Guitar lesson for

Last Kiss

by Pearl Jam  •  Lesson #87

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

This lesson shows you an easy way to play “Last Kiss” as covered by Pearl Jam . I’ll show you the chords needed, talk about transitioning between chords easily, and tackle the strumming pattern. This is a fun song to learn, as it only uses 4 chords repeating for the entire song: G-Em-C-D. Good luck!

Chords needed

The entire song uses these four chords, in this order, over and over. Very straight forward. For the G, you can play the 3rd fret on the B string if you want - that’s a correct way to play G also.

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

As I note in my video lesson, if you’re having trouble with the chord transitions, realize that for some of the transitions you’re keeping fingers on the same note. This makes changing much easier, since it is one less finger to move. For example:

E ––––3–––––0––––
B ––––0–––––0––––
G ––––0–––––0––––
D ––––0–––––2––––
A ––––2–––––2––––   <-- index finger plays 2nd fret for both chords
E ––––3–––––0––––
      G     Em   

And also for the Em to the C:

E ––––0–––––0––––
B ––––0–––––1––––
G ––––0–––––0––––
D ––––2–––––2––––   <-- middle finger plays the 2nd fret for both chords
A ––––2–––––3––––
E ––––0––––––––––
      Em    C    

And finally, for the D to G turnaround:

E ––––2––––––3––––
B ––––3––––––3––––  <-- ring finger plays the 3rd fret for both chords
G ––––2––––––0––––
D ––––0––––––0––––
A –––––––––––2––––
E –––––––––––3––––
      D      G

In general, keep an eye out for this sort of “pivot note” transition in any song you’re learning. It can make many chord transitions much easier, and faster, to pull off while keeping in step with the song’s rhythm.

Chord progression and timing

Quite simply, you’ll be doing one measure (four counts) of each chord, in sequence. That is:

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

I recommend counting out loud, if you can, to master the timing (if it’s giving you trouble).

Strumming pattern

I recommend this strumming pattern for the whole song:

D = down strum
U = up strum

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

Repeat this, playing the pattern once per each chord. If it’s giving you trouble, simplify it and start with something you can do without much challenge. Such as

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

From there, add an up-strum on the final “4 +” count:

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

Then, once you have that, don’t strum on the “3” count:

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

And finally, one you have mastered that, add up strums on the “2 +” and “3 +” counts.

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

The key is to keep your strumming hand (arm) moving up and down continuously, but only bringing the pick down on the strings when the strumming pattern demands it.

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