Guitar lesson for

Last Christmas

by Wham!  •  Lesson #200

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Editor’s notes

After many requests, I’m please to bring you all this lesson for “Last Christmas” by Wham. I’ll teach the basic chords, explain some strumming pattern options, and show a few ways to spice things up with some simple chord voicing modifications. I hope that you’ll be able to pick this one up quickly and run with it. Best of luck!

PDF chord sheet overview

Here’s an up-close look at the print-friendly PDF chord sheet I made for this song (3 pages, with lyrics/tabs/strumming/etc):

Lyrics w/ chords

(capo 2nd fret to be in same key as Wham!)

INTRO

    C  /  Am  /  Dm  /  G  /

CHORUS
          C
          Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
                  Am
          But the very next day you gave it away
          Dm
          This year, to save me from tears
               G
          I'll give it to someone special

          [chorus x1] => [instrumental chorus x1]

VERSE
    C
    ...Once bitten and twice shy
    Am
    ...I keep my distance, but you still catch my eye
    Dm
    ...Tell me, baby, do you recognize me?
    G       
    ...Well, it's been a year, it doesn't surprise me

    C
    ...(Merry Christmas!) I wrapped it up and sent it
    Am
    With a note saying, "I love you, " I meant it
    Dm
    Now, I know what a fool I've been
              G
    But if you kissed me now, I know you'd fool me again

          [chorus x2] => [instrumental chorus x1]

    C
    ...A crowded room, friends with tired eyes
    Am
    ...I'm hiding from you, and your soul of ice
    Dm
    ...My god, I thought you were someone to rely on
    G
    Me? I guess I was a shoulder to cry on

      C
    A face on a lover with a fire in his heart
      Am
    A man under cover but you tore me apart
    Dm
    .........Ooohhh....
              G
    Now, I've found a real love you'll never fool me again

          [chorus x2]

      C
    A face on a lover with a fire in his heart
      Am
    A man under cover but you tore him apart
    Dm
    ...Maybe... next year...
         G                                              
    I'll give it to someone, I'll give it to someone...
    C        Am    Dm    G    (repeat progression, fade out to end)
    Special...

Chords needed

Without a capo, you’ll need to use these chords to play this song. I immediately don’t love this, because B-minor is a barre chord and that may up the level of difficulty for this song.

E –––2––––2––––0––––0–––
B –––3––––3––––0––––2–––
G –––2––––4––––0––––2–––
D –––0––––4––––2––––2–––
A ––––––––2––––2––––0–––
E –––––––––––––0––––––––
     D    Bm   Em   A

Instead, I’ll be teaching with these chord shapes. Use a capo on the 2nd fret (and these chords) if you prefer to play along w/ the Wham version of this song. Otherwise, you can not bother with a capo (and still use these chords) and you’ll be just fine.

E –––0––––0––––1––––3–––
B –––1––––1––––3––––0–––
G –––0––––2––––2––––0–––
D –––2––––2––––0––––0–––
A –––3––––0–––––––––2–––
E ––––––––––––––––––3–––
     C    Am   Dm   G

Chord progression for entire song

Straight up, use the four chords shown above - in that same order - for the entire song! 8 counts per chord (2 measures of 4 beats each). Typed out crudely, that looks like this:

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
C               Am              Dm              G

Strumming pattern

There’s a few ways to approach this. At the simplest, start with a single down strum on the 1 and 3 counts:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +       D = down strum
D       D

Or you could do a down strum on the back beat (2 and 4 counts):

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +       D = down strum
    D       D

But if you do this, you may want to include lighter strums on the 1 and 3 counts, with accented (stronger) strums on the 2 and 4:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +       D = down strum      > = accented strum   
D   D   D   D         
    >       >

If you want to bring in up-strums, here’s a very common pattern you can use:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +       D = down strum      > = accented strum
D   D U   U D U       U = up strum
    >       >         

Finally, perhaps the most advanced of these, would be to include a percussive “slap” strum. See my video lesson for reference.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +       D = down strum      > = accented strum
D U x U D U x U       U = up strum        x = percussive slap
    >       >  

Spicing up the chord shapes

Something I demonstrate in my video lesson, is how you can add a single note to the voicing of each of the chord shapes - and this can go a long way to spicing up the sound of the song. Shown here are each of the 4 chords I use to play the song, and each of the chords has its “modified” version just to the right.

E –––0––0––– –––0––0––– –––1––0––– –––3––3–––
B –––1––3––– –––1––3––– –––3––3––– –––0––1–––
G –––0––0––– –––2––2––– –––2––2––– –––0––0–––
D –––2––2––– –––2––2––– –––0––0––– –––0––0–––
A –––3––3––– –––0––0––– –––––––––– –––2––2–––
E –––––––––– –––––––––– –––––––––– –––3––3–––
     C          Am         Dm         G

Playing the chorus melody along with chords

Here’s the melodic phrase heard during the chorus vocals, that I like to sometimes incorporate into the plucking & strumming of these 4 chords. The key here is to accent these melody notes, and then bring in full strums as you’re able. With some practice, you can get the best of both worlds: the recognizability of the melody, mixed with the full sound of the strums.

E ––––––––––––––––0––––––––––0–––––––––––––––––0–––––0–1–0–––––––––––––––––––––––––
B –––3–3–1––1–3–3–––1––––3–3–––1––1–0–1–0––––––3–3–––––––––3–––––0–1–0–0––1–0–0––––
G –––0–––––––––––––––––––2––––––––––––––––2––––2–––2–––––––––2–––0––––––––––––––0––
D –––2–––––––––––––––––––2–––––––––––––––––––––0–––––––––––––––––0–––––––––––––––––
A –––3–––––––––––––––––––0–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––2–––––––––––––––––
E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3–––––––––––––––––
     C                   Am                    Dm                G

Good luck!

I hope this helps, and as always let me know if you have any questions.

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