Not punk but progress - Hurt (Johnny Cash version)

Trying to post a few songs up in quick succession, mostly to force myself into getting a few songs to a point im happy to post them instead of getting 80% and moving on.

So this one is a step away from power chords. I liked learning this with some chord, tempo and strumming change ups through it which is kinda feels like a big step up from the early beginner level stuff where its four chords on repeat for 3 minutes. I have also been watching the lesson recently on changing up things throughout the sone so went for a slight change in strumming pattern for chorus 2 and got stuck in with a bit more energy as the song builds.

Its also been my primary song for working the Am - F - C transition which seems a must have to open the door to 4 chord songs. F is getting there. Forge on!

An aspirational goal would be able to pump this song Mumford and Son’s style which to me is the great Jonny Cash version with a shot of whisky. Link for those interested.

Feed back welcomed.


Nicely played! Like the way you built volume through the strummed verses.

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That was excellent playing Rhys. I too liked how you increased the volume.

I listened to the Mumford version and it was good and you were getting that pumping going towards the end. :+1:

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That was great Rhys I enjoyed the song and the change in dynamics. Well done no critique from my end :slight_smile:

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Nicely done, Rhys, managed the switch between the verse and chorus well, plus kept playing and slipped quickly back into your groove when you had a stumble.

I would suggest you work on the forming of your F barre. You are forming the E-shape chord first and then adding the barre. The consequence of that is the low E rang out initially. I think it is better to get the barre down first and maybe you have the equivalent of some open strings ringing out as you form the rest of the chord which I think sounds better than that open E.

I had a look at the Mumford & Sons version, which was pretty cool, the insumetal ending. For others who don’t use Spotify … Mumford & Sons - Hurt (Live from Rock Werchter Festival 2019) - YouTube

Reminded me of one of my favourite local artists who also liked to cover it live. I found this version on YT Hurt (Live) - YouTube I have a festival CD with a better electric version but can’t find that on YT.

Such a great song

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Nice work Rhys, agree with others on the dynamic change into the strummed sections. F chord coming along nicely too. It’s a well done from me! :clap:

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Hi Rhys,
Well done :sunglasses:,…agree with all the good everyone is saying, and listen to David’s tip :smiley:
Greetings ,Rogier

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Thanks everyone for the warm commentary

@DavidP the F chord feedback hurts, I was closing in on that nice 60changes a minute mark. I get it though, investment for the future and other bar chords too I guess. Back to the f chord basics I guess. Testing it out I’m sure it’ll be a faster process this time as my hand knows the shape just gotta work on remaking it. At least I caught it early too. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Great job Rhys. Sounded excellent to me. Thanks for sharing

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Hey Rhys, sounded good. Hurt is one in my repertoire, it’s a real good song to build some new techniques on as you discovered. Some picking, moving up the fretboard, F, strumming, different timing, etc. It also sounds good as a one guitar song - many songs need a band to sound good.

I’ll give some tips as you asked for feedback :grinning:. Not essentials but help with developing the song. Please take them as intended, to help, not hurt.

One thing that can help hearing these is playing without the backing track so all you hear is your guitar.

  • Verse chords/sweep - listen for the tempo of the pick, sweep, and sustain. Your sweep might be a tad fast to my ears. Then let the chord ring. As your changes get faster you can let it ring for longer, adds to the effect.
  • It can help to anchor your pinky between each chord in the verse
  • As with @DavidP’s advice, try to fret the F before the strum. Even if you fret it earlier - a 4 (or “and”) strum on open strings and a solid F chord on 1 will sound cleaner.

Thanks for sharing the vid!

Nicely done Rhys. As a couple of people above said, the gradual volume/emphasis added during the chorus strumming was a nice touch.

In regards to the F chord, I wouldn’t have even picked up any issues with it in your playthrough if it was only the audio without the video (but my ears are not as experienced as some of the other folks here).
Just fake it until you make it dude… i.e. repetition until the muscle memory takes over.

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Hi Rhys. I’m going to add another element to your F chord debate. The way you played it in this song sounded good to me. You were effectively playing a hammer on open E string to F note. I thought it suited the song.

However. That’s ok if you’re doing it intentionally and it suits the beat of a song. You must practise getting all the fingers down together and playing a clean F (or any other chord for that matter). Once you’ve got a clean chord then you can add embellishments as and if required.

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@sairfingers I’m taking two things from the thread. In this case when I was playing the F I was doing a mini change up in strumming pattern to enhance that little hammer on effect because I thought it sounded cool too. Someone else appreciated. Awesome.
I need to keep working that F chord anyway because it won’t always be something I can make sound cool.


Great job. You nailed the arpeggios. I have a hard time playing arpeggios without looking. Thanks for sharing.

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