JOHNNY B. GOODE – Guitar Lesson

Perhaps the most influential guitar riff in rock history. Some R&B purists considered Chuck Berry a traitor and sell out …. but it is undeniable that his riffing has formed the basis for countless solos in the years that have followed. Here's your vintage Johhny B. Goode guitar lesson!

Note: This set of tabs is in the original key of B flat:

 

   NC                                            Bb
e|----------5/6-6-6-5/6-6-6-6-6-6------------------------------------|
B|-------6--5/6-6-6-5/6-6-6-6-6-6-9-8-6-6----------------------------|
G|---6h7--------------------------------6h7--------------------------|
D|-8----------------------------------------8-6--8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-----|
A|-----------------------------------------------8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-----|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------|

                     Eb
e|--------------------------------6----------------------------------|
B|-6-----6----------------6-------6-------6-------6-------6----------|
G|-6-7-8-6h7----8b9--8b10---8b10----8b10----8b10-----8b10------------|
D|------------8------------------------------------------------------|
A|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------|

   Bb                                        F             Eb
e|-------------------------------------------6---9-8-6------------------------|
B|------6-------6------6------6------6---------6-------9-8-6-6---8---6--------|
G|-8b10---8b10----8b10---8b10---8b10---8b10------------------6h7-8---6h7-7----|
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------8-----8----|
A|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

   Bb               F
e|------------------------------------|
B|---6---8-6--------------------------|
G|---6h7-8-6h7-7/---------------------|
D|-8-----------8/---10-10-10-10-10----|
A|------------------8--8--8--8--8-----|
E|------------------------------------|

 

    A
Deep     down in Louisiana, close to New Orleans,
     A
     Way back up in the woods among the evergreens,
     D
There     stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
     A
Where     lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode
     E
Who     never ever learned to read or write so well,
     A
But he could     play the guitar just like a ringin' a bell.

CHORUS:

     A
     Go! Go! Go, Johnny, go! Go!
     D
Go, Johnny, go! Go    !
     A
     Go, Johnny, go! Go!
     A    E
     Go, Johnny, go! Go!     Johnny B. Goode

He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack,
Go sit beneath the tree by the railroad track.
Old engineers would see him sittin' in the shade,
Strummin' with the rhythm that the drivers made.
When people passed him by they would stop and say,
'oh, my but that little country boy could play'

CHORUS

His mother told him, 'someday you will be a man,
You will be the leader of a big ol' band.
Many people comin' from miles around
Will hear you play your music when the sun go down.
Maybe someday your name'll be in lights,
Sayin' 'Johnny B. Goode tonight''

CHORUS

 

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Terry Christensen March 5, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Fantastic lesson!  Two nights and I've got it!  Way beyond what I thought was possible at my level of playing.  If there is a perfect guitar lesson, then you just nailed it.!!!  Every one of your lessons has pushed and challenged me along with teaching me new techniques.  I guess it takes a genuine teacher to teach good guitar.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I don't know how everyone else feels, but your lessons are perfect for my skill level.  I'm in duck walk la la land tonight!!!

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admin March 5, 2012 at 9:12 PM

So happy to hear you are thriving Terry … thanks!

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Richard Holbrook April 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

I feel kinda like Terry does, and I've been playing for 30+ years. It's a lot easier to let you show me what I'm missing in a song, than it is to sit and figure it out on my own. I don't read music, so the way you teach is perfect.
 
You taught me how to play JENNY, after all these years. You are making me a better player, Jackson…Thanks!!! 
Richard

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admin April 1, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Makes me happy to hear stories like yours …. keep up the good work Richard!

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jim April 6, 2012 at 7:40 PM

now this is alittle more advance for me, but the way jackson breaks it down i know
i can do it,thanks for this great lesson

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ddop32 July 12, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Thank you so much for your lessons. I got away from music for years because of juggling time for athletics and time for music. Your lessons make it easy to practice no matter what level because its actually songs you enjoy. I am also one of those people who learn much faster through visuals than reading song books, tabs, guitar magazines, etc…Plus, you seem to get that people want to learn songs that they love which leads to them practicing more which leads to better guitar players. Sadly, my 5th grade piano and guitar teachers could not figure out why I was not interested in Classical music teachings at 10/11 years old while Nirvana, Oasis, emerging Dave Mathews, were on the radio and having a mom who loved the Stones and dad who loved Merle Haggard, Hank, Hank Jr, Cash, etc… Thanks for keeping us interested. 

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admin July 13, 2012 at 5:26 AM

Your story is a great but not uncommon one. I’m really glad to help re-spark your interest! Take care Dusty!

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Neil July 15, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Man you are an awesome player and a great teacher. There are many teachers on the web, good and not so good but you are up there in the top level. Fantastic

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admin July 15, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Thanks a bunch Neil!

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Edgar August 13, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Jackson…great lessons, i love the way you play the guitar….you really Rock!!!! and the way you teach how to play classic song like Johnny B. Good, really makes me pratice a lot to become a great player like you are…thank you so much. By the way, what is the amp settings for this song??? Greeeting from Bogota, Colombia

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admin August 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Thanks Edgar …. depends on the amp really ….. a bit more overdrive than normal so preamp up a bit.

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Vladimir August 27, 2012 at 5:09 AM

Hi, MENTOR!
Thumbs up & bravissimo !!! Just incredible! Your tutorials boost inspiration.  
BR, Vladimir    

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Bill December 16, 2012 at 7:27 AM

Makes me want to go out and buy an electric guitar, as I only play acoustic, many thanks.

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admin December 16, 2012 at 11:17 AM

You are most welcome Bill …. and by all means … grab an affordable electric and have some fun!

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Pasalic February 10, 2013 at 4:03 AM

Bravo majstore! Hvala!

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Wayne McGhee April 7, 2013 at 7:19 AM

You sent Johnny B. Goode again Jackson, I just got the lesson last Sunday!  
A glitch in the matrix perhaps??

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Petri April 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM

I have tried to learn Johnny B Goode on the original way, but somehow I can't play it. Your version of it ROCKS! And it encourage me to play different version of any song. I have always thought, that the original is the only way to learn songs, but this let me think – that my thinking may be wrong. You are a true teacher.

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admin April 12, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Thanks so much Petri!

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Colin January 13, 2014 at 5:38 AM

Hi! Jackson,
I've just joined your website and I'm glad I have.  I'm just practising Johnny B Goode.  Your explanation of the lesson is in simple to understand language.  Keep up the good work.

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admin January 13, 2014 at 7:41 AM

Thanks Colin!

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Mike August 1, 2015 at 7:43 PM

Always been amazed by this song. Terrific riff and sound. Appreciate the lesson. I am very grateful

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admin August 1, 2015 at 7:54 PM

Thanks kindly Mike!

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Enrique December 23, 2016 at 2:42 PM

Jackson.

 

Thank you for sharing your talent as the Lord also bless you with a much greater  talent and that is of giving.  You are giving us so much hope for guys like me that I consider kind of intermediary guitar player, but I have play the guitar on and off through the years.  Could you send me the tabs to Johnny B Goode in the Key of A?  Thank you,

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