Folk Songs Lessons

Son of a Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield

Son of a Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield

Easy 4 chord tune with an extremely recognizable intro lick.  Based in the key of E

Song Difficulty: 3

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Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen

Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen

Great tune using mostly open chords in key of C. Simple arrangement. Can be played on electric or acoustic.

Song Difficulty: 2

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Sound Of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel

Sound Of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel

Learn how to play Sound Of Silence on guitar. This Simon and Garfunkel classic is played fingerstyle through the 1st verse and then moves to a strumming pattern. We will cover all the parts in this tutorial. You will need a capo on the 6th fret.

Song Difficulty: 4

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Ripple by The Grateful Dead

Ripple by The Grateful Dead

In this lesson we are going to learn Ripple by The Grateful Dead.  This is a great example of a folk / bluegrass style where the guitar plays the melody within the chord progression.  The intro is a challenge to grasp with the combining of rhythm and melody, but the rest of the tune is quite simple. Five open chords used throughout, G, C, D, Am, and A

Song Difficulty: 5

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American Pie by Don McLean

American Pie by Don McLean

Learn this classic acoustic tune by Don McLean.  It is simple in the sense that it uses mostly open chords but the arrangement can be tricky to get down.  A lot of chord changes in this one

Song Difficulty: 4

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Mr. Bo Jangles by Jerry Jeff Walker

Mr. Bo Jangles by Jerry Jeff Walker

This song is in 3/4 time and uses the same strumming pattern throughout. It requires the use of several chords, many of which are basic. The original recording is played with a capo at the 2nd fret. Chords used are C, G/B, Am, Am/G, F, E, G, and D7/F#

Song Difficulty: 3

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I'll Fight by Wilco

I'll Fight by Wilco

I'll Fight by Wilco is a fairly simple song to play with the exception of the melodic intro.  The song is a folk style acoustic tune using a capo on the 3rd fret.  The intro contains a melody within the strumming of the chord progression. Chord shapes used are Am, C, Dm, Em, F, and G

Song Difficulty: 4

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Old Man by Neil Young

Old Man by Neil Young

In this lesson we will be learning the Neil Young classic Old Man.  While the song is made up of simple open chords, it does have some complexities in the rhythm and vibe of the sound.  Neil Young's acoustic style often incorporates a semi palm muted technique that can be difficult to grasp for beginners.  He also uses embellishments such as hammer ons within the chords to add color and movement.

Song Difficulty: 5

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Wildwood Flower

Wildwood Flower

In this lesson we will be learning the Carter family classic Wildwood Flower. This is a great example of a traditional Bluegrass style tune.  The melody is played within the chords much like a chord melody or solo.

Song Difficulty: 5

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Working at the Car Wash Blues

Working at the Car Wash Blues

In this lesson we will learn the Jim Croce tune Working at the Car Wash Blues.

Song Difficulty: 4

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Blowin in the Wind by Bob Dylan

Blowin in the Wind by Bob Dylan

In this lesson we will learn the classic Bob Dylan tune Blowin in the Wind. The tune requires a capo at the 7th fret.

Song Difficulty: 3

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California Dreaming by Mamas and the Papas

California Dreaming by Mamas and the Papas

In this lesson we will learn California Dreaming by the Mamas and the Papas. This song requires a capo.

Song Difficulty: 4

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Harvest Moon by Neil Young

Harvest Moon by Neil Young

This lesson is a song study of Neil Young's Harvest Moon. The song requires a Drop D tuning.

Song Difficulty: 3

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Frozen Man by James Taylor

Frozen Man by James Taylor

In this lesson we will learn Frozen Man by James Taylor.

Song Difficulty: 7

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Bad Bad Leroy Brown by Jim Croce

Bad Bad Leroy Brown by Jim Croce

In this lesson we will learn Bad Bad Leroy Brown by Jim Croce. There are several ways to play the tune for beginners and intermediate players.

Song Difficulty: 4

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The Weight by The Band

The Weight by The Band

In this lesson we will study how to play the classic tune The Weight by the Band.

Song Difficulty: 4

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Brokedown Palace by Grateful Dead / Adrienne Young

Brokedown Palace by Grateful Dead / Adrienne Young

This tune uses mostly open chords. The Adrienee Young version requires a capo at the 2nd fret.

Song Difficulty: 3

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Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond

Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond

This tune requires a capo at the 2nd fret to be in tune with the original recording. The chord progression is relatively easy just using open chords.

Song Difficulty: 3

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Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by Carol King

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by Carol King

In this lesson we will be studying Carol King's Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.

Song Difficulty: 4

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Heart of Gold chords and tab

Heart of Gold chords and tab

In this lesson we will be learning Neil Young's Heart of Gold. This tune is fairly simple using just 4 open chords throughout. Heart of Gold chords are Em, G, C, and D.  He also uses a variation on Em called Em7 by adding the pinky to the 3rd fret of the B string.  There are basically 3 sections to the tune, an intro, verse, and chorus.

Song Difficulty: 2

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Knockin on Heaven's Door by Bob Dylan

Knockin on Heaven's Door by Bob Dylan

In this lesson we will be learning the song Knockin On Heaven's Door by Bob Dylan. Very easy tune with a 4 chord progression that repeats for the entire song. None the less a great song!

Song Difficulty: 1

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