Ed Sheeran – Photograph Guitar Lesson – No Capo

I've got a great and easy song for you guys today. In this Photograph guitar lesson video, I will show you the simple 4 chords that make up this acoustic smash hit by Ed Sheeran.

In addition to that, I will demonstrate how to play the cool fingerstyle lick that opens the song.

Before we get started, you will need to make sure you are in the proper tuning. Ed Sheeran actually plays "Photograph" a couple different ways live. Sometimes he opts for a capo (this is probably how he recorded it as well), but other times he won't use any capo at all and simply re-tunes one string on his guitar instead.

The tuning starting from the 6th string will be E A D E B E. So in other words, it is a standard tuning with the G string tuned down a minor 3rd to E.

This tuning will now enable all the chords to be super easy and also allow us to play the opening guitar lick easily as well.

Even though there are multiple parts to learn in Ed Sheeran's "Photograph" (ie verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge), they all use the exact same 4 chords albeit in a different order each time.

So the real trick to getting everything memorized quickly is to simply remember the number of the fret each chord is played on and then memorizing the order of those numbers for each section. It will help you memorize it very quickly. If you have no trouble hearing which chord is next then that is even better!

The opening guitar lick is a simple fingerstyle lick played by alternating between fretted notes and open strings. It has a beautiful and open quality about it.

Since that opening is fingerstyle, you will want to strum the chords throughout the rest of the song without a pick as well. Ed Sheeran uses the back of his index finger's nail to lightly brush the strings throughout the entire song. He is also  dampening the strings by doing some pick-hand muting all the way until the 2nd chorus. I will demonstrate how to accomplish all of this easily in the video lesson.

Have fun with this acoustic smash hit from Ed Sheeran!


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Ed Sheeran Photograph Guitar Lesson - No Capo


  1. Cassandre Guillen on January 1, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I am a new member and am new to playing the guitar. I’ve watched the video multiple times but it moved at such a quick pace I’m missing some information. I wish you also provided the chords in a format that can be read or printed to help.

    • Carl Brown on January 2, 2017 at 8:07 am

      Hey Cass, unfortunately when you are trying to create a video that will eventually will be seen by millions, it is impossible to find a pace that will suit everyone’s level.

      There are beginner guitarists to advanced guitarists watching. The good thing is that you can pause the video wherever you need to practice any new info. The only way to have everything move at the perfect pace would of course be in a private one-on-one lesson.

      Oh and I also agree about chord names and such. In fact, if I had it my way, there would be a full theory breakdown in every video. But once again, when it comes to the song lessons, they are created for a mass audience and most people don’t care about that kind of thing and would rather the lesson move along quicker. If you read some of the comments of some of my earlier videos where I talked a bit more about that kind of stuff, you will see lots of nasty comments. I have learned over the years what is the most acceptable format and have gone with that.

      Sorry if this lesson wasn’t all you wanted it to be. Once again, it is impossible to make free guitar lessons for millions of people to watch every month and have them all be perfectly paced for every individual player. You may find plenty of songs on the site that work better for you though. 🙂


  2. Cassandre Guillen on January 2, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Thank you for your fast reply Carl! I finally got the intro down 🙂 I paid to be a member and am going through the introductory course right now. What other benefits are there to the membership?

    • Carl Brown on January 3, 2017 at 9:03 am

      The Premium membership gives unlimited access to all of my Premium lessons. Those lessons contain all of my guitar courses and many other great lessons coming this year as well. 🙂

      Of course, you can get my support as well via the comments or emails to me.

  3. Austin Bustle on September 9, 2018 at 11:03 am


    Thank you so much. I just found your site and just now getting back into playing guitar after a 15 year hiatus. I find your lessons to be awesome and extremely valuable. I really appreciate all time you must spend breaking these songs down for us.


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