What’s going on everybody? Sean Daniel with Guitar Control here. Today we’re learning a U2 song, Stuck in a Moment That You Can’t Get Out of. Personally, we think you should be called Stuck in a Moment, a little bit of a long title. But this is actually an acoustic version that is really popular. They played it on, I think, the David Letterman Show, and it’s one of the one of the few times that they really do just acoustic, Bono and The Edge. It’s really a cool song, teaches you a cool different strumming pattern. It’s one main progression and then two side ones for bridges and stuff. And basically, the whole thing is going to sound like this.
So this is going to be the main verse, which is also the chorus progression. We’ll talk about the bridges and interludes after this. But the great thing about this is, if you look at the chords, which, definitely click the link below to get a chord chart of everything, with the lyrics and everything, you might be like, “Oh, this has some tough chords that are barre chords.” But, actually, we’re going to learn this in a way that you don’t really need to use barre chords. In fact, it’s really kind of just one shape that is going to play the entire song, just moving that shape around, okay?
So now, it’s in the key of E major. So the first quarter we’re going to use is an E major chord. So open E, middle finger to A, ring finger to D, pointer finger one on the G string, and then open B and E. Now I want to take a second and just note the importance of the open B and E string, because for all of the chords in this key, we can actually open the B and E strings and still it’s going to sound good, right? It’s still going to give this big open sound, and that’s actually going to enable us to not have to do barre chords, right?
So the first thing we’re going to do is go from this E to a G sharp minor. So G sharp minor might be a chord you’ve never tried before. If you played it as a barre chord, it would be the fourth fret barred, you’re pointing finger grabbing everything, your ring finger grabbing six A, and your pinky grabbing six D, okay? Now, depending on how long you’ve been playing, the action on your guitar strings, whether it’s acoustic or electric, that can be a tricky chord to play, right? So we’re going to see it this way, but I also want to look at it this way with the open B and E strings. And then not having the root note in the chord, the fourth fret and the low E string, we can actually take the octave there and replace that with this chord.
So instead of… we’re getting… Okay? So it sounds pretty good. This is like a really good kind of replacement, not technically just a G sharp minor anymore, but it fits the bill, right? So I’m going to go back and forth between that, but anytime you see me hovering above the fourth fret for this chord, you’ll know that it’s either a barre chord or an even easier different open interpretation of it, right?
Now before we get into the next couple of chords, I want to talk about the strumming, okay? So it’s like, if you have problems diagnosing strumming patterns, this is a great way to look at a different type of a count. Usually, songs that are in 4/4 timing, which this is no exception, there’s a way to count it. Now the interesting thing about this is that if we think of two chords as pairs, the first chord is going to get three beats and the second chord is going to get five beats. So even though the chords have different amounts of beats that we stay on, they’re still going to be in the same time signature of 4/4, right? So again, when I say three and five it’s one, two, three, one, two, three, four, five. All right?
Now we can strum it a lot of different ways, one, two and three, one, two and three, four, five. One, two and three, one, two and three, four, five. So right there I’m getting a down, down, up, down, down, down, up, down, down. But really, it’s breaking it into three and five. I think a lot of times knowing the downs and ups is helpful. That’s where I was down, down, up, down, down, down, up, down, down.
But counting it musically, one, two and three, one, two, and three, four, five. Or if you want to count to eight, if that’s easy for you, one, two and three, four, five and six, seven, and eight. I really think it’s helpful to break each chord into its own count. And that three and five thing is something that’s going to be common throughout really most of these progressions, all right?
So we have a E major to a G minor to an A major, back to E. Okay, now you may play A major like this, and that’s totally fine. You could go from here… But what I like to use this song as an example of is how you can use barre chord shapes, but not as bar chords, and keep the same hand shape and move them around for most of the entire progression. Okay?
So we’re actually going to play an A major like this. We’re going to keep the B and E strings open. Your pointer finger’s going to grab the fifth fret on the low E string. Your ring finger’s going to grab the seventh fret on the A string. Your pinky is seven D, and your middle finger is six G. okay?
Now the reason I want to do this is because this shape right here is arguably the most important hand shape position in all of guitar playing, because if you root it on the low E string, you get a major chord, which, if we just back this all the way up, there’s your E major, right? And if you root it on the A string, you end up with a minor chord, okay? So it’s a really versatile shape that everybody needs to know, right?
