Difficulty: Level IIILevel IIILevel III
Length: 11:20
Johnny B Goode Wikipedia pageWikipedia page
Johnny B Goode music videoArtist website
Johnny B Goode music videoMusic video
With our guitar tutorial on Johnny B Goode, you will learn these guitar skills:
  • Fast plucking
  • Hammer-ons

I may be going out on a limb here, but I think Johnny B Goode is perhaps the most well-known Rock n Roll song of all time. It is famous all throughout the world, and it’s really fun to play once you get it up to speed. Don’t rush it though, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Our Johnny B Goode guitar lesson will teach you the main riff and the chorus in the key of A, which is not the original key of the song. Chuck Berry plays it in Bb, but I choose to teach it in A because most beginner-intermediate students will start out their soloing career in the key of A, and this song has several very nice riffs you’ll be able to play in blues and rock sessions as well.

The backing track to Johnny B Goode is, however, in the original key of Bb, which means that to play along with the backing track, you’ll need to transpose the song up 1 semitone. Practically speaking, you’ll need to play everything 1 fret higher or tune-up all of your strings by 1 semitone.

As I mentioned, we’ll be learning to play the popular main riff of the song, as well as the chorus. The main riff is played in a mixture of the blues scale (minor pentatonic plus the blue note) and the major scale. It is played very fast, but you don’t need to play it that fast right away. It will take weeks, maybe months to get it up to speed, depending on the level you are at right now, so be patient with yourself.

Johnny B Goode song details

Johnny B. Goode" is a 1958 rock and roll song written and originally performed by American musician Chuck Berry. The song peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song is about a poor country boy who plays the guitar, and who might one day have his "name in lights."

The song has been covered by literally tons of bands and artists, including AC/DC, BB King, Elton John, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, and many many more.

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

Download tabs for Johnny B Goode

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Download backing track for Johnny B Goode

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