I Want You Back by the Jackson 5 – Acoustic guitar lesson – Beat Strum

Many thanks to the requests for this one and to Laura Williams for letting me post her version too. Time jumps are listed below if you want to skip direct, in this brief lesson I will break down each section so that you can follow along and see how they are built up to make the whole song. It’s a longish video as there are so many chord changes and hopefully I’ve given enough details here for you to give it a go.

Learn how to play the Jackson 5 classic I Want You Back on acoustic guitar, the beat-strum way. To help singing this song, and making the pitch match Faye’s voice, I’ve transposed this down from the original in G major to E Major which also matched the version my good multi-talented friend, singer-songwriter and DJ Laura Williams performs the track in as well.

And yes, I look tired! I filmed this straight after a 3 hour long gig with Faye & Co. (getting into bed at 3am) and for the UK, it was a hot 33 degree C morning.

Ok to the song breakdown in words.

There are just 3 main sections, introduction/bridge riff ,verse and chorus. The verse and chorus consist of 2 halves, with the 2nd halves the same.

1:17 Intro/Bridge E Riff: E
2:21 Verse 1) 2:44 E Riff: E with G# note on 4th beat 2) A Riff: A with C#note on 4th beat. Apologies as this video was made when tired (lesson there), the title should read G# and not G!
3:32 3) C#m G#m A E F#m B E A E
5:17 Chorus 1) Walking Bass-line Riff: E E/D# E/C# E/B Asus2 Bsus4/A
3:32 2) C#m G#m A E F#m B E A E
7:22 All sections together

Strumming movement wise, I’m strutting in semi-quavers to keep the timing and using lots of fret hand muting too to keep the chords tight.

Once again many thanks to Faye Weston and Laura Williams for the suggestion and for letting me use the footage.

Faye & Co. http://www.fayemusic.co.uk
YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxLhyXD9t8ajzYZq1SxlTww

Laura Williams Music http://www.laurawilliamsmusic.co.uk/
YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvFi9XZrMPhlUWldoTmBUPg
Video Rating: / 5


  1. That was a wonderful tutorial! Great camera angles too! You are a great teacher!


  2. nice version

  3. The original recording is in Ab, not G.

  4. great video, great isntruction – i have subscribed off the back of this – excellent work keep it up!

  5. very nice

  6. Hey,Matthew Lai! I love your video! I know this comment is marked as spam,that's because it contains a link. But please check out this video! 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG1dF_XAXuQ

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