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Easy Guitar Songs • Running On Faith (Eric Clapton) • Maggie May (Rod Stewart) • Strumming Patterns, Chords.

Updated on June 12, 2015
Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart. Two icons.
Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart. Two icons.


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Review by hansd: The book starts at a basic level but some more advanced chord knowledge is needed or can be obtained during the study.

Unique Blues Guitar Method. Available on Distribly.
Unique Blues Guitar Method. Available on Distribly. | Source

Running On Faith • Introduction

Written by Jerry Williams, this song is included on two of Eric Clapton's albums. There is a studio version on his Journeyman CD and a live version on his landmark unplugged CD. The latter CD, received six grammy awards. Not bad for an album that Clapton did want released in the first place. This version is based on the unplugged recording.


The song has a blues-gospel feel to it. The rhythm pattern I have notated is fuller than the recording.

The strumming pattern is mostly downstrokes comprised of eighths and sixteenths. I have notated an alternate strumming pattern at the end comprised of eighth note slashes. Use this pattern until you are used to the chord changes. This usually indicates a slower tempo. Treat the eighth note rhythm slashes as downstrokes and the sixteenths as a down-up combination. The last measure on page two is an alternate, easier strumming pattern with the accents on the second and fourth beats where the snare drum plays. Until you get used to playing the notated pattern with the accents, work with this pattern.

If you listen to the recording, you will hear the rhythm guitar whacking the chords on these beats.

The first eight measures act as the intro and the first verse, hence the repeat barlines. The song contains a lot of dominant seventh chords, a staple in blues music.

The bridge is a departure from the rest of the song. If you are like most beginning students, you will have some trouble forming the B7. The song fades on the outro. When you feel comfortable with these chords, try replacing the FMaj7 with an F Major and the D Major chords preceding the Em with a D/F♯.

Running On Faith

Maggie May • Introduction

Maggie May was recorded by Rod Stewart in 1971. It launched his solo career and remains as one of his biggest hits. Stewart claims the song is a true story about losing his virginity to an older woman. He does not understand how thew song became so popular, claiming that it has no melody. The melody of the song does move around quite a bit, and at times, seems like he is talking instead of singing, but you can't argue with success. The song topped the charts in Britain, Australia and the US in 1971.


Most of the chords are standard open shapes with the exception of the F♯ minor. This is a root 6 barre chord. Most beginner students have a great deal of difficulty with barre chords. Proper technique is essential to the sound of the chords. All strings should ring out clearly. I have notated the strumming pattern on the second line of the verse. The accents (once again on the second and fourth beats), make a huge difference in the overall sound. Perform the entire piece with these accents.

Maggie May

© 2014 Lorne Hemmerling


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    • profile image

      Jo-Anne Gannon 

      9 months ago

      ok - stopped Maggie May.....I might even be able to almost play this one day!

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorne Hemmerling 

      4 years ago from Oshawa

      Thanks for the comment. He is a powerhouse! I am still reeling from the sad news about Johnny Winter, one of my biggest influences. Very sad. Have a great weekend too, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't play, but I saw the name Eric Clapton and I had to stop by....he is one of my musical gods. :) Have a great weekend.


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