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How to Play Perfect - Ed Sheeran on Guitar

How to Play Perfect – Ed Sheeran on Guitar?

English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s third studio album includes the song “Perfect” (2017). The album peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart after its release. On September 26, 2017, the song was released to pop radio in the US as the third single from the album. The song, which first peaked at number four in March 2017, later came back on the UK charts. In December 2017, it ultimately peaked at the top of both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. Peaking at number one in the UK for the 2017 Christmas season, “Perfect” also achieved that position in sixteen other nations, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand.

In this article, we are going to show you how to play “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran on Guitar. To play “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran on guitar, you will need first to learn the chords of the song, which include G, D, Em, and C. Once you have learned the chords, you can practice strumming them in the correct order to match the rhythm of the song. Additionally, you can also learn the fingerpicking pattern used in the song, which can add an extra layer of complexity and texture to your performance.

“Perfect” by Ed Sheeran

“Perfect” is a song by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. It was released as a single in 2017 and later included on his album “÷ (Divide).” The song was written by Sheeran and produced by himself and Benny Blanco.

The song is a romantic ballad with lyrics that express love and devotion. It features simple guitar-based instrumentation and Sheeran’s emotive vocals. The song’s popularity was boosted by its use in a number of films and television shows, and it has received positive reviews from music critics.

The song reached number one on the charts in several countries, including the UK, the US, Canada, and Australia. It has since become one of Sheeran’s most successful. And popular songs, with over 2 billion streams on Spotify as of 2021.

Additionally, in the year of its release, it was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Solo Pop Performance and won an Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.

Who is Ed Sheeran?

Ed Sheeran is an English singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer. He was born on February 17, 1991. And he began his career as a musician in 2005 when he began performing in local pubs and clubs in his hometown of Framlingham, Suffolk.

In 2011, he released his debut album “+” (Plus), which featured the hit single “The A Team” and earned him a Grammy nomination for Best British Album. He followed this up with the album “x” (Multiply) in 2014, which featured the hit singles “Sing” and “Thinking Out Loud.”

Sheeran’s third album, “÷” (Divide), was released in 2017. And it was a commercial success, reaching number one in several countries around the world. The album featured the hit songs “Shape of You,” “Castle on the Hill,” and “Perfect.”

Sheeran’s music is known for its blend of pop, hip-hop, and folk influences, and he is widely regarded as one of his generation’s most successful and popular musicians. He has sold over 150 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling music artists.

In addition to his music career, Sheeran is also known for his philanthropic efforts, particularly his support of various charities related to youth, homelessness, and addiction.

How to Play “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran on Guitar?

For the basics of this song, you’ll need your guitar in standard tuning, and you’ll need your capo on the first fret of your guitar. Ed Sheeran does play this life without a capo, but if you’re playing along with the recorded version, then you do need a capo on the first fret; otherwise, you’ll be playing out of key. So, let’s jump straight into the verse, and before we get to the chords, we just want to note that the timing of this song is in 3/4 timing.

How to Play “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran – Verse Chords

In verse, we have a simple four-chord progression; we start with the G chord shape, and we go to an Em7, so you’ll take your index and middle and put them on the 2nd fret of the 5th and 4th strings; you’ll leave your pinky and ring finger where they are from that G chord. That’s the Am7 chord. Then we have Cadd9, which is the same shape as a G with your index. And middle finger down one string, and finally, we have a D chord.

Fingerpicking Version

Now we’re going to be finger-picking this first verse; we’ll also teach you an easy strummed version after we’ve taught you how to fingerpick it so the finger-picking basic thumb will take care of these 6th, 5th, and 4th strings, and your index middle and ring finger will take care of the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st strings respectively. And they won’t pluck any other strings other than the ones they’ve been assigned to. 

So, we start with our G chord, and we’re going to be plucking the 6th string, the 3rd, and the 2nd strings together at the same time. We’re then going to essentially be plucking the 2nd and 3rd strings by themselves a total of 12 times. So, the first time you will include the base note, but for the rest of the 12 plucks on this particular chord, it will just be the second and third strings together with your index and middle finger. A good way of counting this is just to count four chunks of three beats.

