How To Play Annie’s Song By John Denver

Check out this free lesson from Guitar Control instructor Darrin Goodman on how to play the John Denver classic Annie’s Song. Be sure to click the link for the free tabs that go with this lesson.

Annie's Song
Annie's Song
Annie's Song

Introduction

Hey everybody how’s it going this is Darrin with GuitarControl.com bringing you this video lesson. Today I want to show you an arrangement I made for Annie’s Song by John Denver. This song traditionally is a fingerstyle song and how I ended up coming up with this is I was performing this song with an acoustic trio and it was just me and two female vocalists and we were playing at this small place and there wasn’t a PA system and when I was doing it finger style it just wasn’t loud enough. So what I ended up doing was just doing this strumming rendition of it and I think it’s a pretty cool arrangement and what’s cool about doing this is it is a massive workout for your fretting hand; lots of chords, lots of fast chord changes. So aside from it just being a cool song this is a really great workout for you so be sure to click on the link in the description for the tabs and let’s get close up and take a look at How To Play Annie’s Song By John Denver.

The Chords

So the first thing I want to do is just run through all of these chords in Annie’s Song by John Denver. Now if you already know all these chords you can just skip to where the lesson starts and I’ll have a link in the description to where you can fast forward to where the lesson begins. So we have D major; so the D string is open, I’m on the second fret of the G string with my first finger, the third fret of the B string with my third finger and the second fret of the high E with my second finger. There’s also D suspended four (Dsus4) and D suspended two (Dsus2). So it’s really simple for Dsus2, you just remove your middle finger so that the high E string is open and for Dsus4 you’re just gonna take your pinky and put it down onto the third fret of the high E. Then we have G major; so I’m on the third fret of the low E with my second finger, second fret of the B string with my first finger, the D and G strings are open, third fret of the B string with my third finger and the third fret of the high E with my fourth finger. And we have A major; so the way I do it is I just bar my finger here so the A string is open and then we’re on the second fret of the D, G and B strings. We also have A suspended four (Asus4); so if you just take that A and put your second finger down onto the third fret of the B string you get Asus4. We have B minor; so I’m just barring my first finger across the first five strings at the second fret and then my second finger is going on to the third fret of the B string, my third finger is going onto the fourth fret of the D string and my fourth finger is going onto the fourth thread of the G string. Then we have F sharp minor (F#m); so now still at the second fret barring, but we’re going to bar across all six strings and I’m on the fourth fret of the A string with my third finger and the fourth fret of the D string with my fourth finger. Then we have E minor; low E is open, second fret of the A string with my second finger, second fret of the D string with my third finger and the rest of the strings are open. Now I believe that that is all of the chords, but if there ends up being one that I missed we’ll hit that later.

Annie’s Song Parts

All right so Annie’s Song by John Denver starts off with this little intro, I’m gonna start with D. Now the other thing with this too is that um it’s in three quarter time so the strum for this for the most of it is one two and three, so it’s like a quarter note and then four eighth notes, so like one two and three and down, down, up, down, up for each measure. So for that intro we start with the D; one, two, and three and then we go to Dsus4, same strum, back to D and then back to Dsus4… just like that. Okay and then that leads us into the verse. So the opening for the verse we have Dsus4 as a quarter note and then D, also a quarter note and then Dsus2 as a quarter note; so it’s like one, two, three and then that leads us into the main thing here. So we start off with G and it’s that same strum; so we have one, two, and three. I’m just going to call off the chords as we go through this and I’ll just kind of play it slow. So we have G, A, Bm, G, D, F#m, D, A, G, F#m, Em, G and then A, Asus4 and A and we’re going to do kind of a riff like we did with the D’s, and then just try to hit just the G and B strings open and this is that’s kind of a quick transition. And then we’re back to G, A, Bm, G, D, F#m and Bm… it just kind of repeats.

So there is an interlude section in the middle of Annie’s Song and what I did during that part is I just kind of arpeggiated the chords, but I didn’t really do anything super specific… just something like that. So what I’d encourage you to do on that part is just to kind of go through and just try doing just like we’ve talked in numerous lessons about how you really want to kind of get away from feeling dependent on having a set pattern and you can just kind of wing it and as long as you’re just hitting the notes that are within the chord it’s all going to sound good; or you could just do some one strums there or you could even do the same strum, but just lower your dynamic down and play it a little bit softer during that part and it just kind of picks up and goes through the same thing again.

Conclusion

All right so I hope you enjoyed How To Play Annie’s Song By John Denver and got something out of it. Like I said this is a great workout for your fretting hand because of all these chord changes and you know you can just start off just playing like really slow and increase your speed over time. So if you like this lesson be sure to give me a thumbs up and leave a comment down below. If you have not already done so please subscribe to the channel and hit that notification bell so you don’t miss out any of the content that we upload throughout the week. Anyway that is all I have for you today. Thanks for watching How To Play Annie’s Song By John Denver and have a great day.

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