Is someone cutting onions? Is it raining on my face? Time to learn the heartbreaking ballad Hurt – originally by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, but reimagined by the legendary Johnny Cash. This is a great example of the emotional power of music, especially when stripped back to simple acoustic instrumentation and raw vocal delivery.
Hurt for Guitar
by: James Neilson, Music Education Designer for Guitar
In the basic melody exercise (level 2) you’ll play a simplified version of the main vocal melody, along with some instrumental guitar melodies. Notice that the timing has been simplified to make it easier to follow along. Try to focus on using the one-finger-per rule, so you learn to play as efficiently as possible.
In the cowboy chords exercise (level 4) you’ll play the main chords to the song: Am, C, D, F, and G. There’s a lot of down-up strumming in this song, so try to focus on feeling the pulse to help you stay in stay – down on the down-beats, up in-between.
In the full melody exercise (level 4) you’ll play the full vocal melody, along with some instrumental guitar melodies. It’s all in the first 3 frets, but look out for the string skips, and syncopated (off-beat) rhythms.
In the full rhythm exercise (level 6) you’ll play the original iconic guitar part. It combines some broken-chord arpeggios in the verse and bass-strum technique in the chorus. In both cases, it’s best to hold the full chord with your fretting hand and pick the appropriate strings.
Hurt for Ukulele
by: Vellu Halkosalmi, Music Education Designer for Bass and Ukulele
In the melody exercise (level 2) you will be playing the lead vocal melody in 2nd fretting position (your index finger fretting notes on the 2nd fret). The melody is quite slow-paced, so it’s a good practice to get a full, round tone out of each and every note you play.
The chords exercise (level 4) has all the chords of the song paired with some nice down & up strumming. Focus on smooth chord changes with your fretting hand, and clean-cut strums with your strumming hand. Also, pay attention to the sound you get when you strum the strings. When you get it right, downstrums and upstrums should sound very similar.
The fingerpicking exercise (level 6) covers the chords with a couple of very useful picking patterns. Pay attention to fingerings for maximum economy of movement with the fretting hand. You will get the best consistency of sound and timing with your plucking hand if you play the top G string always with your thumb, the next string with your index finger and so on, so that the bottom A string gets always played with your ring finger.