In the previous lesson of this course, I taught y’all one of the most important strumming patterns in country and bluegrass music. We also discussed how to use alternating bass notes with several different chords and we practiced strumming with a common country and bluegrass chord progression.
In this lesson, we’re going to practice this country strumming pattern using the song “Forever And Ever, Amen” by Randy Travis. This song is a great practice tool because it’s played at a relatively slow pace and the lyrics aren’t too difficult to learn. We’ll go over all of the song’s chord progressions and I’ll give you some important strumming tips as we work through the lesson.
|Video Start Time||Lesson Topic|
|01:38 min||Alternating Bass Line over the D Major Chord|
|02:48 min||Alternating Bass Line over the G Major Chord|
|03:31 min||Alternating Bass Line over the E Major Chord|
|04:34 min||Alternating Bass Line over the A Major Chord|
|05:10 min||Alternating Bass Line over the B Minor Chord|
|06:07 min||Counting the Strumming Pattern|
|Video Start Time||Lesson Topic|
|00:00 min||Intro Chord Progression|
|01:58 min||Verse 1 Chord Progression Without Singing|
|03:44 min||Verse 1 Chord Progression With Singing|
|05:27 min||Chorus 1 Chord Progression Without Singing|
|07:05 min||Chorus 1 Chord Progression With Singing|
|08:07 min||Instrumental Break|
|08:47 min||Verse 2 and Chorus 2 Recap|
|09:23 min||Ending Chord Progression|
|Video Start Time||Lesson Topic|
|00:00 min||Intro Chord Progression|
|00:51 min||Verse 1 Chord Progression With Singing|
|02:28 min||Chorus 1 Chord Progression With Singing|
|03:23 min||Instrumental Break|
|04:04 min||Verse 2 and Chorus 2 Recap|
|04:41 min||Ending Chord Progression|
Listen to “Forever And Ever, Amen” by Randy Travis below using the embedded player from Spotify. I’d highly recommend using Spotify for online radio. If you don’t have a Spotify account, click here to sign up free with your Facebook account or with an e-mail address.
Your audio always sounds great. Nice job, Devin. I will be working on this song later tonight. Thanks!
Thanks! This is exactly what I was needing.
Thanks, Devin. Very nice website and high quality lessons. keep up the good work!
Great lesson as always!
Hey man, can you do a lesson on Granddaddys Gun Aaron Lewis?
Awesome song…that’s actually one of my favorites. Sounds good, I’ll add it to the lesson queue. I’ve got a few more in line but I’ll try to post that one up sometime soon.
This lesson alone is worth the membership cost!
Thanks Mike! I put some work into this one so really appreciate the comment. I’ve got plenty more on the way each week that I hope you’ll like also. Have a good rest of your week. – Devin
Great lesson Devin thanks for the BM tip
I stayed away from Spotify for years thinking Pandora was fine, but I always hated that you couldn’t see what year stuff came out, thanks again. 100% Spotify user now!
Yeah Spotify is great. I used Pandora as my main radio forever but now Spotify all the way. I have a playlist called Popular Bluegrass with a bunch of bluegrass tunes I like…need to create one for some good old school country too. It might be cool to make a playlist for CGO members to share music and song lesson requests..I’ll have to work on that.
Finally a song without a major C chord, I struggle making this chord sound good, my fingers are not long enough.
Any tips, I would appreciate it?
Hey Allan, Thanks for the note. The C major chord can be tough…one thing I might suggest, if you haven’t tried this already when you’re playing the C chord, is to rotate your left elbow closer to your body..so your left elbow will almost be touching your ribs. It might help get the hand angled in the proper direction instead of having to stretch so far with the left ring finger. That’s a great trick for playing bar chords also. I’d stick with it and eventually your hand will find a relaxed way to play the C chord. You could… Read more »
this is the best instruction on how to play a song that I have seen!
Thanks Gary! I really appreciate it.
Thanks Devin, I am really loving your lessons, your website is excellent! I can see and I appreciate the hard work you put into it.
Thanks Lou! Glad you’re enjoying the site — always great to hear positive feedback. I’m really excited about the lessons that we’ve got on the way…should be some pretty cool videos. Hope you like them as well. – Devin
Thank you so much for singing in the lessons. I think you have a great voice!
Thanks Cory! Yeah for sure…hope it helps everybody get a better feel for the songs. Probably won’t be trying out for American Idol anytime soon but hopefully it’ll pass for the lessons haha. Thanks for checking out the site!
Really, really great lesson. Thank you. kathy
me estoy iniciando en el estilo de la guitarra country y me gustan mucho tus lecciones,ojala y puedas ayudarme a tocarlo bien. Gracias
Thank you! I hope my lessons will help you play country well! Thanks for stopping by my website. – Devin
Dsus2/B is the name of the alternate chord you are using for the B. When you’re letting the e string ring out.
