Guitar lesson for
PDF print-out of this lesson
If you’d like a print-friendly PDF of this lesson for offline use, view my downloads page. You’ll find it there!
Song chord progressions
Intro & chorus:
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + Dm Bb C Dm x3 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + Dm Bb C Am C x1
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + C#m7 G#7 C#m7 C D E E7 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + F#m B E A F#m B E A
Verse chord shapes
E ––––4–––––4––––––––––––––0––––0–––––2––––––––––––––– B ––––5–––––4––––5––––7––––0––––3–––––2––––4––––2––––– G ––––4–––––5––––5––––7––––1––––1–––––2––––4––––2––––– D ––––6–––––4––––5––––7––––2––––2–––––4––––4––––2––––– A ––––4–––––6––––3––––5––––2––––2–––––4––––2––––0––––– E ––––––––––4––––––––––––––0––––0–––––2––––––––––––––– C#m7 G#7 C D E E7 F#m B A
First up, note that I am using these chord shapes for the riff. Notably, I am simplifying things by playing only 3 strings per each chord. The notes below in paranthesis I’m not playing - you can if you wish, but note it makes things tougher for you.
The idea is to spend two counts on each chord, in the order shown below. Then repeat.
E ––––(1)––––––––––––––––(1)–––– B –––––3––––(3)––––(5)––––3––––– G –––––2–––––3––––––5–––––2––––– D –––––0–––––3––––––5–––––0––––– A –––––––––––1––––––3––––––––––– E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Dm Bb C Dm
Here’s the tab for the generalized riff:
E –––––––––(1)–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––(1)–––––– B ––––––––––3––––––––––––(3)––––––––––––(5)–––––––––––––––3––––––– G ––––––––––2–––––––––––––3––––––––––––––5––––––––––––––––2––––––– D ––––––––––0––––––0––––––3––––––––––––––5––––––––––––––––0––––––– A ––––0––3––––––––––––3–––1–––––––1––1–––3–––––––––0––3––––––––––– E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Dm Bb C Dm
When first learning this, I recommend practicing just the bass notes first. For each bass note, be sure to use left-hand fingers that allow you to play the chords you’ll need. This way, when you’re fluent enough with the bass notes, you can work on bringing in the full chords.
E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B –––––––––(3)–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––(3)–––––– G –––––––––(2)–––––––––––(3)––––––––––––(5)––––––––––––––(2)–––––– D ––––––––––0––––––0–––––(3)––––––––––––(5)–––––––––––––––0––––––– A ––––0––3––––––––––––3–––1––––––––––––––3–––––––––0––3––––––––––– E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Dm Bb C Dm
To transition into the verse, end the riff as follows:
E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B ––––––––––3––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– G ––––––––––2–––––––––––––3––––––––––––––5––––––––––––2–––5––––––– D ––––––––––0––––––0––––––3–––––––3––3–––5––––––x–x–––2–––5––––––– A ––––0––3––––––––––––3–––1–––––––1––1–––3––––––x–x–––0–––3––––––– E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Dm Bb C Am C
Lyrics w/ chords
(intro, played with riff): Dm Bb C Dm x3 Dm Bb C Am C x1 C#m7 G#7 ...What'll you do when you get lonely C#m7 C D E E7 And nobody's waiting by your side F#m B E A ...You've been running and hiding much too long F#m B E A ...You know it's just your foolish pride... Lay---- Dm Bb C Dm Layla........ you've got me on my knees Dm Bb C Dm Layla......... I'm begging, darling please Dm Bb C Dm Layla......... darling won't you ease my worried Dm Bb C Am C Mind.... I tried to give you consolation When your old man had let you down Like a fool, I fell in love with you Turned my whole world upside down Layla, you've got me on my knees Layla, I'm begging, darling please Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind Let's make the best of the situation Before I finally go insane Please don't say I'll never find a way And tell me all my love's in vain Layla, you've got me on my knees Layla, I'm begging, darling please Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind
Advanced notes about the intro riff
Here’s the actual timing of the first line of the riff, as heard in the recorded Clapton version:
E |–––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––––––––|– B |––––––––––3––|––––––––––(3)–––––––––(5)–|–––––––––––3–––––––––––3––|– G |––––––––––2––|–––––––––––3–––––––––––5––|–––––––––––2–––––––––––2––|– D |––––––––––0––|–––––0–––––3–––––––––––5––|–––––––––––0–––––––––––0––|– A |––––0––3–––––|––––––––3––1–––––1––1––3––|–––––3––3––––––––0––3–––––|– E |–––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––––––––|– Dm Bb C Dm Dm + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
Note that the 2nd and 3rd time he plays this, the timing slightly changes. For example, the C comes in on the “1” count of next measure the 2nd time it is played:
E |–––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––––––––|– B |––––––––––3––|––––––––––(3)–––––––––––––|–(5)–––––––3–––––––––––3––|– G |––––––––––2––|–––––––––––3––––––––––––––|––5––––––––2–––––––––––2––|– D |––––––––––0––|–––––0–––––3––––––––––––––|––5––––––––0–––––––––––0––|– A |––––0––3–––––|––––––––3––1––––––––––––––|––3––0––3––––––––0––3–––––|– E |–––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––––––––|– Dm Bb C Dm Dm + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
And the third time it is played, he slides up from the Bb to C shape. Listen along for reference, and watch my video lesson to see me play each version.
Hope that helps!
Let me know how things work for you when learning this song! Hopefully well. Hit me up with any comments / questions / etc.
Enjoy this lesson? Buy me a beer!
If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider donating to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it). Thanks!
Subscribe to my YouTube channel
Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!
Monthly email updates
If you want to keep posted of new lessons over email, sign up for my newsletter. I'll email once a month with a digest of all my new videos. I promise: no spam.