Neil Young has been one of the most prolific and eclectic songwriters and musicians of the last half decade. His songs have inspired generations of aspiring guitar players in a way unmatched by most contemporaries. His songs are very accessible to beginning and intermediate students.
Volume 4 goes into albums from 1970- After The Goldrush, 4-Way Street, and his only album with the Stills-Young Band. Lessons are Tell Me Why, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Don’t Let It Bring You Down, Cowgirl In The Sand, and Long May You Run.
These 5 songs are also in Neil Young Acoustic 10-Pack Volume 2.
Lesson 1: Tell Me Why - Guitar Lesson
Tell Me Why is one of Neil Young’s typical country/bluegrass strumming songs. It was the first track on his After The Goldrush album, which also featured Southern Man. This lesson goes over the chord progression and some of the variations and embellishments that Neil Young commonly uses.
Lesson 2: Only Love Can Break Your Heart Guitar Lesson
A great guitar song for beginners, *Only Love Can Break Your Heart*is from Neil Young’s third album After The Goldrush but was also performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young during their ‘Farewell Tour’, 4 Way Street in 1970. The song uses a simple 3/4 strumming pattern and mostly open chords.
Lesson 3: Cowgirl In The Sand - Guitar Lesson
Cowgirl In The Sand is a song of Neil Young’s that he presents in a few different settings, some acoustic and some electric. This lesson covers the acoustic techniques he used on albums like Four Way Street, the live, break-up album by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young from their 1970 tour. The main technique addressed is the palm muting that creates a very percussive sound.
Lesson 4: Long May You Run - Guitar Lesson
Long May You Run is song that Neil Young wrote in early 1974 about his 1948 Buick Roadmaster (really designed as a hearse), which provided him ample transportation for many years until it broke down in Blind River, Canada in 1962 (or 1963, or 1965, depending on the authority). In any case, it was the inspiration for a song that was performed in 1974, documented with a CSNY show in Oakland that summer. This lesson goes a bit into the early version but mostly covers the official release in 1976 on the only album by the Stills-Young Band. A few unusual chords are analyzed as well.
Lesson 5: Don't Let It Bring You Down Guitar Lesson
Neil Young uses Double Dropped D Tuning for many songs. This acoustic guitar lesson is one of our most requested at TotallyGuitars: *Don’t Let It Bring You Down*. It first appeared on his 1970 album After The Goldrush, and was performed extensively during Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s tour that year that was released as the farewell album Four Way Street. Neil usually played this one step lower in those days and now tunes the guitar even lower for his voice, bringing the 6^th string all he way down to Bb. The tuning creates some new chord shapes but most of them are not too difficult and you really just have to work on keeping a steady strumming pattern going to make the song sound pretty good.