Difficulty: Level IIILevel IIILevel III
Length: 11:48
Hey Hey My My Wikipedia pageWikipedia page
Hey Hey My My music videoArtist website
Hey Hey My My music videoMusic video
With our guitar tutorial on Hey Hey My My, you will learn these guitar skills:
  • Alternate picking
  • Chord changes
  • Open chords

With this guitar lesson, you'll learn how to play Hey Hey, My My (Out of the Blue), which is the acoustic version of the song.

The song uses just a few easy chords, but it's not as easy as it seems. The real challenge is keeping your strumming hand going while picking out those riffs before changing chords.

Neil Young does this in an amazing way, where his strumming arm moves in a wide arc while he's picking out these single notes. The arc is as wide as when he is strumming normally, so his control and precision are extraordinary.

Getting to his level of playing takes a lot of practice, but even if you simply pick out the notes, the song will sound great.

We'll start the guitar lesson on Hey Hey, My My by learning to play the chords you'll be using throughout the song, followed by the rhythm.

Once you master the chord changes, it's time to add those connecting riffs in between the chords. As I mentioned earlier, this is the most challenging part of the song.

Make sure you use alternate picking throughout the entire song, as that is the only way to keep proper time and rhythm.

Towards the end of the lesson, we'll learn the second part of Hey Hey as well. It involves strumming 4 open chords, so you should not have any problems with it.

Hey Hey, My My Song Details

Neil Young released Hey Hey, My My in 1979 on his album titled Rust Never Sleeps. He wrote it at a time when he felt his music was growing irrelevant, but the song actually revitalized his career at the time.

The most famous line from the song is "it's better to burn out than to fade away," since it was quoted in Kurt Cobain's (Nirvana) suicide note.

Neil Young recorded 2 versions of the song. The lesson teaches the acoustic version (Out of the Blue), but he also recorded a hard rock version of the song with Crazy Horse. This version is called Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black) and was featured as the last song on the B side of Rost Never Sleeps.

If you want to refine the skills you learned in Hey Hey My My, check out these lessons on songs by clicking these links:
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