Guitar lesson for

Sweet Home Alabama

by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Video lesson

Chords needed

E –––2–––––3–––––3–––(1)–––
B –––3–––––3–––––3––––1––––
G –––2–––––0–––––0––––2––––
D –––0–––––2–––––0––––3––––
A –––––––––3–––––2––––3––––
E –––––––––––––––3–––(1)–––
     D   Cadd9   G    F

Chord progression for the entire song

For the entire song, you’ll want to use this progression from D to Cadd9 to G. Repeat it over and over:

"Sweet wheels keep on turning..."

D . . . Cad9 . . . G . . . G . . .

In one or two cases, you’ll change this for one progression by throwing an F into the mix. You can use as simplified an F as you prefer:

"In Birmingham they love the Governor, boo hoo..."

D . . . Cad9 . . . G . . . F . C .

Riffs for the main riff

There are many ways you can play this – each has slight variations in the final measure. I’m not super interested in mapping each of these out to their exact location in the song… for that, I leave it to you to listen to the album version, watch my video, and combine these as you prefer. Also, note that some of these riffs may not be 100% accurate to what you hear in the album version – I’m less concerned with an exact reproduction, and more concerned with giving you the structure that’ll get you started with things.

Variation A:

e –––––––––––|–––––––––––|––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––––
B ––––––3––––|––––––3––––|–––––––3––|––––––––––––––––––––––
G ––––––––2––|––––––––0––|–––––––0––|––––––––––––––––––––––
D ––0–0––––––|–––––––––––|–––––––0––|––––––0h2––0––––––––––
A –––––––––––|––3–3––––––|–––––––2––|––0h2–––––––––2––0h2––
E –––––––––––|–––––––––––|––3–3–––––|––––––––––––––––––––––
    D           C           G

Variation B:

e –––––––––––|–––––––––––|––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––––
B ––––––3––––|––––––3––––|–––––––3––|––––––––––––––––––––––
G ––––––––2––|––––––––0––|–––––––0––|––2–0–0–––4–0–0–––5~~–
D ––0–0––––––|–––––––––––|–––––––0––|––––––––––––––––––––––
A –––––––––––|––3–3––––––|–––––––2––|––––––––––––––––––––––
E –––––––––––|–––––––––––|––3–3–––––|––––––––––––––––––––––
    D           C           G

Variation C:

e –––––––––––|–––––––––––|––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––––
B ––––––3––––|––––––3––––|–––––––3––|––––––––––––––––––––––
G ––––––––2––|––––––––0––|–––––––0––|––––––––––––––––––––––
D ––0–0––––––|–––––––––––|–––––––0––|––––––0h2––0––––––––––
A –––––––––––|––3–3––––––|–––––––2––|––0h2–––––––––––3–––––
E –––––––––––|–––––––––––|––3–3–––––|––––––––––––––––––––––
    D           C           G

Variation D:

e –––––––––––|–––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B ––––––3––––|––––––3––––|–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
G ––––––––2––|––––––––0––|–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
D ––0–0––––––|–––––––––––|––––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0––
A –––––––––––|––3–3––––––|––0h2–––0h2–––0h2–––0h2–––0h2––––
E –––––––––––|–––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
    D           C           G

Variation E:

e –––––––––––|–––––––––––|––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––––
B ––––––3––––|––––––3––––|–––––––3––|–––1––––-–––1–––––––––
G ––––––––2––|––––––––0––|–––––––0––|–––2––––-–––0–––––––––
D ––0–0––––––|–––––––––––|–––––––0––|–––3––––-–––2–––––––––
A –––––––––––|––3–3––––––|–––––––2––|–––3––––-–––3–––––––––
E –––––––––––|–––––––––––|––3–3–––––|––––––––––––––––––––––
    D           C           G           F        C

Variation F:

e –––––––––––|–––––––––––|––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––––
B ––––––3––––|––––––3––––|–––––––3––|––––––––––––––––––––––
G ––––––––2––|––––––––0––|–––––––0––|–––––––––––––––––2p0––
D ––0–0––––––|–––––––––––|–––––––0––|––––––0h2––0––––––––––
A –––––––––––|––3–3––––––|–––––––2––|––0h2–––––––––3–––––––
E –––––––––––|–––––––––––|––3–3–––––|––––––––––––––––––––––

Interlude riff

This is what you hear between each verse. Again, there are a few ways you can play it. Use the method(s) that work for your needs.

Variation A:

e –––––––––––––––|––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––|––––––––––––
B –––––––––––––––|––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––|––0–––––––––
G ––––––––7–7––––|–––––––5–5––|––––––––0–0––––|––––––2––0––
D ––––––––7–7––––|–––––––5–5––|–––––––––––––––|––––––––––––
A ––7h8h9–––––9––|––5h7–––––––|––0h1h2––––––––|––––––––––––
E –––––––––––––––|––––––––––––|––––––––––––3––|––––––––––––
    D               C            G Variation B:

e –––––––––––––––|––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––|––––––––––––
B –––––––––––––––|––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––|––0–1–0––3––
G ––––––––7–7––––|–––––––5–5––|––––––––0–0––––|––––––––––––
D ––––––––7–7––––|–––––––5–5––|–––––––––––––––|––––––––––––
A ––7h8h9–––––9––|––5h7–––––––|––0h1h2––––––––|––––––––––––
E –––––––––––––––|––––––––––––|––––––––––––3––|––––––––––––
    D               C            G

Variation C:

e –––––––––––––––|––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––|––––––––––––
B –––––––––––––––|––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––|––––––––––––
G ––––––––7–7––––|–––––––5–5––|–––––––––––––––|––4–––4–––––
D ––––––––7–7––––|–––––––5–5––|––––––––5–5––––|––5–––5–––––
A ––7h8h9–––––9––|––5h7–––––––|–––––––––––––––|––5–––5–––––
E –––––––––––––––|––––––––––––|––5h6h7–––––3––|––3–––3–––––
    D               C            G

Strumming Patterns

Here’s a few ways to strum it, in order of complexity (starting at the easiest version). The “_” symbol in the patterns below designates playing the bass note of that chord, for that strum. See my video for reference for all these.

D   .   C   .   G   .   .   .
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
↓   ↓   ↓   ↓   ↓   ↓   ↓   ↓

D   .   C   .   G   .   .   .
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
↓   ↓ ↓↑↓   ↓ ↓↑↓   ↓ ↓↑↓   ↓ ↓↑

D   .   C   .   G   .   .   .
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
↓ ↓ ↓   ↓ ↓ ↓   ↓ ↓ ↓   ↓ ↓ ↓
¯ ¯ >   ¯ ¯ >   ¯ ¯ >   ¯ ¯ >

D   .   C   .   G   .   .   .
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
↓ ↓ ↓ ↓↑↓ ↓ ↓ ↓↑↓ ↓ ↓ ↓↑↓ ↓ ↓ ↓↑
¯ ¯ >   ¯ ¯ >   ¯ ¯ >   ¯ ¯ >

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.

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