- Funk chords
- Funk guitar rhythm
- Funk strumming
- Minor pentatonic scale
You chose an awesome song to learn, Moves Like Jagger is one of the best songs of 2011. It reached the top of the charts all around the world (in 18 countries to be exact), the single went 5x platinum in the US, and became one of the best-selling singles of all time.
The guitar part of the song is basically just rhythm guitar with funk-style strumming. It is an intermediate-level song since funk strumming is a bit tricky. There are lots of things you need to be mindful of, and even if you’ve been playing for quite a while, getting used to this sort of strumming will be a challenge.
In our guitar lesson on Moves Like Jagger, we’ll be learning to play the rhythm guitar part of the song, as well as learn the notes you would play if you were to emulate Adam Levine’s whistling.
We’ll start out by learning to play the chords you’ll need to play the rhythm guitar part of the song. There are 2 chords altogether, both of which are very characteristic funk chords, which are also moveable, so you can move those chord shapes all over the guitar neck.
Once you know the chords, we’ll learn all about funk style strumming, concentrating of course, on the strumming pattern used in Moves Like Jagger. The song is played at 125 beats per minute, but we’ll start out by practicing at 80 bpm, then increasing it to 100 bpm, then finally getting a short taste of 125 bpm.
In the process of learning about funk strumming, we’ll learn a couple of characteristic funk rhythm guitar techniques, namely:
- 16th note strumming
- sliding into chords
- fast-paced ghost strums and muted strums
- fretting and strumming hand synchronization through practicing to various bpm drum tracks, changing between quarter note, 8th note, and 16th note strums
The real secret to getting a feel for funk strumming is keeping your strumming hand moving to the rhythm, no matter what happens. This takes a considerable amount of practice, as we’ll discuss in the Moves Like Jagger tutorial. Patience is really key here, you can’t learn this stuff overnight. It takes lots of practice, but as with all things guitar, it is more than worth it in the end.
Here are the drum tracks I used in the lesson, go ahead and download them, and use them for practicing (Right-click on the file -> Save as):
At the end of the lesson, we’ll learn how to play the whistling part of Moves Like Jagger. It is very simple, all of the notes are on the first scale shape of the minor pentatonic, something you’ll probably be familiar with already.
Moves Like Jagger is played in the key of B minor.
Moves Like Jagger song details
Moves Like Jagger was released by the US pop-rock band Maroon 5 on the 2011 album Hands All Over. Christina Aguilera is also featured in the song. The song talks about how Adam Levine tries to impress women with Moves Like Jagger.
Adam Levine, the frontman of Maroon 5, and Christina Aguilera were both judges on the US talent show called “The Voice”, where they performed the song live for the first time in June 2011. From there, the song took off to become one of the most successful singles of all time.
Moves Like Jagger charts and rankings
In 2011, the song was the best-selling single, with 8.5 million copies sold. It is the 12th most downloaded song in history.
Moves Like Jagger quickly flew to the top of the charts in 18 countries, including the US, Hungary, Austria, Canada, etc.
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