December 11, 2023

How to Play Hey Hey, My My by Neil Young

Some songs were meant for a solo Acoustic Guitar and voice. This is one of those songs. That opening riff really grabs the audience whenever I do this in my solo gigs.

Here’s an example of a song that uses both chords and melody at the same time. So we’re not just strumming chords. It’s a really common thing for solo guitarists who have to try and make things sound interesting all on their lonesome. For beginners it might seem like it’s going to be hard, but it’s way easier than you might think.

I’ve just gone for the intro at this stage, as it’s the coolest part. And their are a lot of different moving parts all happening at the same time.

The chords are super easy. Am, G and Fmaj7. Not much to worry about there. For those of you who are familiar with my work either with the jamorama lessons or my youtube stuff, the right hand strumming side of things will be easy. So, for everyone, it’s a really good idea to master the strumming and chords part of the song first. The strums used are really cool and simple. Either the classic ‘Rock strum’ D DU UD for the Am and G (1 bar each) followed by the more funky D D DUDU. UD DUD for the Fmaj7 (2 bars)…or just play the ‘Rock strum for every bar.


Start by getting that initial chord and riff programmed. By now you should really be understanding how important it is to program before moving on….if not… you’ll simple stumble and stagger through it, never really getting it together. Take bite sized chunks and program them (play them over and over and over)…then program the next bite sized chunk…then combine them.

Note: Remember, as you move nearer to the end of the riff/pattern/progression you’re programming, that the last thing you programmed has been played less… SO you won’t have that part as well programmed. People get so impatient to finish a piece off….especially when they have most of the piece sounding pretty confident…we tend to rush through in our excitement to finish it off.

Happy playing freaks!!

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