Real Guitar Adventure for Grownups

How to Play Edelweiss | Easy Guitar Songs

in Guitar Songs to Learn | 0 comments

Hey there, in this video you're gonna learn two versions of Edelweiss and I'll let you pick which one seems best for you. We'll start with that easier version and then move on to the more complex version or at least with a few more bells and whistles. 

Here is what we are aiming at - Edelweiss,  Edelweiss, Every morning you greet me, Pure and white,  clean and bright, You look happy to meet me. 

Okay so that's the chorus of the tune and that repeats over and over verse and then the chorus. We're gonna start there. 

Now I'm doing a very simple version with a simple strum. It's a 3 quarter song that means there's 3 pulses to the strum. So the basic strum is gonna be down, down, up, down, up. Not too hard huh down, down up down, up, down, up, down, down, up, down, up.  I'll do a little more complex version after this but let's start with this version and this may be as far as you want to go also. Let's go through the chords now. The first line uses a G and I'm using my 3 finger G with the pinky. Any G will worker as a matter of fact I can easily go with a 4 finger G. I kinda like that sound right there. It's going to a D from here. So I'm looking for a version of G that goes well with D in other words it moves smoothly and either of those would work just fine. This one would work too but it's a little more movement. You'll notice I have to also move my third finger. So let's start off with that forefinger G or the third finger three finger with a pinky to a D and I'm making the D a simple folk D with a first finger and second finger on the second fret and the third finger in between on the second string third fret.

So the first part is one strum and then when strumming for the D then back to Go. From here we're going to a C. So I'm going to use a folk style C and that means moving some of my fingers around. If I do the 3 finger G that's actually a smoother move. I think I'll go with that.  So third finger on the fifth string, fourth string, and then second string here. That's the third fret, second fret second finger and first fret on the on the second finger and first fret on the first finger. So that much again - Edelweiss, that each one Edelweiss 2, 3 and then for the second line we got to get back to G. Okay, for the second line we're going to use a very common pattern in music. G to E minor to C and D7.  This whole song is made of just that pattern. Those chords in the circling pattern. Oh, my love my darling ... so one bar.

In this case for each of those chords. G, E minor,  to the C and D7. For the D7 notes I leave my first finger there and just lift up my second and third fingers and put the second finger on the second fret of the third string and third finger on the second fret of the first string. So it's a fairly easy transition from the G as long as I'm using the pinky G going to the E minor.

I leave my second finger there and switch the third finger to the fourth string second fret that brings me to E minor. 

Now for the C, I'm gonna move this finger over the second finger and move the third finger over back to the fifth string.  First finger goes down on the first fret of the second string. And again for that D7 I leave the first finger there and switch the two fingers second and third fingers over to the third and second strings. So one strum each E minor to C. Notice I keep my fingers close to the strings. Okay, so we've got half the course, Let's just review that much -- to the C. Now we'll do that turn around that's what we call that pattern - G to E minor to C and D7. 

Now we're gonna kind of repeat that first bar - Pure and white-  same pattern that's the first line. Now that last line it's a little bit different. We're only using G and D. Watch. One D and then two G and that finishes up the course. So that last line kind of makes you feel like it's the end of something and it's ready to move on to the verse so the whole course and you can try it along with me. Don't worry about the strum for now just maybe keep track by just strumming straight down just kind of map out the chords. We're starting from, here we go - G to D back to G going to see now G turn around pattern to E minor to C D7, back to G. G same as the beginning D, G, going to C, C - now the ending G into D  G to D and back to G.

Okay let's start the verse now. Were gonna start the verse with the D chord and it's gonna hold there for a minute. Na, na, na, na, na. Now the G that was two bars da two bars of G nah not too hard, huh. Okay let's start the verse now we're gonna start with two bars of D and then two bars of G. Na, na , na , na, na  not G. Here's a new chord A7 and again from this version of G it's very easy to switch. I'm taking my second finger over to the fourth string second fret. Can you tell what chord are you going to? Third finger over to the second string second fret that's an A7, that's an A7. Goin' a little crazy there. Okay, new chord A7 from the G to the A7 move over and you want to get to where they kinda go together at the same time , right? But take it a step at a time. So then we end that second line with a D chord so let's go ahead and go through those first two lines of the verse starting on the D. Da, da two bars and going to G, D, here comes the A7 - two bars  - ending on D two bars, nice even two bars every chord. 

Okay we're gonna end the second line with a D chord so let's go through the first two lines of the verse. It's very even every chord gets exactly two bars and you'll feel the evenness of the chord progression. Naa, that's one bar. into G, now to the A7 two bars,  back to D. Notice the transition from the A7. I just slid my third finger up to the third fret of the second string and then put the other two fingers down. Nice and slow chord change. 

