Difficulty: Level IILevel II
Length: 5:52
Stand by Me Wikipedia pageWikipedia page
Stand by Me music videoArtist website
Stand by Me music videoMusic video
With our guitar tutorial on Stand by Me, you will learn these guitar skills:
  • Barre chords
  • Bass and treble line playing

Stand by Me is an incredible classic that’s pretty easy to learn if you are already comfortable with bar chords. If you’re not, then this lesson is a must-see for you, as it’ll give you a great chance to practice bar chords, while playing an ultimate soul classic.

You’ll start out by learning the bar chords you’ll need to play Stand by Me. It uses the so-called 50s chord progression, particularly associated with doo-wop music. The progression is: I-VI-IV-V. Next, you’ll move on to learning the bass and treble line finger-picking pattern you’ll be using in the song. You can actually play this song by just strumming the given chords, but the alternating bass-treble fingerpicking pattern is what really makes it come alive, as it simulates 2 instruments being played together.

This is a short, but very useful and fun beginner guitar lesson. My personal students love playing it, and I’m sure you’ll love it as well, as it presents a great opportunity to practice E and A-shaped bar chords and a nice-sounding picking pattern.

Stand by Me song details

Stand by Me was written and performed by Ben E. King in 1975. The song was first released as a single, then on Ben E. King's album Don't Play That Song 2 years later.

Since then, Stand by Me has become a worldwide classic, and has been performed and covered by just tons of musicians, including John Lennon, U2, Seal, and many other great artists, who all added their personal style to it. Actually, many of these cover versions made it to the charts as well. The song has been used in many commercials and movies as well, i.e. Lion King, Stand by Me, etc.

Stand by Me awards and chart rankings

  • U.S. Top 10: #4 (1961), #9 (1986)
  • UK Singles Chart: #1 (1987)
  • United World Chart: #8
  • Rolling Stone Magazine - 500 Greatest Songs of All Time: #121
  • BMI: Fourth most-performed song of the 20th century, with about 7 million performances

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

Download tabs for Stand by Me

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Download backing track for Stand by Me

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