New Song: Wild World for Guitar, Piano, Ukulele, Bass, and Singing

Posted on July 26, 2019

Let’s learn this folk-rock classic! One interesting songwriting idea to notice is the use of a sad-sounding minor key (Am) for the verse and a bright-sounding major key (C) for the chorus. Notice how this ties into the whole feel of the song – as it goes into the chorus, the mood brightens, the lyrics are more hopeful, and the instruments become busier and stronger. This contrast between sections is a great way to keep the song fresh, interesting, and moving forward.

“Wild World”, made famous by Cat Stevens, is now available in Yousician for Guitar, Piano, Ukulele, Bass, and Singing.

Wild World for Guitar
by: James Neilson, Music Education Designer for Guitar

In the basic riff exercise (level 2) you’ll play along with the main bass and guitar riff, which is a great way to outline the song. Look out for the position shifts, and try to use the recommended fingers so you can play as efficiently as possible.

In the cowboy chords exercise (level 4) you’ll strum the chords to the song: Am, C, D, Dm, E, F, and G. That’s a lot of chords, so spend some time memorizing each section to get the changes under your fingers. The strumming is all down-strums, which is common in slow-tempo songs like this.

In the full rhythm exercise (level 7) you’ll play the original acoustic guitar part, which uses a bass-strum technique with cowboy chords, plus surprisingly tricky single-note riffs – you’ll need to start slow and practice those in small sections. This is a great song to have in your bag of tricks when someone asks “what can you play?”, as the combination of chords and single notes sounds great on a single guitar, even without the band.

Wild World for Ukulele
by: Vellu Halkosalmi, Music Education Designer for Bass and Ukulele

In the melody exercise (level 4) you will be playing a simplified version of the lead vocal melody. Two different fretting positions are used. During the verse, you’ll be playing in the 2nd position (index finger playing notes on fret 2) using one finger per fret-fingering. The whole chorus is written in a stretched 3rd position, where you’ll play notes on fret 3 with your index finger, notes on fret 5 with your middle finger and notes on fret 7 with your pinky. You can also try out fingering notes on fret 5 with your ring finger, too. Some people feel more comfortable to play this kind of figures with index-ring-pinky instead of index-middle-pinky.

In the chords exercise (level 6) you’ll be strumming all the chords to this song. All the important strums are annotated, and in this tempo, they’re all downstrums. Feel free to experiment to add some upstrums in between where you feel like it. The app won’t mind you playing more than what is written, and that won’t hurt your score, either.

Wild World for Bass
by: Vellu Halkosalmi, Music Education Designer for Bass and Ukulele

The basic bassline exercise (level 2) is a great 1st fretting position workout. Although it is simplified, it still sounds close to the full recorded bassline. Be sure to use index finger for notes on the 1st fret, middle finger for notes on the 2nd fret, and ring finger for notes on the 3rd fret.

The full bassline exercise (level 6) is a great example of how to help the song to build up. During verse you play less than during chorus, which gives these two sections a different character. Also, observe how the three verses build up. First one is the simplest one, the second one adds more energy with some more notes, and during the third verse the bassline is driving the music strongly to have more energy than during the previous verses.

The original part was played on a double bass, with the E string tuned down to low C (drop C tuning), and you can hear those low C’s in the backing track during the chorus. This exercise, however, has those notes written an octave higher so that you can play it with standard tuning.

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