How To Play “Swing Life Away” By Rise Against – Acoustic Guitar Lesson For Beginners

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Hey, everybody. How’s it going? This is Darrin Goodman from guitarcontrol.wpmudev.host, bringing you video lesson. Today, I want to teach you how to play Swing Life Away by Rise Against. This is a slightly different version from the original. I had a student that wanted to learn how to play this, and he was a fairly beginner, and so I wanted to try to make it a little bit more simpler. So, I listened to some different acoustic versions of this song and kind of made this arrangement of it to make it a little bit simpler for the strumming part of it. So, be sure to click on the link in the description for the tabs, and let’s get close up and take a look of what we’ve got going on here.

All right, so starting out, we’ve got this intro here. It’s just open strings on this first part of it, so it’s not really a chord per se. So, to start off, we’re going to play the sixth and the second string open simultaneously.

So, how I’m doing that is I’m playing the sixth string with my pick, and then I’m using my third finger to play the second string. And then that follows with the third string open, which I am using my second finger to play. And then the fourth string open, which I’m using the pick. That’s the first major.

Then, I’m putting my first finger onto the second fret of the third string and playing that and the fourth string together. The fourth string is open, followed by the third string open, and then the fourth … Fretted the fourth string with my third finger.

So, that’s the first two majors. And … Maybe you’ve played Caad9 before, this is just a slight variation on that. So, we’re on the third fret of the first string with my fourth finger, the third fret of the second string with my third finger, third string is open. And then I’m on the third fret of the fifth string with my second finger, and I’m kind of laying it down so it’s muting that fourth string.

So we start that on measure three. We got … And then it just simply repeats. So, it does this whole sequence three times.

And then, to a D. So, fourth string open, second fret of the third string with my second finger, third fret of the second string with my third finger, and second fret of the first string with my second finger. So, down, down, down, down, down. And then rest.

Okay, so that’s the whole intro. There is one other little thing that I want to show you in case you’re going to play this with a friend or something, is that, simultaneously, while you have the … And then, starting on the C there, we’ve got these natural harmonics the second guitar is doing. So, it’s the fifth fret of the second string, the fifth fret of the third string, and fifth fret of the fourth string.

Then we go to the seventh fret of the fourth string, back to the fifth fret of the third string, back to the seventh fret of … Or, to the seventh fret of the second string, and then to the seventh fret of the third string.

So, these natural harmonics, if you’ve never done the before, is that, what I’m doing is that I’m at the fifth frat, but I’ve got my finger directly over the fret wire. And I’m not pressing down, I’m just touching the string. So, you pick it, and then you have to kind of lift your finger off so it’ll ring. So, that’s happening simultaneously with the first part of the intro.

All right. So then, moving onto the verse. The first chord we have is E minor. So, sixth string is open, second fret of the fifth string with your second finger, second fret of the fourth string with your third finger. Third and second strings are open. First string can be open, as well.

When they strum, they’re just missing that first string. So, the strum for this is down, down, up, down. One, two and three. So, this song is in three quarter time. So, you’re just counting to three. So, you’ve got one, two, three.

Then to G5. So, it’s basically just G, but we’re not going to get the fifth string. So, your third finger is on the second fret of the third … Or, excuse me, on the third fret of the second string. And your fourth fingers on the third fret of the first string. Third and fourth strings are open. We’re on the third fret of the sixth string with your first finger, and then you’re just letting it roll down to mute that fifth string.

Now, you could just play a full on G chord. It’s really not going to make that big of a difference.

Same strum. Down, down, down. And then to that C Suspended Two, like at the beginning. So, you just move your second finger from the sixth string to the fifth string. And remember, you want it to mute that fourth string. And there’s two measures of that. So, down, down, down, down, down, down. And then that whole sequence repeats three times.

