Beginner Guitar Lesson – How to Play Wild Thing

Harmony Cardenas

A great song for a beginner to play

The version of “Wild Thing” by the Troggs is an excellent first song for someone interested in starting to play the guitar. The song only has 3 chords, and they are usually some of the first chords a beginner guitar student would learn. The chords are A, D, and E. Also, we will implement an easy strumming pattern, so you can sound pretty good early on. Later, as you become more advanced, fancy strumming patterns will really impress those who listen to you play.

It was a big hit many years ago

Back in 1966, “Wild Thing” made it to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U. S. It also reached number 2 in Britain. Rolling Stone magazine listed “Wild Thing” as number 257 on it’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song certainly is fun to listen to, and makes a great beginner guitar lesson. It has been covered by many artists, including Jimi Hendrix, who gave an amazing performance of the song at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Even if this song isn’t your style, it can be an excellent song to begin your guitar playing career with.

Learning about the guitar

As your holding a guitar, the lowest sounding string, the sixth string is located on the top. The next string down is the fifth string, and so on. Eventually you will get to the bottom string, which is the first string. Its also the thinnest and highest sounding string. The open sixth string is an E. The open fifth string is an A. The open fourth string is a D. The open third string is a G. The open second string is a B, and the open first string is an E.

The frets are the individual squares on the guitar fretboard. This is where you place your fingers when playing the guitar. A good place to start is the fret closest to the top of the guitar. This is called the first fret. There are dots located on the guitar fretboard. Each one represents different frets on the guitar. The first dot is on the 3rd fret, the second one is on the 5th fret, the third dot is on the 7th fret, and so on. Most guitars will have these dots.

Finger numbers

Just like the strings and frets on the guitar, we also assign a number to the various fingers of the left hand. The first, or pointer finger is number one. The middle finger is number two. The third finger, or ring finger is number three, and the pinky is number four. It is important to know finger numbers to properly place your fingers on the guitar.

How to play the chords

“Wild Thing” only has three chords. They are A, D, and E. The A chord is formed by placing your first finger on the fourth string, second fret. Your middle finger on the third string, second fret, and your ring finger on the second string, second fret.

The D chord is formed by placing your first finger on the third string, second fret. Your ring finger on the second string, third fret, and your middle finger on the first string, second fret.

The E chord is formed by placing your middle finger on the fifth string, second fret. Your ring finger on the fourth string, second fret, and your first finger on the third string, first fret.

The strumming pattern

Because this is a beginner guitar lesson, we will incorporate a simple strumming pattern for “Wild Thing”. The intro has three chords. The A, D, and E.

1. Strum the A chord twice. Strum it straight down from the fifth string.
2. Strum the D chord twice. Strum is straight down from the fourth string.
3. Strum the E chord six times total. Strum it four times, then a slight pause, and strum it two more times. Strum all the strings when playing an E chord.

The verses contain the chords A, D, E, and D again. For simplistic purposes, strum each chord twice, straight down. Remember to start your strumming on the proper string, or you will get some strange sounds. There is another part of the song with the chords GAGA each strummed one time.

If possible, listen to the original recording to get a feel for the timing of the song. If you are a beginner, not everything is going to sound the way you want it. Playing guitar is not easy, especially early on. Keep practicing, and in time, you will start to sound like a pro.

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