Maybe not purist folk but definitely music for folks …. here's one of Jimmy Buffett's lyrical poems about a simple albeit slightly tipsy lifestyle. Three chords and everyone knows the chorus! Here's your Margaritaville guitar lesson.

The first strum after each chord change is a single down strum followed by a quick up ….. then an up/down/up.

This patterns continues throughout.

Nibblin' on sponge cake

Watchin' the sun bake
All of those tourists covered with oil

Strummin' my six-string

On my front porch swing
Smell those shrimp, they're beginnin' to boil

               G         A                  D                              
     Wastin' away again in Margaritaville
       G                       A                      D   
     Searching for my lost shaker of salt
   G              A                             D A      G
     Some people claim that there's a woman to blame
           A                           D 
     But I know    it's nobody's fault. 

I don't know the reason
I stayed here all season
Nothin' to show but this brand new tattoo
But it's a real beauty
A Mexican cutie
How it got here I haven't a clue

(2nd Chorus):
     Wastin' away again in Margaritaville
     Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt
     Some people claim that there's a woman to blame
     Now I think, hell, it could be my fault

I blew out my flip-flop
Stepped on a pop-top
Cut my heel had to cruise on back home
But there's booze in the blender
And soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on

Wastin' away again in Margaritaville
Searching for my lost shaker of salt
Some people claim that there's a woman to blame
But I know it's my own damned fault

Yes and some people claim that there's a woman to blame
And I know it's my own damned fault


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Phil July 29, 2011 at 4:01 AM

awesome.more on strumming pattern would help.


admin September 2, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Thanks for that Phil …….. all my upcoming lessons will pay more attention to strumming patterns for sure!


steve September 20, 2011 at 1:39 AM

Great lesson Jackson. Can you please tell me the strumming pattern. I can't seem to get it to sound like you are playing. Thank you.


bob parnell January 6, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Been trying to get this song down for a while and always give up because I can't seem to strum it "right."
Add me to the list looking for insigt into the strumming pattern.
I can play chords and make changes "in time" but without a good strumming pattern it just doesn't sound like a SONG.


admin January 6, 2012 at 11:48 AM

For Bob and those of you looking for help with strumming …. the simplest pattern here is a quick up/down/up. Following the intro this is repeated throughout the song. Cheers!


Tracy March 22, 2012 at 5:56 PM

You are a terrific teacher and I love your website. Thank you so much!


admin March 22, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Thanks so much Tracy!


admin March 30, 2012 at 5:33 AM

Thanks so much for the kind words Tracy!


dave - h April 3, 2012 at 12:15 PM

thanks jackson,   your  the top man.


admin April 3, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Appreciated Dave!


GARY October 7, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Nice lesson.  I've been relearning guitar for about a year now and this is one of the first and favorite songs I played live with a band I sit in with.  I don't think the strumming is as important as the rhythm so it's a great song to learn early.  Let the strumming come later and just go with he rhythm…like Jimmy does…and the two "a" chords don't make much  of a difference if that throws anybody.  Thanks, I've been subscribed for a month of so now…good job.


Tom October 21, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Thanks so much Jackson for your website and wonderful instruction. I've been taking lessons for a year and a half but, recently had to move to Jamaica. Your site has allowed me to continue improving.


admin October 24, 2012 at 7:37 AM

Glad you are enjoying Tom!


f January 13, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Awesome feelin good acoustic tune.  Thanks.


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