Hey everyone! In today’s lesson, we’re going to learn “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum. I’m still not 100% sure what they’re singing about, but the harmony alone is enough to get me going on this one… that perpetually descending bassline – so good!
If you need help with any of the stuff in this lesson, please check out my resources:
Free eBook, covering the basics of rhythm guitar: https://goodguitarist.com/learn-rhythm-guitar/
Complete Beginner’s Course: https://goodguitarist.com/beginner-guitar-course/
Barre Chords Made Easy: https://goodguitarist.com/barre-chords
The lesson begins with the chord shapes. This song seems like it has 12 chords, but it’s really just 3: C G and F. Then there are 4 variations for each one (which gives us the descending bassline). I try my best to demonstrate this and I want you to practice the shapes in groups like that. I.E. do the whole “C” sequence (C, C/B, C/A, C/G) and then the whole “F” sequence, etc. Just practice each until they’re solid and then we can put them together using downstrokes only.
After working out the shapes, we take a look at a simple strumming pattern that works very nicely with the feel of this song. D r D Du. It’s one of the most common (probably 2nd) strumming patterns. We work it out, and then add it to our chord shapes.
Finally we take a look at the other bits (intro and chorus). They are variations of the main part (just adding a few chords at the end).
Whenever we have a song like this, where the parts are mostly the same but have slight variations as we go along, we really need to write out a “road map” for the whole thing. It just takes a minute, but having a visual reference will really help you stay on track with this one.
All-in-all, this is a simple but tricky tune. Have a fun time practicing and I’ll see you soon!