New Chart: “Poor Little Fool” by Ricky Nelson

RickyNelson-GreatestLoveSongs-coverToday's chart is "Poor Little Fool," a 50's pop/rock number performed by Ricky Nelson, but written by a 15-year-old Sharon Sheeley, who pretended her car broke down in front of Nelson's house in order to get him to listen to the tune. That's courage. Or pride. Or innocence. Any way you call it, it's awesome.

Here's the chart.

Notice that the strum pattern I've recommended accents the 2nd and 4th beat, called the "backbeat" (those ">" symbols are accent marks):

            >       >
        B   D   D U D U     w/swing feel
Strum:  1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

They're the same beats that are usually accented by the snare drum in a rock band, so you'll often accent the backbeat while playing solo versions of rock songs in order to capture the overall groove of a full rock band. It's like you're doing double duty, playing guitar and drums at the same time. If you've never done it before, accenting the backbeat can be hard to learn, but just start super-slow and then gradually increase your speed.

Want to hear this kind of backbeat accenting in action? Check out this great cover of Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie. I first heard Ben sing this at his sister's wedding, unamplified, filling the hall with his gorgeous voice. One of my all-time favorite musical performances.

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