Eventually, if you can get the barre down, that’s fine. But the beautiful thing about this key, the key of E, is it sounds great when you open up those top two strings, right? So from here, I want to take this same shape and go back to E. And again, this is different than using your middle finger, ring finger, pointer finger. Now we’re using that same shape, but now it’s your ring finger on two A, your pinky on two D, and your middle finger on one G. Again, if you want to play like this, it’s fine. I just think this is an opportunity to maybe keep the same shape.
So the first four chords, or the first pairing of two chords each, E major to G sharp minor to A major back to E. And again, it’s three and five and three and five, one, two, three, one, two, three, four, five, A, two, three, E, two, three, four, five, and that should be a D major to C, okay?
Which I want to talk about this right here, B major, a lot of people might play like this. But using that same shape just rooted on the seventh fret of the E string, it can go right here and then use the same shape root it on the fourth fret of the A string, which is a C sharp, and we end up with a B major to a C sharp minor, okay, and then back to A to E. Okay?
So the second grouping of four chords is going to be B major, C sharp minor, A major, E major. So again, the majority of the song is just that progression. So we can think of it as an eight chord progression. I like to think of it as two parts. Each part is four chords each, right?
So again, starting on E, one, two, three, one, two, three, four, five, A, two, three, E, two, three, four, five, B to C sharp minor, A to E. So again, that is going to serve as the verse and the chorus. And then next we’re going to get into the first break and it’s going to sound like this… then back into the verse/chorus chords, right?
So again, let’s go over the whole thing. Now the interesting thing about this is we don’t have to switch three and five but we can still strum it as three and five. So we’re going to start off on this C sharp minor chord, which you’ve already played before. But now this is going to be the first chord in what we’ll call our break progression. One, two, three, one, two, three, four, five, A, two, three, A, two, three, four, five.
So even though we’re staying on each chord for really two bars, however you want to count it, I still think it helps to strum it as three and five, but one chord gets it, because then you still get the vibe of the song. One, two, three, one, two, three, four, five, A, two, three, A, two, three, four, five, F sharp.
Now, again, this is going to be a new one, but it’s the same shape. It’s just that A shape that we used rooted on the second fret, which is an F sharp. Still sounds really great with that open B and E, or you can barre it if you want, right? So again, the whole progression for this break is C sharp minor, A, F sharp major, back to A. Then we start over again, C sharp minor to A. Then the last time you go C sharp minor to B.
And usually, whenever you see a B in a progression in the key of E, you end up going from B back to E when it’s at the end of something like that, all right? Now I know we’ve done it before where it goes B to C sharp minor, but in this case, this is going to be putting that B at the end of the break leads us back to E, okay? So the only other part of this song is near the end, we have another section that sounds like this.
Okay? So again, the strumming is very similar to what we’ve done, but here is an interesting compositional change, we’re using an F sharp minor, which, technically, in the key of E, the second chord in the key of E, is an F sharp minor. Before we used an F sharp major, using a major chord on the second degree of a key is something that is very common, used in a lot of different songwriting things. But this is a cool example of the difference between having that second degree B major versus minor.
So we have a G sharp minor already. We can just move that to the second fret for an F sharp minor. Or you can do the same easy alternative, open it up like this for our F sharp minor, okay? So for the last break, same strumming to A major, back to E, and you play E again, and the second time around, F sharp minor, or the easy way, A, and then end it on a B. And then we go back into the main part, A to E, B to C sharp minor, A to E.
So really, that’s the entire song. The only other thing you might want to look at, and this is where it really helps to have that chord sheet handy, is at the very end they do this thing where it repeats, where we have a B, A to an E. Now, that’s one thing that really is just like the ending to a song, to go five, four, one. When I say five, four, one, those are just the notes in the E major scale. One, two, three, four, five, five, four, one. Every one of those notes can become a chord.
Well, you can call that an outro or a [inaudible 00:12:47] part if you want, I really think it’s just a fitting way to end the song. So definitely check out their acoustic performance of it. Check out the chord sheet that we have in the link below, and then check out other videos on the Guitar Control channel by myself and other great instructors, and let us know what you think, what you’d like to see more of it. And we’ll talk to y’all soon. Thanks a lot.
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