Lesson: Redemption Song - Rockschool Acoustic Grade 1 2019

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

This is a full video lesson, covering all parts of the song, including chord diagrams, the strumming pattern and a play through so you can hear how it should sound.

In this version everything is simplified a little, as we'd expect with a grade 1 piece but it will still be a challenge.

If you've done your debut exam, then you'll already have a lot of the knowledge you need for this piece, for example, you should know your G, C, D, Em and Am chords. So in a way there's less to learn for this song than you'd have had for the debut grade when everything may well have been new for you.

Here's the lesson, but read till the end first for some important learning points:

However, there are some things you do need to watch out for:

  • The strumming pattern is more complicated than the debut grade. Careful counting to get the hang of the upstrokes is important here. Start slow and build up speed a little at a time. Make sure your down strokes play the beat (1, 2, 3, 4)and the upstrokes are on the offbeat (the 'and's).

  • Also when strumming, aim for a smooth sound - don't hit the strings too hard and be careful also not to catch the E and A strings (strings 5 and 6).

  • The single note runs have to be played very accurately both in the intro and in bars 26 and 27. Again, don't rush learning these. The change back into the strumming also has to be smooth and confident.

  • There are some dotted notes (crotchets) to be aware of - make sure you play them for their full length - 1 and 1/2 beats. This means when you play the dotted note on the 1 beat, you then play the next note on beat 2+ not 2.

This is one of my all time favourite songs. It's simple, yet carries so much meaning and emotion.

Remember to read the info on the page prior to the song to learn more about it and Bob Marley.

Enjoy learning this one, don't rush it, master it.

And finally, for your enjoyment and musical education, here's the master Bob Marley's version :

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