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EGS Songbook Level One  Sunset – Reggae

Songbook Level One

Understanding the chart

Download and print out the score, so that you can refer to it as you follow the guitar chart.


Start by going through the chart, step by step, looking at each section and understanding what the chart is asking you to do.

Step One

The first thing you will see is the name of the tune, ‘Sunset’, and the name of the composer. The title is the important one as, if you had a number of songs to play, it is essential that you play the correct one!

Step Two

At the top left hand side, before the tune starts, you will see the note '4 Clicks'. This means that you will hear four clicks before the tune starts. This will help count you into the song.

Step Three

Next is the time signature, ‘C’, which is the sign for ‘common time’, and means there are four beats in each bar. This is familiar territory for you.

Above the first bar is the name of the first section of the song, which is the ‘Introduction’. The Introduction is four bars long, and you play a relatively simple rhythm of half notes on beats 1 and 3 – incorporating the chords of C, F and G. Use a nice, clean guitar sound that supports the chords of the song.

Step Four

Once you have played the Introduction, there is a four bar Vamp section where the rhythm of the tune comes in. This settles the listener into the song's groove before the melody comes in. Here you play the chords of C and F, using whole notes.

Step Five

The Verse starts at bar 9, and the first thing to make a note of is that it is only 7 bars long! The content of the Verse is just more whole notes on C and F.

Step Six

The Chorus is in much the same vein. You will see, if you look ahead down the chart, that the structure repeats itself: Vamp-Verse-Chorus.

Step Seven

When you get to bar 39, at the end of the second Chorus, you will see that there is a new section called Middle Eight. Here the song breaks away from the themes you have heard before, and this provides a contrast to the piece. It is often called a middle eight because it is in the middle of the song and lasts for eight bars. In this instance this is exactly what happens. However, a middle eight can often be longer than just eight bars.

In the Middle Eight, the groove of the song takes on what is called a Dance Hall feel. You will notice that the percussion part is playing a very syncopated rhythm. Here you have to change your guitar sound to a distorted rock guitar sound, and play quite powerfully and dramatically to mark the change in intensity of the piece. You are still using whole notes, but the chords are all power 5-chords.

Step Eight

Immediately after the Middle 8, the tune drops down into the Intro-vamp and the guitar drops out completely for four bars. The small line in each of the bars is called a whole note rest. It means that you rest for the whole bar. Rests will be covered in great detail in Level 2 of the course.

This break gives you a chance to change your guitar back to a clean sound for the remainder of the song.

Step Nine

After the four bars' rest you play the structure of the tune again: Vamp-Verse-Chorus.

The song finishes with a single whole note, on the chord of C, at bar 70. You will see the word ‘FINE’ at the end of the last bar. This indicates that the song is finished.

Step Ten

Now, watch and listen to the multimedia files, and follow the guitar chart through a couple of times. Once you have done that, have a go yourself. You can play with the guitars, or mute the guitarist on the track so that you can play on your own.

Remember to:

  1. Concentrate.
  2. Count.
  3. Look at the chart as you play.
  4. Cycle the difficult bits and practise them.
  5. Slow it down to a tempo at which you can read and play.
  6. Have fun.

Next: Sunset guitar score