How to play "Thinking Out Loud" EXACTLY like Ed Sheeran | Acoustic Guitar Lesson, Practice Along

This week we’re gonna learn “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, exactly the way he plays it.

Are you interested in MASTERING THE BASICS?

You might want to check out the GoodGuitarist Beginner Guitar Course! More information here:

I transcribed the song from the album recording ( and from this studio session ( When he plays it, he obviously doesn’t play it the exact same way every time, but I think I managed to extract the essence of what he’s doing in the live studio recording quite accurately so now you’ll be able to learn to play this song exactly like Ed!

Most of the chord shapes found in this video can be learned from our eBook (which is free to subscribers) –

The one chord you might have trouble with is the B minor barre chord. I’ve included a really easy way to play it in this lesson, but if you are brave and want to try out the actual barre chord here’s an article and some videos that show you the best way to learn and practice barre chords –

The chords are pretty simple for the most part so it’s the strumming and fingerpicking that will probably require most of your attention. He combines a few methods (strumming in various ways, fingerpicking, string smacking) and uses them all quite fluidly so be sure to take your time and carefully learn the movements if you want this to sound its best! The one technique I’d recommend brushing up on (or learning) is string smacking – here’s a video where we go over that (and there are some play-along tracks you can try out as well) –


  1. thanks man for those secrets loool

  2. D flat? I thought it matched My tuners D…

  3. Thanks man your the best

  4. Great stuff! No personal blah-blah and every detail covered. We don't have to play it note-for-note as long as we KNOW what the total product is. And now we do!

  5. Thanks so much for this! It's a great help!

  6. Молодец! Molodets!

  7. Am I the only one that want to learn this to pick up woman ?

  8. Great tutorial thank you!

  9. Gaston Hernandez

    You are the best!

  10. Man, what a good tutorial. Thank you very much

  11. hey james i have subscribed to your channel but unable to get the pdf of rhythm guitar

  12. Hey I’m having a lot of trouble with the lick can anyone help me? I don’t understand his finger placing and strumming

  13. I'm having trouble with the lick part. Can anyone help?

  14. Tobias Bosworth

    Wow, this is so detailed and helpful! Thanks so much… ! ( you earned yourself a sub )

  15. Thomas Bierwirth

    Hi James, thanks for the great tutorial. The way I am hearing the A chord hammer on in acoustic versions, I believe but am not entirely sure, that he does not play a 2-4-2 hammer on / pull off on the G string, but he does a 2-4 hammer on, followed by the 2nd fret on the D string (i.e. E), see for example this video (guitar is tuned down a half step). What do you hear / see?

  16. Amazing tutorial and channel ! Thank you !

  17. Awesome vid man! But did u played the last four strings at the ending?

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