Guitar lesson for

I'm The One

by DJ Khaled

Video lesson

Editor’s notes

While I don’t hear a guitar in the studio version of this song, it’s fun to work out some different ways to imitate the rhythmic sound you hear (using your guitar) in a few different ways. I’ll show some of the ways I like to play this song in my lesson here. Have fun with things… because the song uses 4 chords that repeat the whole time, the door is open for you to explore some fun ways to add spice within those narrow confines.

Chords needed

The entire song uses these chords, in this order, repeating. Four counts per each chord. Nice and simple!

E ––––3–––––0–––––0–––––2–––––
B ––––0–––––0–––––1–––––3–––––
G ––––0–––––0–––––0–––––2–––––
D ––––0–––––2–––––2–––––0–––––
A ––––2–––––2–––––3–––––––––––
E ––––3–––––0–––––––––––––––––
      G     Em    C     D

Playing the bass line

To keep things simple, start with playing each note once per measure:

E |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
B |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
G |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
D |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
A |––10––––––––––––––|––7–––––––––––––––|––3–––––––––––––––|––5–––––––––––––––|
E |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +  

Then, add a percussive slap (if you can) on the 3-count of each measure. Listen along to the album version of the song for context – you’ll hear this beat gets the accented percussion.

E |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
B |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
G |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
D |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
A |––10––––––x–––––––|––7–––––––x–––––––|––3–––––––x–––––––|––5–––––––x–––––––|
E |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +  

From there, you can add another pluck/strum of the bass note on the “3 +” count. This matches what you hear in the studio version of the song as well.

E |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
B |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
G |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
D |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
A |––10––––––x–10––––|––7–––––––x–7–––––|––3–––––––x–3–––––|––5–––––––x–5–––––|
E |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +  

If you like, you can add a 2nd or 3rd string using this same approach:

E |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
B |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
G |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
D |––12––––––x–12––––|––9–––––––x–9–––––|––5–––––––x–5–––––|––7–––––––x–7–––––|
A |––10––––––x–10––––|––7–––––––x–7–––––|––3–––––––x–3–––––|––5–––––––x–5–––––|
E |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +  

E |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
B |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
D |––12––––––x–12––––|––9–––––––x–9–––––|––5–––––––x–5–––––|––7–––––––x–7–––––|
D |––12––––––x–12––––|––9–––––––x–9–––––|––5–––––––x–5–––––|––7–––––––x–7–––––|
A |––10––––––x–10––––|––7–––––––x–7–––––|––3–––––––x–3–––––|––5–––––––x–5–––––|
E |––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +  

Etc.

Using full open chords

To start with, keep things simple. Strum the chords once per measure.

E |––3–––––––––––––––|––0–––––––––––––––|––0–––––––––––––––|––2–––––––––––––––|
B |––0–––––––––––––––|––0–––––––––––––––|––1–––––––––––––––|––3–––––––––––––––|
G |––0–––––––––––––––|––0–––––––––––––––|––0–––––––––––––––|––2–––––––––––––––|
D |––0–––––––––––––––|––2–––––––––––––––|––2–––––––––––––––|––0–––––––––––––––|
A |––2–––––––––––––––|––2–––––––––––––––|––3–––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
E |––3–––––––––––––––|––0–––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +  

If you like, you can imitate the percussive approach I show above with the bassline.

E |––3–––––––x–3–––––|––0–––––––x–0–––––|–(0)––––––––––––––|–(2)––––––––––––––|
B |––0–––––––x–0–––––|––0–––––––x–0–––––|––1–––––––x–1–––––|––3–––––––x–3–––––|
G |––0–––––––x–0–––––|––0–––––––x–0–––––|––0–––––––x–0–––––|––2–––––––x–2–––––|
D |––0–––––––x–0–––––|––2–––––––x–2–––––|––2–––––––x–2–––––|––0–––––––x–0–––––|
A |––2–––––––x–2–––––|––2–––––––x–2–––––|––3–––––––x–3–––––|––––––––––––––––––|
E |––3–––––––x–3–––––|––0–––––––x–0–––––|––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––|
     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +  

Or, you can use full chords and use a strumming pattern. I prefer:

DOWN... up down up down
DOWN... up down up down
DOWN... up down up down
DOWN... up down up down

etc

Play that strumming pattern above (i.e., the single line of “DOWN… up down up down up”) one time per each chord in the 4 chord sequence.

That’s the whole song!

I hope this helped. Sometimes songs that only have 4 simple chords allow you to explore different fun ways to spice things up – like I try to show above. If you have any questions or comments, let me know.

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