Neil Young is one of the most prolific songwriters/musicians of the last half-century. His songs have inspired guitar players of all levels and styles. This package presents a set of his early acoustic classics covering many techniques, ranging from bluegrass flat-picking to heavy palm muting, as well as altered tunings and unusual chord shapes. This is a great combination of tunes for the intermediate guitar student.
Lesson 1: Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing - Guitar Lesson
Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing is one of Neil Young’s earliest songs and was the first single for The Buffalo Springfield, released on their 1966 album. Their version was a typical band effort so this lesson is based more on how Neil plays it solo, particularly as found on his Live At The Canterbury House CD. It is mostly easy chords and the challenge in the song is making a smooth transition when it changes time signatures, alternating between parts in 4/4 time and 3/4 time.
Lesson 2: I Am A Child - Guitar Lesson
I Am A Child was one of Neil Young’s contributions to the Buffalo Springfield’s last album, Last Time Around, and one he still performs live in acoustic sets today. This lesson goes over the basic strumming patterns and the types of picking embellishments that he uses in most of his songs.
Lesson 3: 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 4: Mr. Soul - Guitar Lesson
Mr. Soul is a Neil Young song that has gone through many incarnations, not unusual for his songs. It started out as a rockin’ hit for The Buffalo Springfield in 1968 and later appeared as a darker acoustic tune on Neil’s Unplugged album. This lesson covers playing the song in three different tunings, Standard, Dropped D, and Double Dropped D, as well as a bit on improvising in different modes.
Lesson 5: 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 6: Sugar Mountain - Guitar Lesson
Sugar Mountain is one of Neil Young’s earliest songs, and a fairly basic strumming song at that. This lesson goes over a few different ways of fingering the chords, a little theory on chord additions, and some ideas on embellishing the song with the typical hammer-ons that he uses in many of his songs.
Lesson 7: On The Way Home - Guitar Lesson
On The Way Home is one of Neil Young’s most popular (and most requested here at TG) songs. It is from his early days, pre-dating the Buffalo Springfield, and still remains on his concert set lists to this day. This lesson looks at the way he typically plays it acoustically, in the key of D. We also talk about transposing it down to the key of C.
Lesson 8: 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 9: 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 10: 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.