For over half a century guitar player have enjoyed playing Bob Dylan songs. His guitar parts are not usually overly challenging but he frequently comes up with compelling parts, accompaniments and arrangements. Our second set of Dylan tunes includes a few very early ones as well as a couple from his first middle period, which some people feel started with the Blood On The Tracks Album in 1975. The early lessons include Just Like A Woman, Like A Rolling Stone, and Positively 4th Street, and Simple Twist Of Fate and Buckets Of Rain are from Blood On The Tracks. Buckets Of Rain is a departure from most of his songs as it features fingerpicking in Open D Tuning. Knockin' On Heaven's Door is included as a bonus lesson, which a great song for absolute beginners.
Lesson 1: Knockin' On Heaven's Door
This lesson on Knockin' On Heaven's Door by Bob Dylan is part of the series of complete lessons we call The Campfire Versions. Learn the chords, learn the strumming pattern (or make up your own), and get some friends to sing along!
Lesson 2: Buckets Of Rain - Bob Dylan - Guitar Lesson
In 1975 Bob Dylan came out with a spectacular album, Blood On The Tracks. It included a bunch of great songs and in this lesson we look at Buckets Of Rain. It is an alternating bass fingerstyle song done in Open D Tuning, capoed to the second fret to put it in the key of E. Most of the picking and chord shapes are very basic but there are a few very tricky slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs, mostly as far as coordinating them with hitting other notes at the same time.
Lesson 3: Just Like A Woman - Bob Dylan - Guitar Lesson
In 1966 Bob Dylan’s seventh studio album was released, Blonde On Blonde, which included some elaborate arrangements and featured some great studio musicians. Just Like A Woman was released as a single from the album and showcased some nice arpeggio picking using small chord shapes in the key of E.
This lesson covers what was done on the studio version even though it is one of the songs Bob has performed most frequently in concert over the years. Usually those versions are just strummed campfire style and maybe, if there is interest, we will expand this lesson to look at those.
Lesson 4: Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan - Guitar Lesson
This iconic tune, from Bob’s early days, fits in really well the the recent set of lessons on ear training. The way to get started with this is to listen to the version from Bob’s 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited, as well as the later, live version from Self-Portrait, and see what you can hear going on.
In the “Listen” segment I play through the progression in a couple keys, including one time with only bass notes. If you know what chords to look for in a major key, you should be able to figure most of this out without any of the “Clues & Answers” that follow.
There is also a short bit on strumming at the speed of sixteenth notes and tips on the intro.
Lesson 5: Positively 4th Street - Bob Dylan - Guitar Lesson
In 1965 Positively 4th Street was released as a single, not appearing on either album from the time, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde. It is a very simple chords progression, just 8 measures, but provides a perfect backdrop for Bob’s biting story. This lesson starts as an ear training exercise then goes a little into picking out the melody. I would suggest only looking at the attachments as a last resort and see how much of it you can put together on your own.
Lesson 6: Simple Twist Of Fate - Bob Dylan - Guitar Lesson
Simple Twist Of Fate is a very easy Dylan song from his 1975 album Blood On The Tracks. He plays it in Open E Tuning and most of the chords just use 2 or 3 fingers.
The strumming consists of light bass notes hit on beats 1 and 3, with steady downs and ups on the higher strings on the other beats. We look at the way Bob played it, as well as a slightly more difficult way in Standard Tuning.