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Last sync:2023-05-04 07:15
In which Hank teaches you how to strum like him! Which is to say...very oddly.
Hello, this is Hank Green for DFTBA Records and I'm going to show you today how to play one of my songs. (Coughs twice). This is one of my more complicated songs which is why I wanted to do this. Uh, I know the chords are difficult, but it, the strumming is weird, um, and the chord changes are fast. The song's called "Book Eight". It's about the, the eighth Harry Potter book that doesn't exist. When I start this song out when I'm playing it live, I always say 'this is a song about a book', cos then everybody thinks it's going to be "Accio Deathly Hallows" and then I say 'it's about a book that doesn't exist' and then everybody's like 'Oh, it's Book Eight' and they giggle. It's always good to have a giggle.

OK, the first step if you want to sing it in the same key as me, capo second fret. Once in Boston, I forgot to capo the second fret and I was like 'why can't I sing this song? It sounds wrong'. So the verse is pretty straight forward. You go to G, D, C, G. The G is just one down stroke, easy enough. The D is an up-down. And then the C is two ups. And then the G is an up-down, like the D was. So.

(Plays chords)

The first time around when you do the G, it's the same, like, you're doing this for both G's, but you hit the low strings at the top. So the first, first time around you go (plays chord), and then the second time around you go (plays chord) and you hit the high strings. So.

(Plays chords)

When I'm doing the intro, I just do those two, and then I go straight into the song.

(Plays chords)

So the third line in the chorus, you go back to the D. G, D, C, D instead of G, D, C, G.

'I know I'm not the the only one
Who wants to know more about Harry's sons.
I really do think there's an 
Unwritten story
And I think it's time to put
Fingers to keys.

A lot of people I know want to know more
About Grindelwald and Dumbledore.
I really do think that they both batted lefty
And I think there's probably a good story there.'

And then If you want to do a real Hank Green style, you gotta do these palm mutes, these bi... I don't know why I all of my songs have these, like, big poppy palm mutes, they sound horrible in your recording. So whenever you wanted to play like me, every time you change chords, you just gotta slam it.

(Plays chords)

I just like, I like the percussion aspect of it. But there's a lot of mute in the choruses, there's a lot of tacet on the guitar.

'I want JK Rowling to say'

So you've got these palm mutes that are not poppy.


Then I get that down.

'I want JK Rowling to say
That the epilogue was crap,
'Cause we all know it was crap!
And I want JK Rowling to say
That Voldemort had a son
And the story's just begun.
And I want JK Rowling to say
That she's writing Book Eight.'

And then we're back into this.

And then there's a bridge.

'Writing Book Eight'

And then I just go on G for a little while and then I go

'She could call it
Harry Potter and the Pillar of Storgé!
Down, pop, up, up, down.
Down, pop, up, up, down.
Down, pop, up, up, down.
Down, pop, up, up, down.' 

It becomes quite natural after a while.

'She could call it
Harry Potter and the Pillar of Storgé!
Or Harry Potter and the Starfighters of Adumar!
Or Ha, Harry Potter and the... whatever you want,
You just put whatever you want into this sentence.
You look around your bedroom,
And you look at what you see.'

Actually, I saw the Harry Potter books, when I just looked up there.

'Or Harry Potter and Scott Westerfeld,
Or Harry Potter and Fragile Things,
Or Harry Potter and Wintersmith,
Or Harry Potter and Natural Capitalism'

And then when you want it to get a little audible, you want it to build, then you stop with the palm muting.

'Oh Harry Potter
You know that I want a book eight
I want a book eight
Oh Harry Potter'

You know, you don't have to strum like me. You could finger pick it, I don't care what you do really.

'I know I'm not the only one
Who wants to know more about Harry's sons
I really do think there's an unwritten story
And I think it's time to put fingers to keys
For Book Eight'

And that is it. So if it's not easy for you, then practice and eventually it will, I promise.

'For Book Eight.'