Let’s learn this moody pop song! You may notice it has a 4-bar chord progression that repeats throughout the entire song. This pattern of 4’s is a common way to build songs: 4 beats in a bar, 4 bars in a chord progression, and even 4 times through the chord progression for some song sections! This is used in so many songs your ears will get used to it, and gradually be able to predict when to expect each pattern of 4’s to start again.
Bellyache for Guitar
by: James Neilson, Music Education Designer for Guitar
The basic cowboy chords exercise (level 2) uses the chords of the song (C, Am, Em), with a simplified strumming pattern. The chord progression repeats throughout the song, so it’s a great chance to work on your consistency and accuracy.
In the main melody exercise (level 4) you’ll play along with the main vocal melody, as well as some instrumental melodies. There are some quick phrases, so remember to start slow, learn part-by-part, and use down-up picking on the fast notes if needed.
The cowboy chords exercise (level 5) uses the chords of the song (C, Am, Em), with the main strumming pattern. If you listen to the backing track you’ll hear some extra strums sometimes, so feel free to add more strums in if you’re comfortable.
In the full rhythm exercise (level 8) you’ll play the full rhythm guitar part, as originally recorded (plus some chords in the synth parts, just like you would do if playing the song live). There’s an interesting repeating pattern of playing the cowboy-chord version of a chord, followed by the barre-chord version. This can be tricky, so try slowing down, and practicing the chord changes separately to get them under your fingers.
Bellyache for Piano
by: Sunny Choi, Music Education Designer for Piano
Melody exercise (level 3): Learn the melody of this song, while improving your note reading skills with orienting to the hand position changes.
Solo piano exercise (level 5): You have what it takes to own this song as a solo pianist without any extra band members to fill in the musical gap! Keep the beat moving while paying attention to note reading in both hands.
Accompaniment exercise (level 9): Feel the groove and get into the vibe of the syncopated rhythm that is spread across the song while catching all the notes! The steady left-hand bass line will help you keep the beat moving nicely.
Bellyache for Ukulele
by: Vellu Halkosalmi, Music Education Designer for Bass and Ukulele
The basic melody exercise (level 2) has the important notes from the vocal melodies. Focus on playing one finger per fret (index on the 2nd fret and middle on the 3rd), and pay attention to the tricky timing.
In the chords exercise (level 4) you will practice a chord progression with C, Am and Em chords plus a few strumming patterns: a more relaxed one during verses, a busier one during the chorus and a 4-stroke break together with the bass drum and guitar (heard in the backing track) just before the chorus starts. Because the chords stay the same through the song repeating that 4-bar pattern over and over again, you might like to try also to play this song by heart after you have mastered it with reading the music. You will notice how playing by heart makes it easier for you to just feel and hear the music, and naturally connect to the backing track rhythm when you are not busy reading all the time.
In the melody exercise (level 5) you will be playing slightly simplified full vocal melodies in two fretting positions: one with your index finger on the 2nd fret, using the “one finger per fret” style, and another one with your index finger on the 5th fret with your fingers spread out more to have easy access to higher notes and greater range. This style of fingering is used a lot for example when playing the violin or the mandolin, and it suits the ukulele very well, too!
Bellyache for Singing
by: Sonja Patrikainen, Music Education Designer for Singing
The melody in this song is very speech-like, meaning that it follows the rhythm of the text how it would be naturally spoken. When you’re learning this song, practice the rhythm first. “Rap” the phrases without the melody to nail the groove, and after that hitting the right pitches will be easier.