Now if you heard there, just a second ago, I kind of altered that strum. So, you can kind of just do whatever you want. You know, just kind of make it your own. You could be like …

So, just whatever you like, whatever you think sounds good. That’s one of the neat things about taking a song like this and kind of picking it apart and making it your own a little bit is that it gives you this freedom to kind of just do whatever you want in there, and you still catch the spirit of the song.

All right. So then, after you repeat that, that part, you go on now to measure 12, when we’ve got D Suspended Two. So, if you just take D, that hopefully you already know, and you just remove your second finger so the first string is open.

So, fourth string open. The second fret of the third string with your first finger, third fret of the second string with your third finger, and first string open.

So, it’s kind of like that, what we did on the intro, the … But it’s just D Suspended Two. And then a whole measure 14 is just rests. You just rest four beats. And then you just basically repeat the entire … What we just did just starts over again at measure 15.

So starting at measure 15, with this, would be the second half of the verse. So, same thing. We start on E minor, you got the … [inaudible 00:08:39], C Suspended Two, repeat this three times, just like we did before. D Suspended Two. So, this time instead of doing two measures of that and then a rest, there’s three measures. So it’s like, down, down, down … And then, from there, it moves on into the chorus.

All right, so for the chorus, we’ve just got the same chords that we did before. There is one new chord in there that we’ll look at here in just a second.

So, we start off on the E minor. And the strum, now, we’ve got one, two, and three. So, it’s down, down-up, down-up. So, one measure for each chord. So, we start with E minor, down, down-up, down-up, to C Suspended Two, down, down-up, down-up. To G, down, down-up, down-up.

Now, we’ve got this new chord, A Suspended Two. So, for this one it’s fourth … Or, excuse me, fifth string is open. Second fret of the fourth string with my second finger. Second fret of the third string with my third finger. And then strings two and one are open. But again, they are kind of missing that first string when they do that strum there. So, if you hit it, that’s great. If you don’t hit it, that’s great too. Either way sounds good. So, same strum, one, two and three, and then we’re back to E minor again, C Suspended Two, D.

So, that’s the first eight measures of the chorus. So, we’ve got E minor, C Suspended Two, G, A Suspended Two, E minor, C Suspended Two, D, two measures on that D, then we’re back to E minor again. C Suspended Two, G, A Suspended Two, E minor, C, D.

So, this time here on that D, we’ve got the one, two, and three, and one, two, three, and one, two, three, and then you rest on two, three.

Okay. So then, if you’re looking on your transcription, from there, you go onto the next part that says outro, and it says D.S. So, this is musical direction, “Dal Segno.” So, if you’ll look on your transcription and you go back to the verse, you see this little symbol that kind of looks like a fancy S. That’s the segno sign. So, that’s just telling you to go back and play all the way through that part again before you do this outro part of the song.

All right, so for this outro part of the song, we start on E minor and we’re on that same strum, the one, two and three. And so down, down-up, down-up. So, we have E minor, G, C twice, repeats, into E minor, G, A Suspended Two, C Suspended Two.

So, after you do that, starting at measure 39, you play those four measures and you’re going to play them twice. And then, it goes on to that next part, starting at measure 43. So, starting at measure 43, we have E minor, still the same strum. Down, down-up, down-up, G, A Suspended Two, C Suspended Two.

So then, we go onto page four of the transcription where we’re still on C Suspended Two. So two more measures of that. Down, down-up, down-up. Down, down-up, down-up. And then, you do just the open second, third, and fourth strings. One, two, three, just like at the beginning of the song, like on the very intro part. So … And then it just ends on that G as a whole note.

All right. So that’s all of the parts to this song. Like I said, feel free to just kind of experiment around with that strumming pattern in there and stuff, and kind of make it your own, you know? Try singing along with it. You can play along with the track, that helps out a lot too in getting the timing and everything down. Make sure you click on the link, get those tabs, make it easier for you to follow along with.

So if you like the lesson, give me a thumbs up, leave me a comment down below if there’s something you’d like to see myself or one of the other instructors here at Guitar Control do in a future lesson. Anyway, that is all I got for you today. So, until next time …

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