Chord charts with lyrics

Hello all - I’m finishing up Beginner 2 and would like to begin using chord charts with lyrics. Any suggestions for this, particularly when the printed chart doesn’t give the strum pattern, measures, or beats per minute?


Doug C.


Doug @DougC_Prov356
Good question, I raised a similar point about non Justin material Making sense of basic Chord Sheets
Justin with his song lessons and app gives what you need. The problem I found was that a lot of other sources is that they only show when the chord changes, not the bars between. Strumming patterns seem to be only occasionally given. I suppose it is a bit like Justin’s song lessons where he gives different patterns depending on your ability. In terms of tempo there are sites that give this for most songs.
I am currently having a try with Ultimate Guitar for the songs that Justin has not done (yet)
It will be interesting to see what others have to say.
.Michael :notes:

Ultimate guitar is my go to for chord sheets and as you’ve found many are not as nice as Justin’s own books/chord sheets in giving you everything you need (some might not even be that good).

Personally I think it’s part of the learning process to start figuring some of these things out…so when that chord changes (and whether it’s 1, 2 or 3 bars of music) you should be able to work out by listening to the song…similarly from a BPM perspective you can listen to the original OR just google song title and BPM to find it. Most of all listen to the song and use your ears to tell you what sounds right.

Youtube is another great resource for tutorials on songs or just watching how others play them. Particularly useful if you are looking for ideas for strumming patterns etc.


i regularly grab song sheets from ultimate guitar. It’s a great resource. The quality of the song sheets varies greatly. I’ve had a small number that are dead wrong. One of them had a chord typo (should have been a D/F# and instead was showing as F#/D).

Often it won’t tell you how many bars/measures a chord is played for and often the position of where the chord change is made is out.

Don’t let that discourage you, just treat the song sheets as suggestions. It’s useful looking at multiple versions of the song sheet for the same song as you’ll often get ideas on how to embellish or simplify the song.

You are quite right music should not really be mechanical, it should have feeling. I think my training as an engineer makes me used to have everything set out, need break out from that I think.
Michael :grinning:

I come from a software engineering background. And often when I ask others what a particular strumming pattern is they say they don’t know, they worked it out by the feel of it. That has never worked for me. I need to know how it’s set out and the feel comes for me later. We all learn in different ways and that changes over time.


Thanks everyone! I’ve joined Ultimate guitar as well. It sounds like I’m on the right track. Just need to get out of my own head. I fight engineering think as well😁.

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This is because you are use your eyes to learn music not your ears. Justin say it over and over you need to listen to a song at least 5 times in a row
Here’s a great video about mind full listening


This is very true, but, we also need to be a bit self-indulgent here, as we are all very different and what I can say for myself is that one also needs to grow confident in his/her ears’ ability and that for me it was very difficult at the beginning. I learnt to use my ears and that was the direct consequence of hours of practice on Justin’s Rhythm Book, just tapping Rhythms on the table along with the metronome and following the books’ exercises.

I’ll never emphasize enough how beneficial that has been for me…from that point on my listening started being really mindful, I could connect more to what I was listening and it was like Melody and Rhythm were more together. The book is called something like Rhythm Reading, but it’s not only about reading, it’s about learning to better feel the Rhythm.


It’s a great video, have watched it multiple times before. And practiced it. We all learn different ways.

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This is exactly what I’m trying to say. :beers: People always come here looking for tab and strumming patterns but nobody ever asks for a good version of a song they could listen to to get the feel for a song. If doesn’t matter what method a person uses to learn to listen just as long as they try and it take practice.

I’m glad you figured this out, it has made you a better musician you have great timing for it.
I just went back and watched your video with your Ukulele and you are passing your sense of timing to the kids in you class. Kids know how to listen and keep time.


Hey Mat,

Ultimate guitar is a great resource. Pro version will give you more detail, with timing etc often included. Also, I’ve found just about any song has a suggested strumming pattern and chord boxes in one of the versions. As you may have found out, some versions are better than others, but thats a good learning experience in itself.
And yep, I find Youtube great too for both tricky areas, and to get a general feel for how others approach it.

Cheers, Shane

Shane @sclay
Signed up for the full version of UG a couple of weeks ago and just in the process of exploring it. The only disappointing thing is that they had a Halloween sale at half the cost I paid!!!

Pity you missed the sale. For the full price of AUS$25 year though, they’re basically giving it away.All the best

Cheers, Shane

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What do you get in a paid sub to Ultimate Guitar that you don’t get with the free membership? I’m getting everything I need for free from them.

Basically you get access to the Pro and Official tabs for songs, including the following:

  • Guitar Pro-style tab notation with time signatures and sight reading elements
  • Multiple instrument parts, often including bass, synth, vocals, and drums
  • Fretboard view for multiple instruments
  • Chords-only versions of the songs
  • Printable
  • Tonebridge compatibility and other misc features

I’ve found the Official and Pro tabs highly accurate mostly, and particularly great for learning things like lead lines and solos accurately. Overall, it gives a much fuller insight into a song and all it elements.

Cheers, Shane

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Maybe someday I’ll care about lead lines and solo parts. I know I don’t care about other instruments. I only use it for chord charts, and I can either save and print it as PDF, or copy and paste into Word.

Thank you for letting me know your thoughts about my Uke playing, it’s very much appreciated :heart_eyes::blush:

I totally agree on your points :beers:

it is sometimes difficult when one is self- taught, to work out what works best, one needs to be able to read his/her own experience and individual needs. Justin gives a 365 degrees perspective @DougC_Prov356, whatever materials you choose to use keep in mind that perspective, even if something only sounds very inspiring, but you can’t get the whole meaning…along the way I found myself going like “yeah! This is exactly as Teacher says!” :blush:

Wow, I paid 39.95GBP
All I can do is quote a legal term Caveat emptor
Michael :joy:

FWIW I import Ultimate Guitar tabs/chord sheets into Songbook Pro.
That enables me to easily amend any errors be they lyrics or chords. Keeps my playlists all in one place, its portable and not reliant on a browser. Easy to create set lists and more compact than my old A5 journal where I used to write everything up.

There are a few similar products out there. I think @stitch uses Songbook which is similar. Setlist Helper is another but I found SB Pro more user friendly. Especially as the web song search function pulls the tab directly into the app.