’re actually mostly going to be using an A minor seven so it’s really just A minor. Two D middle finger, two G ring finger, one B relative to the capo, of course. Pointer finger, with your ring finger up like that.
Okay, so A minor, A minor seven. Now you can go back and forth as I like to do. So you have an E minor. It sounds even that much more acousticey, R&Bey when you take away that ring finger to get that A minor seven, A minor back and forth sound.
To a C major, which, especially if you’re on A minor seven, super easy. This stays exactly the same, your ring finger just swings around to the third fret of the A string. Just like that. And then we’re going to go to a B seven. Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to transition this shape right here, just a string up. So now my middle finger has gone from two D to two A, pointer finger one D, ring finger two G.
And then I’m going to add this bluesy pull on a G note. Again, all this is relative to a capo. This note right here, the third fret relative of the capo was really a B flat, six fret, but don’t worry about that. We’re just going to refer to it as the third with a bend in there. That really resets to the E minor. So again, chord progression is just E minor, A minor seven, C major, D seven, with a little bend to get us back to where we started.
Now the thing that I really like about this, because this is in the key of E minor I would say is the best way to look at this. Anytime you’re playing E minor, the third fret on the low E string is always just really available to you to do all sorts of types of fills and licks and this is really a great example.
Because this note is actually in the E minor chord, just played in different spots. So just adding that and any of the chords is going to give you this bluesy cool fill that we have going on.
So let’s talk a little bit about the main strumming of each of those. Like I said, that first E minor is just two downstrokes. Just kind of, I downed up, down, down. One, two, three, four. One and two, three, four. So when I say down, up, down, down, it’s really one and two, three, four.
It’s a really good habit you get into to have your down strokes be the number of the count and the upstrokes to be the word and. One and two, three, four. All right, now you notice it’s not one and two, three, four. It’s one and two, three, four. Which is a little bit different. And that has a cool R&B type vibe to that strumming E minor. Right there. What it is, I’m grabbing the middle of the chord first, on that first downstroke. And then upstroke the higher strings. Maybe just the B and E is what I’m aiming for, if I get more than that, no big deal. If I get less than that, no big deal. One and two. The two count is going to be the exact same thing as the four. One and two, three. That three is going to be the big one. Where I get most of the chord in.
One and two, three. And then on the four count it’s just going to be the root note ish, downstroke. One and two, three, four. And then because I’m really taking that three that is signifying where a snare hit would be on a drum kit. Because usually a drum kit is a kick two, three, four, kick, two, three, four. We want that three to stand out a little bit when you’re doing any kind of acoustic representation, where the back beat of a drum kit would be on the three. So you can play this as simply as you want to just like E minor, A minor, C major, E seven. But I think it sounds cool and when you start incorporating a little bit of extra stuff to it.
So again, we’re taking it from that one and two, three, four of the A minor seven. Now we’re going to go to that C chord. Now we can get the same things without one and two, three, four. But really just think about it, how it sits in relation to everything else. That first one was down, a little softer. One, two, one and two, three, four. One and two, three, four. One and two, three, four. Like that.
If we have, if we pull back the strumming, again we’re not changing the tempo at all. That’s a common misconception. Usually songs don’t change tempos, they just change vibes. So we’re pulling back, so by the time we get to that B seven, we’re emphasizing the dominant seven nature of that chord, and again the B seven is just middle finger two A finger, pointer finger one D, ring finger two G. And then we’re going to add that guy right there.
Now I think this is really important to think of what fingers you use. Down, up, down, up, down. Get that bend with your ring finger. See how my ring finger abandons its spot here to go to that bend. Now also too, you’ll notice that the strumming on that fourth chord, one and two and three and four E. That’s the busiest strum that I’ve had yet. And because that chord is the last chord in the progression, a four chord progression, and also because it’s a dominant seven, it’s an extended chord, is asking the progression to do something. When you just leave something, it’s begging to be resolved. In this case home to the E minor.
So the more action we put on that B seven, the more resolution just feels appropriate when you get back to that E minor chord. So we have E minor, A minor seven, C, one and two and three and four E. You’ll always notice that the busiest chord is going to be that fourth bar where that B seven is. And then you can always choose to grab that third fret and give it a big band and come back. Really it’s up to you how you want to play it, but it’s really a song that’s open to a lot of different strumming interpretations because it is an R&B song. So we’re just using an acoustic guitar, you can play on electric too, to make a version of the song. And I think it’s important to think of how the original song sounded with the production and everything, with the drums and also too the piano, the … that’s an acoustic representation of that.
So really just be thoughtful about the chords, how you played them differently. Even that E minor, instead of just going one, two, one and two, three, four, I like to pick through it. One, two, three, four. That’s a little bit different where I’m just hitting the root note, the A string, that three, and then back to the A string. One, two, three, four, one and two, three, four, one and two, three, four, one and two and three and four E.
You can also use space. I think effectively using space is another thing that any acoustic guitar song is a really good opportunity to practice something like that. Specifically with this one because that turnaround, that B seven to that E is something that can get repetitive after doing it a lot of times. That’s a good place to experiment with different things, whether it’s … or just maybe one hit, one, two, three, four E. So again, really simple song to learn. Only four chords, you can repeat it. It doesn’t really ever change and it sounds good, especially as a way to practice your strumming, you’re picking. How you can choose to take each chord within a progression.
And again, all of the chords have an even amount of time. So that’s just something that you can experiment with and it’s going to be really good for your strumming and you can use these tips and tricks to any song that you do end up playing on acoustic guitar or anything else. So definitely, thanks for checking out the video. Let us know if you have any questions and make sure to click on any of these other surrounding videos about myself and other great guitar instructors here on the Guitar Control Channel. We’ll talk to y’all soon. Thanks a lot.