What's Up by 4 Non Blondes Lesson

Learn to play What's Up by 4 Non Blondes on JustinGuitar!

View the full lesson at What's Up by 4 Non Blondes | JustinGuitar

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It would be nice to include the strumming pattern in the “Learn More” section.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D   D U D   D U D U D U   U D U
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Hi Justin from Denver, Colorado. Finished learning The Chain with your help! Now finishing trying to master From the Beginning by Emerson Lake and
Palmer. Love your lessons and tabs!


I have been practising this for ages, and can now do the strumming pattern but still can’t sing and play…lol.

Love this song, why does the App have a different strumming pattern?

Thanks Justin,

Just got a little confused by reference it being a 2 bar pattern and there being a bar of each chord. I think you actually are playing it as a 16 beat strumming pattern and staying on each chord for entire 16 beat pattern?

I think if you write and count it out as a single 16 beat pattern it fits with the chord changes

I’m a total newby but I’m REALLY looking forward to learning this one! One of my favourite songs and I play this song for my own pleasure so I am really looking forward to learning to play this for myself one day

So I’ve been trying to play this with the app and checked in here to see about strumming patterns. And I see a Capo on the 2nd fret which the app doesn’t mention as far as I can tell. So should the capo be used with the App version as, obviously, it doesn’t have the Bm Justin mentions to not use a cap. Anyway, I’ll try it both ways tomorrow. Thanks for the lesson though who knows if I’ll be able to master that strumming pattern! ACK!

Rebecca, I learned the song with the capo. The capo is used to make the chords easier for the beginner. If you’re not going to use the capo then it is different chords, including the Bm.

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I put the capo on the 2nd fret today and tried it with the App and it sounded HORRENDOUS. The sounds from my guitar and the App do not mesh!! I’m not sure what this means but it sounds great with the App when there is no capo used. I turned the app off and just played the chords with the capo and it sounded fine. So, there is some sort of disconnect with the app version using the G, C and Am chords and no capo and the capo on the second fret without the app.

So, am I missing something fundamental? According to the tuner that comes with the App my Bullet is in tune, same as when I tune with my clip-on tuner.

The correct way to play What’s Up is with no capo and the chords are A, Bm and D, Justin teaches it with a capo on the 2nd fret using the chord shapes of G, Am and C to avoid the Bm barre chord but staying in the key of A

If the chords on the app are G, Am and C with no capo then the song has been transposed to the key of G.


G, Am, And C not E. Would that still be in the key of G? I really need to get into that music theory course!!

@LunaRocket Yes C would be correct Capo 2 C shape is D not E. My bad I’ll fix my post.

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This is confusing especially as the Beginners Songbook shows this with the strumming pattern over two bars, as noted by CliffM above. I’m assuming that the Songbook is wrong.

Yup, I watched the video lesson and read the book section several times and determined the book is, indeed, wrong.

I have to say that when you add the fancy strumming pattern the song sounds WAY COOL!

Justin says at about 8:48 in the lesson that the count is indeed 16th notes, but that beginners haven’t yet learned 16th note counting (not introduced until grade 3). So in the book, he’s “translated” the 16th note pattern into two 8th note bars. He does this in the lesson for One by U2 as well - it’s worth taking a look at the Strumming Pattern section at 05:27. I’ve tried counting 16th notes, and am awful at it at this point in my journey. I have other fish to fry just now, so I’ll use the two-bar 8th note trick!

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Yeah, I remember him saying something about that, BUT, to me, that means half of the strumming pattern would be played for the first 4 beats and the other half of the pattern for the next for beats which is a different chord. I haven’t listened to the original song lately, but on the App, it’s definitely using the entire pattern for each 4 beat chord change.

Oh, I see. I interpreted it to mean playing each bar as if they were two. That is, play the entire two-bar strumming pattern in each bar, so it matches with the song. It’s just counted differently. And to be honest, I just realized that I don’t really count it, but rather my mind is thinking “down/down-up/down” and so on. That might be a bad habit - thanks for leading me to that realization!

If you split a 16th note strumming pattern into two 8th note strumming patterns the the first two beats of the bar is the first 8th note pattern and the last beats of the bar is the 2nd 8th note strumming pattern. So the first 1&2&3&4& is the 1e&a2e&a and the 2nd 1&2&3&4& is the 3e&a4e&a.