Into the Mystic

by Van Morrison • Lesson #513 • Sep 8, 2023

In today’s lesson I’ll teach you how to play Into the Mystic, the Van Morrison classic from his third studio album Moondance (1970). I’ll teach you the chord shapes, strumming patterns, and various licks & fills you can use to spice things up throughout the song. If you’re looking for additional help with strumming, be sure to check out my prior tutorial (lesson #506) where I give some tips on getting up to speed with those tricky sixteenth note strums. Let’s get into it!

  • 0:00 Overview
  • 1:28 Capo & Chord Shapes
  • 3:30 Verse
  • 7:56 Chorus
  • 10:40 Horn Riff & Vocal Melody
  • 14:09 Intro Strumming
  • 19:09 Final Tips & Farewell

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My Strumming Tutorial for This Song!

If you’re looking to go deeper with the strumming, specifically with the faster-paced sixteenth notes, see this separate video. Be sure to check out my strumming & rhythm guide (available as PDF) which shows many different patterns & exercises to get you up to speed.

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Play-Along Practice Track

Here’s a practice track I made which loops through me playing the progressions used in the verse and chorus, over approximately 4 minutes. Chords are shown on screen, so you always know exactly what to play next. You can use this to practice any strumming pattern you want. Given this is slowed down (80bpm), it’s a great stepping stone should you want to be able to play things at Van Morrison’s tempo (85bpm).

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Playthrough with Singing

If you’re curious how it sounds when I put everything together and play through each part of the song, check this out. You can watch me play the intro, then transition into the verse & chorus strum. You can also see how I occasionally add constant down-up-down-up strums on the final 4 sixteenth notes of the measure, which I describe in my main video lesson.

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Audio Drum Track for Play-Along Practice

Here’s a ~4 minute audio track featuring drums played in the rough style of what you hear on Van Morrison’s recorded version of this song. The tempo is 80bpm, which is slightly slower than Morrison’s 85bpm. If you’d like a steady beat to play over that isn’t a typical metronome, try this out!

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Audio of this strum (download):

“Into the Mystic” Van Morrison (album version)

Listen to Van Morrison play it! 85 bpm, capo 3rd fret.

Licks & Fills from “Shut Up and Play”

If you want to learn some of the additional licks & fills heard in the album recording, check out this tutorial. There’s lots of bits teaching the various fills used by the accompanying guitarist (many of these aren’t included in my lesson).

Other Helpful Lessons I’ve Made

Here’s a few lessons I mention in my main tutorial, which will help when learning this song. Specifically if you need help with the F chord, slap strums, or the C major pentatonic scale (used in the horn riff and vocal melody) – check these out!

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