Yeah you’re right…to get technical, if you let the E ring out it would be a Dsus2/B since it would be Dsus2 (1-2-5) and B bass note but I’d probably just strum the inside four like I was saying there…seems like when you let the E ring out it sounds more like the Dsus2 instead of a Bm which is what we’re going for. Anyhow, best is to just play the Bm bar probably! Thanks for the comment.
I’ve done a lot of straight strumming but struggle to get boom-chick patterns clean sounding. Should I stay slower until it’s completely clean or increase speed and know the clean sound will eventually be there?
Hey Carole – I’d say stay slower until it’s completely clean and slowly increase your speed in increments. You’ll develop better clean technique that way and the speed will naturally develop on its own. Always worked for me, BUT somehow I still always wind up wanting to speed it up too fast and then I get sloppy : )
Please tell me, when you do the “chick” phase, do you strum all chord strings, or only the rest of them – without “boom” string? For example C chord: 5th (boom), 4-3-2-1 (chick); 4th (boom), 3-2-1 (chick). Or possibly you “chick” only hi 3-2-1 strings every time? I ask you because I can hear unwanted repeated bass pattern when I play guitar, but I can hardly hear it in your videos. Thank you (and sorry for my English)
Hey Marcel – Most of the time when I strum on the “chick” phrase, I’ll focus my strumming on the rest of the strings without the “boom” bass string…so the 3-2-1 if you’re playing a C major. If you do strum the boom bass string, I think it’s ok…just try to strum it softly and focus most of the strum on the high pitched strings with a nice smooth down strum. With the boom-chick-boom-chick strumming, I also try to pick “boom” notes with a heavy down pick so it’ll ring out nice and loud…then a soft and smooth down strum… Read more »
Lots of changing chords in this one
Thanks Devin for the great lesson. I am always trying to pick up the theory and techniques of a lesson as well. On alternate pick/strum-boom/chick strum sometimes you pick the lower bass string first and on other chords you will pick then higher bass string first. string 5 vs 4 for a “C” chord and 4 vs 5 for an “E” chord. Is there any logic to grasp here?
Hi there Devin,
I’m really enjoying these lessons, youre a very good teacher, thanks !
Devin, could you post a picture of the fingering for the alternate Bminor chord as quick reference? Cheers!
Hey Jenine – It’s kind of a variation of a Bm7…usually works ok as a substitute for Bm. The finger numbers are below the diagram there…
You sing just fine. I’d trade you any day 🙂
Another super lesson as always.
Great lesson really like the straight forward teaching
Very useful. I just integrated lesson 1 and 2 into my dayly warm-up program before practising. For more speed, safer playing and better memorizing, I use a metronome. Beginning each turn with 100 Bpm in steps of 5 Bpm up to 180 pm.
Nicely done. My 8 year old kid can also follow. Thanks
Combining chord progressions and lyric would be helpful. It is quite difficult to sing and strum this pattern. What gets me, is the beginning when the G chord only has one count. But I’ll keep practicing. Great lessons!
This really helped my rhythm and coming in on offbeats with vocals. Thank you.
Love this song….nice one Devin!
This is a great Randy Travis song. I love it.
Any tips for getting better right hand synchronization? I seem to be struggling to hit the correct bass note despite a lot of practice.
Thanks for this great lesson!
Mattias from Sweden
This one has got me baffled. I just can’t get the words to match the chord changes at the beginning. I know that the boom chick is a straight forward 4 count downstroke strum but I find myself doing an other strum just to make that happen.
Hi, not sure if this is correct not to good with tech stuff, anyway love all the lessons, after the Randy Travis song I looked him up really impressed with all his songs brilliant country voice listen to him most days ( so sad what has happened to him such a talent ) was wondering if you could fit in a few more of his songs.
How long do you guys recommend practice a lesson for , before moving on to the next .
Do you guys do them weekly .
One never knows when and where s/he will be gobsmacked with an epiphanous bolt of understanding! When you correlated scale degrees and chords within each scale as numbers/Roman numerals, all of a sudden all those books and lessons I endured on transposition (yawn, where’s my capo?) gelled/clicked/slammed home and voila–I transposed the “Forever and Ever, Amen” piece into the key of G. I’ve been playing music my entire life and that’s the first song I’ve ever transposed on my own. Something otherwise viewed as complex explained with haunting simplicity. Wow! Thank you!
I’m a big fan of your course. The platform has me frustrated though. I get why you don’t have full videos on YouTube, but that format is so much easier to stop and start the video while playing a guitar. I find myself fighting my phone more and playing less on this. I can’t use a computer. I work on a boat in Houston harbor. If the video automatically went to full screen and also had the play/pause button in the middle of the screen like YouTube , that would be super helpful.