22 June 2011

Two-Chord Song Lesson - Skip to My Lou

This easy beginner guitar lesson shows you how to play the popular children's song Skip to My Lou. You'll learn the chords and a simple strum pattern to play the song in the key of C. The lesson ends with tips on making your performance a little more polished once you've mastered the basics.

 

Skip to My Lou is widely known as a children's song, but it's origins are older as a dance for young and old alike. It can make a great party song to liven up a children's party or a warm up a cold winter evening.

 

Chords Used In The Song

This song is played with two chords known as the I (one) chord and V (five) chord. The song is shown here in the key of C, so the I chord is C major and the V chord is G. If you find these chords too difficult you could substitute them for D and A (key of D major), or A and E chords (key of E major).

 

The fingerings for the C and G chords are shown below.

image      image

 

Strum Pattern

For this dance tune a lively strum pattern is needed. But as you'll also need to play quite fast the pattern is going to be fairly simple. The series of down and up strums is indicated below

 

D  D-U  D-U  D  |  D  D  D-U  D

 

The Song

Here are the words and chords to the song for you to sing and play along with. Note that only the first verse is shown completely because the three lines are repeated each time with the same chord pattern: C, then G, then C again.

 

C

Lost my partner, what’ll I do

G

Lost my partner, what’ll I do

C

Lost my partner, what’ll I do

G                   C

Skip to my Lou my darling

 

C

Gone again, skip to my Lou (3x)

G                   C

Skip to my Lou my darling

 

C

I'll get another one, prettier ‘n new (3x)

G                   C

Skip to my Lou my darling

 

C

Little red wagon painted blue (3x)

G                   C

Skip to my Lou my darling

 

C

Flies in the buttermilk, two by two (3x)

G                   C

Skip to my Lou my darling

 

C

Flies in the sugar bowl, shoo shoo shoo (3x)

G                   C

Skip to my Lou my darling

 

C

Lots more verses but there’s a lotta do (3x)

G                   C

Skip to my Lou my darling

 

Performance Tips

To embellish the song with a little extra polish here are a couple of tips. When you've mastered the basic version why not give them a try.

 

Hand clapping. A a lively song like this lends itself to some audience participation with a bit of hand clapping. Get your audience clapping along on the off-beats.

 

Palm muting. This is also a good song to experiment with some palm muting. What's palm muting? It's a strumming hand technique used to mute the strings from time to time to create a rhythm effect. When you strum down let the side of your palm come to rest across the guitar’s strings to create a percussive chuck sound.

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