Guitar lesson for

River

by Ed Sheeran

Video lesson

Note about capo and tuning

To play this song in standard tuning with no capo, you’ll need many difficult barre chords (shown below). You can make the song easier in two ways:

  1. Use a capo on the 4th fret
  2. Tune all your guitar strings down 1/2 step

Most of what I show in this lesson is for the capo 4th fret approach, though I’ll explain the no-capo-standard-tuning version too.

Intro tab

Capo 4

E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
G –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
D ––––––––––––––––––2–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––2–––––––––––4––––
A ––2–––––––––––2–––3–––––––––––2–––2–––––––––––2–––3–––––––––––5––––
E ––0–––––––––––3–––––––––––––––3–––0–––––––––––3––––––––––––––––––––
    Em          G   C           G   Em          G   C           D   
    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

No capo (standard tuning)

E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
G –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
D –––––––––––––––––(9)–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––(9)–––––––––11––––
A ––6–––––––––––9–––11––––––––––9–––6–––––––––––9–––11––––––––––––13–
E ––4–––––––––––7–––0–––––––––––7–––4–––––––––––7–––0––––––––––––––––
    G#m         B   E           B   G#m         B   E           F#
    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
G –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
D –––––––––––––––––(9)–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––(9)––––––––––4––––
A ––6–––––––––––9–––11––––––––––9–––6–––––––––––9–––11––––––––––4––––
E ––4–––––––––––7–––0–––––––––––7–––4–––––––––––7–––0–––––––––––2––––
    G#m         B   E           B   G#m         B   E           F#
    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

Verse chord timing

Capo 4

1  2  3  4  1  2  3  4  1  2  3  4  1  2  3  4  
Em .  .  G  C  .  .  D  Em .  .  G  C  .  Am .

No capo (standard tuning)

1  2  3  4  1  2  3  4  1  2  3  4  1  2  3  4  
G#m      B  E        F# G#m      B  E     C#m

Strumming pattern

I like to do this three times:

1   +   2   +   3   +   4   +   
D       D   D U   U D   D U D U   

Followed by this one once:

1   +   2   +   3   +   4   +   
D       D   D U   U   U   U D U

See my lesson for reference! I know this may seem tricky.

Enjoy!

Let me know if you have questions. I hope this is helpful!

Enjoy this lesson? Buy me a beer!

If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider donating to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it). Thanks!


Subscribe to my YouTube channel

Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!


Recent video lessons:


Monthly email updates

If you want to keep posted of new lessons over email, sign up for my newsletter. I'll email once a month with a digest of all my new videos. I promise: no spam.


← back to lesson list