Hey everyone! In today’s lesson I’m going to show you how to play “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by John Denver. This song uses three easy chords and since it’s so easy I also decided to show you how to play the melody. If you’re just getting started this is a great one to do it with!
Speaking of just getting started… you might need some extra help. I have 2 resources for that:
Having trouble with the basics? You’ll want to check out my Beginner Guitar Course! More information here: https://goodguitarist.com/beginner-guitar-course/
And there’s my FREE eBOOK (which is free for all subscribers!) – You can use it to help you build a solid foundation: chords, switching, progressions, riffs, techniques… everything it takes to be a “good guitarist.” You can find it here: https://goodguitarist.com/learn-rhythm-guitar/
The lesson begins with the chord shapes: G, C and D. We practice playing them using downstrokes to work out those switches and then afterwards we take a look at a strumming pattern.
The song uses the most common strumming pattern ever, just D Du-uDu (three easy chord shapes the most common strumming pattern ever not too bad right?)
Once we’ve taken a look at all the components we practice putting it all together and playing through the song.
In the second half this tutorial I teach you how to play the melody that John Denver is singing. Normally I don’t do this because I don’t see too much value in playing the entire melody of a song (I do encourage people to figure out how to play melodies by ear though!) But this one works really well and I decided to teach it because this song has the same chords the whole time and it’s the melody that makes each section sound different.
We learn it for the verse for the pre-chorus and for the chorus. There’re so many patterns and things in it that help us make it a lot easier to learn and I make sure to point all of that out.
By the end of this you should be able to strum the chords and play the melody. And if you have a friend to play with, this is a very fun way to spend an evening! One of you can play the chords the other one can play the melody and then you can switch roles or keep practicing it till you got it down.
I hope you have fun with this lesson and I’ll see you next time!