Then we’re going to go to our Em7 chord; we’re going to do the exact same thing; our bass note is filled with six strings. And we’re going to have 12 plucks again; the first pluck will have the bass note the rest of them will just be the second and third strings. And then we get to our Cadd9 chord, and we’re going to do the exact same thing; our bass note now is the fifth string. Finally, our D chord and our bass note for the D chord is open fourth string.

And then you just keep repeating that for the verse, nice and easy.

How to Play “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran – Strumming Version

We have a very simple strumming pattern that just goes DDDDDD. One thing that you can add, though, is on that fourth down strum of the strumming pattern, you can add an accent, and that will just give it more feel. We’re going to play that strumming pattern twice for each chord.


Pre-chorus has two lines of chords here. Our first line of chords goes G, Em7, Cadd9, and then we have G, and then D. Notice the G and the D for this first line are play by half as long as the rest of the chords. For the second line of chords, we basically have the same chord progression as the verse. So, G, Em7, Cadd9, and D.

Now for the picking, though, we’re going to change things up a tiny bit. For this pre-chorus, we’re now going to be plucking the bass note of whatever chord we’re playing every sixth pluck. So, originally for the G chord, we only have the bass note on the first beat, but now we’re going to be playing on that further beat but also on the seventh pluck as well. Another way of thinking of it is that we now have six plucks per section, and at the first pluck of each section, we’re going to be hearing a bass note. So, we’re going to be doing that with all the chords now, and at the end of this first line, the G played one six plucks section, and then D played for another six plucks.

For our second line of chords…

For our second line of chords, we’re going to do the exact same thing; however, for our last D chord will be plucking this six times with a bass note on the first time. And then ending it by just strumming all the strings together and then muting all of that.

Now strumming for pre-chorus again, we’re going to use a very easy strumming pattern which is just our six-down strum strumming pattern. And again, on that fourth down strum, you want to accent it to give it a bit more feel. Now each chord will just be play for two strumming patterns as we had in verse, with the exception of the G and the D at the end of the first line and the D at the end of the second line. And remember to mute the strings just after that last strum.

How to Play “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran – Chorus

Now we get to the chorus, which is an easy four-chord progression. We have Em, then we have C, and we have G, and then D. Our finger-picking pattern now is going to change a little bit. Now we have a new finger-picking pattern which goes the bass note. And then the fourth string, third string, second string, third string, and fourth string. So, it’s sort of like bass note fourth string going down and then coming back up. And you just do that once for the Em; then we’re going to do the exact same thing with our C chord, except now our bass note is the fifth string.

We’re going to go to the G chord and do the exact same thing; the base note of the G chord is the sixth string. And then we go to our D chord; now, our D chords are a little bit different from all the other chords in terms of picking patterns. We’re going to start on our fourth string and go third, second, first, second, and third. After the strummed version of this chorus, we’re going to use our same strumming pattern, which is just six down strums. You’re just going to play that once for each chord.

Interlude / Break

Now the final thing we need to learn for the rhythm is the interlude/break section. We just have six chords; we have G, D/F#, Em, D, Cadd9, and the back to D. Now, in terms of picking our first four chords, we’ll just have three plucks to them each. For our G, we start by plucking the bass note, fourth string, the third string, then we go to our D/F# and do the exact same thing.

Then we go to the Em and do the exact same thing. Then we go to our D, and this is where we change up our strings a little bit. We go fourth string, third string, and second string. Then we go to a Cadd9, and we’re going to be starting on the fifth string, fourth string, third string, second, then going back up. Then we go through our D chord; just strum that once.

Now for a strummed version of this interlude, you can just strum the first four chords three times with down strokes; then this fifth chord, the Cadd9, will be strong six times, and then we end the interlude with the D chord itself.


Users of the Deplike Learning App can learn how to play various guitar songs. The app can be use to teach the song “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. Users can engage with the content and practice playing the song while learning, thanks to the active learning approach of the Deplike Learning App. By visiting the Deplike Blog, people may learn how to play songs as well as read about the artist, and receive guidance on how to become a better guitarist. In general, the Deplike Learning App gives users a useful and quick way to learn new guitar techniques and songs.