Hallelujah is an iconic song that was written by Canadian poet/songwriter Leonard Cohen. I was originally released on his 1984 album Various Positions and received almost no acclaim. It was covered by John Cale in 1991 and again by singer/ guitarist Jeff Buckley in 199, which both added notice to the song and made it an “instant” success.
Hallelujah is now often chosen as a cover song in television singing contests, social media posts and is often featured in churches. (Please note: this is NOT a religious song!)
Step #1: Learn the chords (see lyrics and chords on the next two pages)
Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
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Step #2: The Accompaniment Strategy
The song is in 12/8 or 6/8 rhythm. I have notated it in 6/8 time for ease of reading.
We can use our Rolling 12/8 groove for this one. Notice that the LH plays 1-5-1 and the RH plays 3-5-1 of each chord.
Want to dive deeper into this accompaniment strategy? Check out this blog post.
Once you have mastered this Hallelujah accompaniment strategy, you should take some time to work on it with the metronome. This will help you to play with a stronger sense of time.
You can also use this same accompaniment strategy for other songs that use this 12/8 rhythm like:
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