Jim Croce 8-Pack

Jim Croce 8-Pack

What's included

  • All tab
  • Chords
  • Chart
  • Guitar pro files


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Jim Croce was an American singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the early 1970s. He was born on January 10, 1943, in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and began playing guitar at a young age. He studied at Villanova University and later transferred to Rollins College in Florida, where he met his future wife and musical partner, Ingrid Croce.

Croce began his music career in the mid-1960s, performing in coffeehouses and bars. He released his first album, "Facets," in 1966, but it was not successful. In 1970, he signed with ABC Records and released his second album, "You Don't Mess Around with Jim," which included the hit title track and "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)."

Croce continued to achieve success with his third album, "Life and Times," which included the hit singles "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "I Got a Name." Unfortunately, Croce's life was cut short when he died in a plane crash on September 20, 1973, at the age of 30, just as he was reaching the height of his career. His music continues to be popular today, and he is remembered as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of his generation.


  • Lesson 1: Operator

    Jim Croce was about the most visible and popular singer-songwriter of the early 1970s. His first album included a string of classics that endure to this day. Operator showcased his unique style, which included fascinating second guitar parts, mostly created by his partner Maury Mueleisen.

    This lesson covers both guitar parts. Jim's is mostly his favorite fingerpicking pattern, a rolling arpeggio with 3 bass notes per measure, but also a few quick runs harmonized in 3rds (or 10ths if you will). Maury's part is done with a capo at the 5th fret and includes harmony in 3rds and 6ths, along with some nice scale runs.

    I want to thank my long time student and friend Fred Ferla for contributing his vocal skills to the Play Through.

  • Lesson 2: Time In A Bottle

    Time In A Bottle was originally released on Jim Croce's album You Don't Mess Around With Jim but didn't become a hit until shortly after his death when radio stations started playing it, partly due to to it being used in a TV movie in 1973. The song features Jim's signature sound of two guitars, courtesy of Maury Muehleisen, his long time partner and collaborator.

    We have had a 'Campfire Version' of this since the early days but this lesson goes into great detail about both parts. Each part is challenging and if you are doing this alone Jim's part is all you need, but it could be simplified a bit as done in the earlier lesson.

    I would be remiss if I did not thank long time member and friend Bart for singing this in the Preview as my vocal skills leave much to be desired.

  • Lesson 3: I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song

    This lesson goes deeply into this great Jim Croce song. It features three different looks at the song- Jim’s accompaniment guitar part, a second guitar part capoed at the 7th fret in the style of Maury Muehleisen’s harmony part, and Neil’s solo fingerstyle arrangement which can be used as an instrumental break. This really makes it a song of multiple difficulty levels, probably 6, 4, and 7 respectively.

  • Lesson 4: I Got A Name

    I Got A Name is one of my favorite Jim Croce songs, although there are quite a few. The song is unusual in one respect, Jim didn’t write it. It was written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox and was used as the theme song for 1973 movie The Last American Hero.

    Typical of Jim’s arrangements, Maury Muehleisen added a great second guitar part, along with a short lead. This lesson covers all the parts, Jim’s strumming in the key of E, Maury’s fingerpicking part using a capo at the second fret, and Maury’s lead as well.

  • Lesson 5: Workin' At The Car Wash Blues

    Jim Croce's final album, I Got A Name included some of his most fun and entertaining songs, along with a fair share of his usual heartfelt ballads. Workin' At The Car Wash Blues stemmed from a real job he had in Niagara Falls while still a struggling artist.

    The song is a blast to play and rocks along with a lot of barre chords, quick and syncopated changes, bass runs and bluesy turnarounds.

  • Lesson 6: Bad, Bad Leroy Brown - Guitar Lesson

    Leroy Brown is another of Jim Croce’s rockin’, blues tunes with a great story, simple chord progression, and many ways of playing. This lesson starts with a Campfire Version, playing open chords, continues with a Power Chord Version using a common shuffle vamp, and concludes with the way Jim really played it using exclusively barre chords and chromatic passing bass notes. The first two versions are pretty easy but the Real Version can be exhausting.

  • Lesson 7: Photographs And Memories

    Photographs And Memories shows Jim Croce at his sentimental best. It includes a couple of different rhythmic patterns using a syncopated arpeggio one for the verse and an alternating picking one for the chorus. Most of the chords are easy ones in the key of G. The lesson really focuses on the fingerpicking, including changing it up a bit, and doesn’t address the second guitar part.

  • Lesson 8: You Don’t Mess Around With Jim

    Jim Croce was one of the greatest songwriter/singer/performers of the 1970s, and maybe all time. This song shows a bit of his blues-rock side, using a shuffle type rhythm in a modified 12-bar format to back a fun story. It is basically blues in E and the lesson includes a detailed look at muting and muffling the vamp, as well as some thoughts on adding fills using the E Minor Pentatonic Scale.