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Hallelujah was popularized by the movie Shrek, even though it was written and released several years before Shrek was. It was originally written by Leonard Cohen, while the movie Shrek features John Cale's version, and the Shrek soundtrack features the Rufus Wainwright version. Bit complicated, I know. Our Hallelujah guitar lesson is on the Rufus Wainwright version, which is very similar to John Cale's.
It is great for beginners, since it is fairly simple to play, and if you are up for it, you can sing along to it as well. First of all, you'll need to get a capo to play it in the right key. If you don't have one yet, I suggest you get one, they are very cheap. You can learn the chords and fingerpicking pattern without it, but if you want to play along with the original, you'll need the capo to transpose your guitar into the right key. The capo should be placed across all the strings at fret 5.
Once you installed the capo, you'll learn all the parts and guitar chords to Hallelujah, including the intro, verse, and chorus. The tutorial starts out by introducing you to all of the chords you'll need to be able to play for this song, but don't worry, there are only 5 chords in Hallelujah.
Once you learn the chords, you'll learn the picking pattern, which is very simple as well. Keep in mind that Hallelujah is played in 6/8 time, which means you'll have 6 beats to a measure.
After learning the picking pattern, you'll be learning the chord progressions for the intro, verse, as well as the chorus. The chord progressions in Hallelujah utilize the chords you learned at the beginning of the lesson, as well as the repetitive fingerpicking pattern.
Hallelujah song details
Hallelujah was originally written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, and released on his 1984 album Various Positions. Interestingly, his version did not achieve much success.
Hallelujah was covered by almost 200 artists from around the world, and that is what brought the song popular acclaim. John Cale's version is the one you can hear in the movie Shrek, but the Rufus Wainwright version is the one that is included on the Shrek Soundtrack, and that is the version you can learn in our video guitar lesson.
Hallelujah awards and chart rankings
Many covers of Hallelujah reached high rankings on the international billboards. The most successful one was the Jeff Buckley version, which reached the top of the charts in several countries between 2006 and 2009. The Justin Timberlake - Matt Morris (released in 2010) cover is the second most popular.
If you want to refine the skills you learned in Hallelujah, check out these lessons on songs by clicking these links:
Chord changes / Chord embellishments / Chords
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