Today I’m gonna teach you how to play Here Comes the Sun, using your guitar! Watch the video here or continue reading below:
There are a couple of licks in here that you definitely need to know. If you’re working with adult clients age 18 all the way up to 80, they know and love this song. So it’s a great one to have in your repertoire.
When COVID hit and we had to work online, I switched from using the piano a lot to using guitar a lot. And at first I really struggled on how to integrate the licks that I had been playing on the piano into guitar, because I was a real campfire guitarist. I just played chords. And if anything had a lick, I’d go to a piano.
But I felt like the guitar sounded better online. I couldn’t adjust the volume of my acoustic piano and it was a little bit overpowering to my voice. So I’ve tended to default to using guitar a lot more.
Let’s do this song in the key of D. It just makes it a little bit easier to integrate those licks. And it works well for my voice. So hopefully it works well for your voice too! You could always throw a capo on to find a good key for your voice.
I actually play this song without a pick because for one of the licks, you need to be able to pluck two strings at the same time. Plus, we also wanna play some, our chords broken here as one of the licks. So the first lick is actually the “do do do do” after “Here Comes the Sun”. Now I’ll tell you a secret… I actually don’t usually play this lick. I always sing this lick!
But if you wanted to play it, you could!
Try and let the D chord still rings through while you play the lick.
It might take a little bit of practice!
But don’t worry, the second lick is easy.
We just need a B minor chord (but another secret is we’re gonna cheat here and we’re just gonna do B minor seven – no barre chords needed). So we just need Bm, A, G, A but we are gonna break them up and arpeggiate them by playing one note at a time starting from the bass note.
The third lick is the best in my opinion! So we’re gonna take an A7 chord, and strum. Then I’m gonna take my third finger off and strum the same top four strings that I would if I was playing the A7. (So third finger comes off fret 2, strum, back on fret 2), slide up one fret, take your second finger off, slide up two frets and put them both down in the A7 shape but on fret 5.
It takes a little bit of practice, but it’s actually pretty, pretty smooth and pretty easy to play.
That’s actually all you need to play this song!
Now the reason I actually sing this lick is because I use this song working with clients who are pre-verbal – working on their articulation and their oral motor skills. So I’ll sing “Here Comes the Sun” and then line out the do, do, do, do part.
You can work on whatever sound or syllable they need by switching or the “do do do do” for “ba ba ba ba” or anything.
Also for articulation, I’ll get them to line out the /s/ sound in sun. I’ll really exaggerate my oral motor
placement so they can see what to do. So it’s actually amazing how this song can help clients work on their articulation and they love it. It’s so fun because we’re changing it up all the time on them.
The only part I haven’t shown you guys is the bridge here and you’re supposed to do that five times. So it’s a really great place to work on that /s/ sound for your clients.
You now have the basic skills to play that in your session – just keep working on that lick and it’ll sound awesome. So let’s talk about adapting this song – we’ve already talked about using it for articulation and oral motor skills, but let’s talk about using it more in a group setting with adults, mostly who are verbal.
You could use this song for reality orientation and ask them what’s coming up in their life, the seasons or holidays. We could sing “Here comes September. And then they can actually say how they’re feeling about that. “Here comes September (do do do do) Here comes September and I feel…. so happy”. Throw in some emotional expression, ask them how they’re feeling about certain things, throw in some reality orientation, ask them what’s coming up for them in the next little bit. And those are my two favourite ways to adapt this song in music therapy sessions!