Seven Nation Army

“Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes is a super popular tune with a really catchy and recognizable riff. As soon as you start playing it, anyone listening will know exactly what it is – which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how well you do with it!

I’ve got to be honest with you all, though. When I was going through this beginner’s course learning left-handed, my eyes were seriously opened to how difficult this little riff can actually be! It’s only one finger and it’s mainly one string, but there’s quite a bit of coordination that comes into play here. That said, if you can’t get it down perfectly and if you can’t play along with the original recording, that’s totally fine. It’s still great practice, and this might even be one you’ll want to revisit later on once you get more advanced in your playing.

So, as I mentioned, we’re going to be jumping around with the 1st finger on the 5th string quite a lot. When you’re playing, you’ll want to eliminate the risk of hitting the other surrounding strings. To do this, use your 1st finger to press down on the 5th string, but just touch the 6th string with the tip of your finger to mute it. Then, try to lay the rest of your finger across the remaining strings to mute them, too. THIS IS HARDER TO DO THAN IT LOOKS AND SOUNDS! Don’t worry if you can’t do this perfectly straight away, and don’t be too hard on yourself over it.

Also, the rhythm in this song is a little interesting. It’s got something called a “crotchet triplet” in it and those can be tricky to count out loud, especially for beginners. For now, just listen to the rhythm and play what you hear.

Lesson 3: The Am & Em Army!

- LESSON STEPS -