Guitar lesson for

Last Christmas

by Wham!  •  Lesson #200

Video Lesson

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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!

See my page 1 of my sheet music for all the lyrics, with chords included.

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.

See my sheet music for the tab.

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.

See my sheet music for the tab.

Good luck!

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

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