Neil Young continues creating and releasing great music into the 2020s. His guitar compositions have influenced guitar players and students since the 1960s. We have been doing lessons on his songs for over a decade now.
Volume 5 includes lessons from Rust Never Sleeps, Harvest and Prairie Wind. The acoustic classics from Rust Never Sleeps are Pocahontas, Powderfinger, and Thrasher. Neil’s tribute to Hank Williams, This Old Guitar first appeared on Prairie Wind, and Words is from Harvest.
Lesson 1: Pocahontas - Neil Young - Guitar Lesson
Rust Never Sleeps is one of Neil Young’s best albums and should be in everybody’s collection. Pocahontas is a fairly simple strumming song but it includes a few nice embellishments over chord connections. This lesson is presented as an ear training exercise with a lot of hints about what to listen for as you figure out how a song is actually played.
Lesson 2: Powderfinger - Neil Young - Guitar Lesson
Here is a pretty basic song by Neil Young that was originally released on Rust Never Sleeps, although the song goes back a few more years. This lesson takes on a bit of the ‘Work It Out’ approach and encourages you to try it by ear first. Then it goes into versions in a couple different keys, including the real original way as it appeared in 1976 on the unreleased album Chrome Dreams.
Lesson 3: This Old Guitar - Guitar Lesson
This Old Guitar is from Neil Young’s album Prairie Wind. It uses a very simple progression with a short solo section, or interlude. The lesson is done as an ear training exercise, so don’t print the chart until you have given it a listen. The strumming is done using fingers, thumb to hit bass notes and strumming with the index or the invisible pick.
Lesson 4: Thrasher - Neil Young - Guitar Lesson
Rust Never Sleeps, Neil Young’s 1979 album included a side of gentle acoustic songs and a side of electric rockers. Thrasher followed My, My, Hey, Hey on side one and is a great example of how simple songwriting can be.
He uses most of the standard chords in the key of C (although it is capoed up 2 to really be in D), and a simple strumming pattern picking out bass notes with occasional hammer-ons.
Lesson 5: Words (Between The Lines Of Age) - Neil Young - Guitar Lesson
Words is another classic from Neil Young, being the last song on his 1972 album Harvest. It features a couple different time signatures and tempos and the lesson is done leaning towards the student figuring out the two main parts. Don’t panic, most of the answers are covered as the lesson progresses.