If you like your reggae, this classic Bob Marley song is one of the best starting places for guitar. There are only a few chord changes, and these are repeated a LOT.
For funk / reggae and ska styles you need to know about muting. Work through the Core Skills section on Muting if you struggle here.
In the song Bob Marley plays all the chord strikes by using downstrokes, so we show that method here. However, you may prefer to use upstrokes instead. Some people will find that easier because the chords are always struck on the 2nd beat of each bar. That means it might feel more natural to use upstrokes, depending on your sense of the rhythm. Either way is fine.
The important thing is to get tight and precise with your strums. Reggae is very rhythmic, and you really need to hit the chords at the right time. The good news is that between each chord strum there is a bit of time to find the next chord with your fingers. That's because each chord is muted straight after being struck. Use that 'gap' to place your fingers on the next chord shape.
The vast majority of the song cycles through this simple progression:
D major - E major - G major - A 6 (repeat)
Each chord is strummed / muted twice before moving to the next chord. You don't have to use the thumb muting shown here, instead you can use other fingers to mute (or just control your strums closely). However, thumb muting is the most common way to help you omit those lower 2 strings while striking the chords. We recommend playing it the way shown here.
If you have trouble with the timing, just play the first chord over and over along with the ActionTab. Don't worry about the other chord changes, just focus on getting the rhythm right with the first D major chord. Once you can get that, your strumming hand should be pretty much 'set on automatic'. Then you will be able to concentrate more on your fretboard hand and adding in those other chords.
There is only one song part where the chord progression changes, to these two chords:
B m7 - E m7 - B m7 - E m7
And finish on this partial B m7 chord.
And that's everything for the rhythm guitar!