Now the last two lines are very much like the course. Listen for a minute. Edelweiss, this is the last two lines of the verse  Edelweiss, the - last line - D D G and two bars of G Kinda exactly repeat the chord progression of the chorus just a slight change in words at the end. Bless my homeland for-ever. Okay, the whole verse.  Let's run through it one time and I'll call out the chords as we go so go ahead and play along with me. And again just go for the chord changes. Don't worry about the strumming for now. D - two bars - D, D, going to G now two bars G, G, G, A7, G,  A7, D7 and going to D to D third line G - D D D G G C Now G going to D and two bars of G G G that's the whole song and if when you add a little strum it sounds great. Now what I'm going to do is play the song all the way through fairly slow so you can try it along with me and you can always go back and try it again and again but before I do that I'm going to show you one little addition totally optional. Instead of using a strum pattern with a pick you can use your fingers and it sounds really good with this song. I'm going to use a very standard arpeggio pattern that means broken up chord, listen. Let me show you what I'm doing . It's a standard pattern over and over. 

The difference in each of the chords is the bass notes. So you want to first of all get the basic pattern and then adapt it to each chord. We'll start with a G chord. The bass note is with my thumb on the G and I'm putting my first, second and third fingers of the right hand on the third string second string and first string so start. You can try this with me. Start like this. Thumb on the bass note and the first second and third on the top three strings of the guitar. And I'm gonna use the top three strings every time. You don't really have to. You could vary it but for consistency it's easier to get used to hitting the same strings over then  you can always vary it as you get comfortable. So let's go ahead and try it on the G chord. I'm gonna call up the strings that I'm plucking that's a way to get the pattern basically. In this case it's going to be six talking about sixth string, 3, 2, 1 2, 3 that's the order that you pluck the strings. So the thumb goes on the sixth string and the first finger is gonna stay on that third string and so on. So the pattern is 6 3 2 1 2 3 beat wise it would be 1 and 2 and three and it takes up the same three beats as the strum - 2 and 3 and 1 2 & 3 so try it with me. G chord just for this. Make any G you want. Thumb on the 6th string plant the first second and third fingers on the top three strings here we go. I'll call up the numbers  6 3 2 1 2 3 again 6 3 2 1 2 3 again 6 3 2 1 2 3 

Now you want to make sure you don't pop your hand out because when you do that it takes a little extra time to get back to the strings and that can mess you up and it's a bad habit. So try to just keep your hands close. They don't have to be stuck on the strings but try not to yank them out either. And pull your fingers into your palm as opposed to yanky or clutching. You want to try to stay relaxed. That's how you can play smooth and fast. If you're clutching and tensing you know it'll sound like it plus it'll make it slower and slow you down. Now let's go on to the D chord. The D chord is gonna use a different bass note. Thumb on the fourth string and we're gonna hit that open fourth string that's D. And you're gonna put your first second and third fingers with right hand on the first second and third string same place exactly and same pattern. But now it's 4 3 2 1 2 3 4 3 2 1 2 3 . Okay let's do that together. Go ahead and put your thumb on the fourth string, your fingers down, make a D chord course. It should start there and let's do it together. I'll call out the string numbers, ready 4 3 2 1 and then 2 3  again 4 3 2 1 2 one more time 4 3 2 1 2 3. So a couple more chords. 

We have the C chord which comes up a few times that's gonna be on the fifth string so go and make your C chord with me. Put your thumb on the fifth string. Fingers on strings one two and three again same place and I'll call the string number. It's going to be 5 3 2 1 2 3. Let's do it together ready go 5 3 2 1 2 3 - 5 3 2 1 2 3. Then there's that A7 chord. The bass note is on the fifth string and it's gonna be 5 3 2 1 2 3.  Try with me. Make your A7. I'm making with the second, third fingers here that's because easy switch from G that way. Ready go, start with 5 3 2 1 2 3 - one more time 5 3 2 1 2 3  - 5 3 2 1 2 3 and I think that's it the D7 of course is just like the D. It starts on the fourth string bass not. Mmm okay let's go ahead and place it as a whole tune one time. I want you to strum along or a finger pick so there's three choices here. You can just go down just to get the chord changes so you're not gonna do any kind of strum really just straight down to hear the chords as I play along. And you could also #2 add the full strum which is gonna sound like down, down, up, down, up. Again three beats ​1 2 and 3 yeah and then finally there's the finger picking pattern which will sound like this and they'll also be in time ​1 2 3.

So as I'm struggling one two three your finger picking. One ​2 3 1 2 3. Okay get your hands ready on the first chords. Its gonna be a G chord and we're gonna do it okay. So go ahead and get your left hand on the G chord that's how we're gonna start. I'm gonna start you off with a count of ​3.

In the meantime, put your fingers on the strings if you're gonna do finger picking or if you're getting ready with a pick have you pick ready. You could also just strum down with your thumb that could be #1. So here we go I'll give you count three - 1 ready start. 

Every morning you greet me, Pure and white,  clean and bright, Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow,  Bloom and grow forever.

Good job. That was fun. Thanks for joining me. I look forward to seeing you again soon hopefully. Bye for now.

Tomas Michaud

Author - Tomas Michaud at Real Guitar Success
Tomas Michaud is an American born guitarist and music educator with a French Canadian heritage. He first developed the Starland Guitar System in 1982 when his 9 year old daughter asked him to teach her guitar. Since then he’s founded the Starland School of Music in the SF Bay Area, and

When he's not making guitar instruction videos or creating more music to record (currently 7 CDs including Beauty and Fire) he's riding his bike along the beach with his dog Marco Polo or traveling to interesting places with his lovely wife Pui.
Tomas Michaud

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