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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!
- 0:00 Playthrough & lesson overview
- 2:06 Basic chord shapes
- 3:24 Chord progression overview
- 4:18 Strumming patterns
- 7:30 Modifying each chord shape
- 10:21 Mixing the chorus melody w/ chords
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...
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
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
I hope this helps, and as always let me know if you have any questions.
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