Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles Lesson

Learn to play Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles on JustinGuitar!

View the full lesson at Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles | JustinGuitar

When doing the strumming pattern (DDUUD), how is the transition from C to Em strummed when only doing two counts between the chords?

This explanation is much better than the app. And there are differences. Here Justin starts the Intro with C and in the app the same song begins with an Em. The app only tells you to strum on the beats every bar the whole song. At 137 bpm very hard to do at this stage…especially when you have to look at the display to see when a chord change comes. Also the playing tips are missing in the app. When I try to play this song following the app it sounds horrible. :exploding_head: But with the video I learnt to play the first 40 seconds like Justin and this sounds very much better. :smiley:

After 3 months I think the best way (for me) is to use the app for practice sessions and the videos and hardcopy songbooks for learning how to play songs.

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Learning to play the E minor 7, 6 and sharp 5 is a really fun exercise. Glad I grabbed this song as one to practice. The strumming patterns in the earlier lessons are also really interesting to apply here.

I was surprised at how lively the original sounds, I was hoping it was more in line with how Justin played it (sounds a bit darker).

Hello I realized that the app an the Youtube video show a different chorus, I 'd love to practice along with the app, but I like more the version shown in the video. What do you do when the app and the video are not the same?

In the practice song Eleanor Rigby there is are changes from C to Em and back. Is it ok to use. Finger 2 on the D-string 2nd fret as anchor finger for both chords?
Normally for Em chord I would use the 3. finger Ron D-string

Thanks and sorry for the newbie question


Hello Martin,

Once you are getting a good sound Em Chord using the regular fingering, using 2nd and 3rd fingers, and confident with the chord changes using regular fingering, you can experiment with the alternative fingers as well, using 1st and 2nd fingers. As you practice, you’ll find out which fingering is most comfortable for you! It’ll depend on the chords you play before and after the E Minor chord. So there would be no issues using 1st and 2nd fingers for the Em to transition to the C chord.

Hope that helps ease your mind.


Much appreciated- as a newbie it is sometimes hard to know which rules can be bent a little and which ones should not


No worries. Not sure if your following the lessons using the app or website but I’d highly recommend digesting the written supporting information giving on the websites learn more section for each lesson, there is a lot of really useful information given there.

There are no rules regarding which fingers to use for a particular chord.
As a teacher Justin of course gives recommended fingering as he can’t say use any fingers you like as no one would get anywhere. After you’ve become confident with the standard fingering you will find that as James says it depends where you’re coming from and going to in a song and the most efficient fingering is best.
Having said that, there is usually a very good reason to use the standard fingering. When you come to learn sus chords and other chord embellishments the recommended fingering is usually best as that allows you to use the ‘extra’ finger to play the embellishments.

Haha, I thought you were talking about sliding the 3rd finger from the C to the B on the 2nd fret (which would work fine too). My understanding was that Justin taught what he thought was practical way of starting out, but encouraged different fingerings depending on what you were playing. It’s good to experiment and try different things . Go for it :smiley:

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+1 on the lesson learn more section he provides images of the alternative fingerings and recommends exploring them once you are confident with the standard fingering taught in the lesson and to use what ever fingering is comfortable you and dependent on the chords before and after

You’ll be exposed to a bunch of alternate chords and fingerings as you progress through grade 1 and into grade 2 and beyond, many of which have no real purpose except to make chord changes easier. The “weak finger” G chord is a perfect example.

The weak finger G is actually good for applying chord embellishments.

True enough. But it is a great fingering to help make certain chord changes too. I might have been too harsh when I said “no real purpose.” Maybe I should have said “one of their most useful purposes is to make chord changes easier.”