This is the full fingerstyle guitar lesson for Stand By Me by Ben E. King. Stand By Me was first recorded in 1960 and was written by King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
This is truly a timeless song that seems to get better each passing year. It's a really simple song to play that follows a very straightforward chord progression.
Because of its simplicity, Stand By Me is a great song to learn for people that are new to the guitar and want to practise their basic open position chords. It also makes for a good beginner arrangement for people that are new to the world of fingerstyle and eager to get into the new genre.
OK, let's start learning how to play Stand By Me!
- Key - G major
- Tuning - standard
- Difficulty - easy
Stand By Me (Performance)
As you learn to play this fingerstyle arrangement of Stand By Me, be sure to frequently return to the performance as a good reference point and guide.
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Stand By Me Guitar Lesson (The Intro)
First off we're going to learn the intro of Stand By Me. As with virtually all fingerstyle arrangements, it's easiest to break things down into manageable pieces. Therefore, I recommend learning the chords off by heart first, then break each chord down to just its root note. Finally, add the bass line that we're replicating from the song.
If you want the lyrics of Stand By Me and just the chords in their most basic form, then check out Justin Guitar's lesson.
How to Play the Verse of Stand By Me
On to the verse now and this section is probably the trickiest one but it's a lot of fun to play once you've learnt it. If you find the alternating bass hard then bear in mind that you can simplify it by not alternating it at all, you could just play the root notes of each chord instead.
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Stand By Me (Chorus)
There's just the chorus to learn now and if you're now OK with the rest of the song then this section shouldn't be too much of a struggle for you.
Want to learn more fingerstyle arrangements of famous songs?: Can't Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley), Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver), Don't Look Back In Anger (Oasis), Ticket to Ride (The Beatles), Have You Ever Seen The Rain (Creedence Clearwater Revival).
Alternatively you can browse the whole song catalogue: Song Lesson Library
I hope you've enjoyed this guitar lesson of Stand By Me. Let me know what you thought of it in the comments section below. Say what you found hard/easy, what level you're at and what your fingerpicking goals are.