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“Thinking Out Loud” is a ballad by the extremely popular singer songwriter Ed Sheeran. Released in 2014, it has gone on to top the charts in just about every country it was released in.
From a guitar player’s perspective, there is a lot of cool stuff to sink our teeth into with this one. We have some cool percussive rhythm guitar work along with a great Hendrix inspired guitar solo.
In this Thinking Out Loud guitar lesson series, I will show you how to play all the chords, rhythms and solo for this great Ed Sheeran song note-for-note.
In the first video I will tackle all the rhythm guitar work. There aren’t many sections to learn but there is some nice guitar work to learn. For one thing, a lot of the chords are accompanied by a percussive style of right hand rhythm ala “More Than Words” by Extreme. Ed Sheeran uses this rhythm around a series of simple chords that are sometimes embellished with hammer-ons and pull-offs.
It can be a bit of a challenge to get the dynamics just right for this rhythm style. In fact, it makes it a bit more difficult to play since it is on electric guitar and not on acoustic. An acoustic guitar would allow those dynamics to come out more easily.
I suggest focusing on the rhythm first, perhaps with just one chord in the left hand until you lock into the groove. After that, adding the chords to the mix shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
For the second video I will tackle the entire Hendrix inspired guitar solo. This solo is very tasteful and musical with lots of cool double-stop guitar work. It is a nice combination of aggressive double-stop hammer-ons and bends along with delicate melodies.
As short as the solo is it provides a great opportunity to practice a pretty large amount of guitar techniques. Also, don’t forget the rhythm here. The solo has lots of open space so you need to constantly feel the rhythmic pulse to perform it correctly. Good Luck!!