Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen has long been considered one of the world’s iconic and beloved songs, covered by musicians around the globe. This lesson will teach beginners the chords for this timeless classic in an accessible key for ease of learning.
Rhythmically it’s straightforward; melodically there’s lots going on – all about minor falls and major lifts – you get the idea!
Verse 1: C
One of the best ways to practice chords is to gradually transition away from strumming them. To do this, beginners must learn how to feel the beat of each song – this may prove challenging but is certainly worth the effort!
This article covers how to play Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen using just simple open chords. Additionally, we will introduce a stepwise version that helps beginners become comfortable with these chords before moving on to more challenging ones in the chorus and so you can achieve an instantaneous sound right away.
Verse 2: G
Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah remains one of the world’s most iconic songs, appearing in films and television shows and being covered by musicians of every genre.
This song can easily be learned using open G and E strings with a capo at the fifth fret to generate C major as its key.
At first, it’s essential that you practice this song slowly. Start off playing one or two measures at a time before progressing up the scale to full measure – this will help prevent errors from cropping up unexpectedly and feeling frustrated as time passes! While this approach might take longer to master the tune in its entirety, in the long run it will pay dividends!
Verse 3: Am
Hallelujah is a slow song, making it challenging to keep the momentum alive. Achieve this by accentuating two pulses per measure – this will prevent an intricate strumming pattern from overshadowing its lyrics and keep things moving along smoothly.
After you’ve mastered this pattern, begin playing it fingerpicked. When that’s complete, work with other people or create your own arrangements – enjoy! And don’t miss Pentatonix’s incredible version – it will blow your mind! — Mike Reysen.
Verse 4: F
Here, the song shifts to an more difficult key for beginners to play in, but don’t worry: there are numerous stepping-stone versions that can help you work up to its full chord progression.
At this section’s heart lies its most impressive moment – a breathtaking resolution of V-IV cadence to vi. This is accomplished using secondary dominant tonic which resolves into relative minor (during lyrics “composing hallelujah”). This brilliant demonstration of word painting and chromatic manipulation stands out as one of its highlights; additionally it’s also a great lesson on how to vary strumming patterns; experiment by increasing or decreasing downward strums at any point as needed, and adding on extra ones when feeling inclined!
Verse 5: E
This chord progression is simple enough to work well with strumming, though a pick may be easier until you gain more fingerpicking experience. Try various strum patterns until one stands out as something suitable to you.
Beginners might find this song’s meter difficult, as its G to Em progression doesn’t move as rapidly as two beats.
Start learning this beautiful acoustic song today in our step-by-step guitar course designed for beginner guitarists! It includes a capo guide and full chord analysis of Leonard Cohen’s version as well as an easy acoustic backing track! Get access now!
Verse 6: C
Hallelujah features an inherently confusing meter, as its chords seem to play one octave higher while its lyrics are actually being sung an octave and a half lower. To stay in rhythm with this song’s beat it is necessary to keep count by counting out beats at regular intervals until all measures have passed before starting again.
As part of your goal to master this song, every time you play a downward strum there must be an upward strum to balance it out and avoid overpowering its lyrics with too many strumming patterns. Therefore, as part of learning a song you must attempt to vary its dynamic of play as much as possible.