Guitar lesson for
The Year That Clayton Delaney Died
Capo 1st fret
If you want to play along with the album version, through a capo on the 1st fret and use the chords I show here. This is how Tim T. Hall plays this song. You don’t need the capo - without it, you’ll just be a half-step lower in pitch (which is okay if you’re not playing along with his recorded version).
E –––3––––––––1––––1–––– B –––1–––1––––1––––0–––– G –––0–––3––––2––––0–––– D –––2–––2––––3––––0–––– A –––3–––3––––3––––2–––– E ––––––––––––1––––3–––– C C7 F G7
Here’s the chord progression written out - 4 counts per measure. Play each line once, then repeat the whole thing for each verse.
C . . . G7 . . . C . . . C7 . . . F . . . F . . . C . . . C . . . F . . . F . . . F . . . C . . . C . . . G7 . . . C . . . C . . .
Lyrics with chords
(capo 1st fret) C G7 C C7 I remember the year that Clayton Delaney died F C They said for the last two weeks that he suffered and cried F C It made a big impression on me although I was a barefoot kid C G7 C They said he got religion at the end and I'm glad that he did (use same progression for each verse) Clayton was the best guitar picker in our town I thought he was a hero and I used to follow Clayton around I often wondered why Clayton who seemed so good to me Never took his guitar and made it down in Tennessee Well daddy said he drank a lot but I could never understand I knew he used to picked up in Ohio with a five piece band Clayton used to tell me son you better put that old guitar away Ain't no money in it it'll lead you to an early grave I guess if I'd admit it Clayton taught me how to drink booze I can see him half stoned a picking out the Lovesick Blues When Clayton died I made him a promise I was gonna carry on somehow I'd give a hundred dollars if he could only see me now I remember the year that Clayton Delaney died Nobody ever knew it but I went out in the woods and I cried Well I know there's a lotta big preachers that know a lot more than I do But it could be that the good Lord likes a little picking too Yeah I remember the year that Clayton Delaney died
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + D D U U D U
Sneak in extra strums of each chord as you’re able (I’m only showing a single strum of each here, for space reasons). Listen along to the song (or my video lesson) for context.
E ––––––––––––3––––––3–––––––––1–––––1–––––––––––3–––––––––––––––1––––– B ––––––––––––1––––––1–––––––––0–––––0–––––––––––1–––––––––––––––0––––– G ––––––––––––0––––––0–––––––––0–––––0–––––––––––0–––––––––––––––0––––– D ––––––––––––2–––2––2––––1–0––0–––––0–––––––––––2–––––––––––––––0––––– A –––––0–2–3––3–––––––––––––––––––––––––––0–2–3––3––––––3–2–0––––2––––– E –––3––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3–––––3–––––––––––––––––––––3––3––––– C G7 C G7
Intro riff exercises
Learning the above intro riff can be difficult, especially playing it at full speed. Here’s a way to practice the riff through breaking things into two exercise that build up the skills you’ll need to play this.
First, practice accenting these changing bass notes in a groove while strumming. Practice this on repeat. This will help establish the foundation you’ll need before you add the additional runs to and from the G chord.
E ––––––––––––3––––––3–––––––––1–––––1––––––––––– B ––––––––––––1––––––1–––––––––0–––––0––––––––––– G ––––––––––––0––––––0–––––––––0–––––0––––––––––– D ––––––––––––2–––2––2––––––0––0–––––0––––––––––– A –––––––––3––3––––––––––––––––––––––2––––––––––– E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3––3––––––––––– C G7
Second, practice this bassline sequence. Try to do it in time with the song, if you can (listen along for context). Start slow, get it down, and increase your speed until you can play it at full speed.
E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– G ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– D ––––––––––––––––2–––––––1–0–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A –––––0–2–3––3–––––––––––––––––––––––––––0–2–3–––––––––3–2–0–––––––––– E –––3––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3–––––3–––––––––––––––––––––3–––––––– C G7 C G7
WHen you’re comfortable with both exercises above, try combining them to create the full intro riff. Break that full riff into phrases (sections) if you can - don’t pretend you’ll be able to do it all at once!
Let me know if you have questions. I hope this was helpful.
Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!
If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).
You can also support me on Patreon. For only $3/month you'll get access to a print-friendly PDF of my notes for each lesson.
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!
Recent video lessons:
- Transitioning between Em7 - D/F# - G (Warm Up #7)
Oct 24, 2018
- Maybe It's Time by Bradley Cooper
Oct 18, 2018
- "Pretty Woman" lick, played 4 ways
Oct 13, 2018
- Shallow by Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga
Oct 11, 2018
- Mudfootball G-D7 shuffle (Warm Up #6)
Oct 7, 2018
- A-minor murder ballad groove (Warm Up #5)
Oct 2, 2018
- How to play Fadd9
Sept 27, 2018
- Blaze Foley country strumming (Warm Up #4)
Sept 25, 2018
- Acid Tongue by Jenny Lewis
Sept 22, 2018
- "Sultans of Swing" chorus lick (Warm Up #3)
Sept 19, 2018
- Learning how to Travis Pick with "Clay Pigeons"
Sept 13, 2018
- Lady May by Tyler Childers
Sept 7, 2018
- Easy E Fingerpicking (Warm Up #2)
Sept 3, 2018
- I've Been Everywhere by Johnny Cash
Aug 29, 2018
- Norwegian Wood by The Beatles
August 14, 2018
- Double Drop D & "The Chain" Intro
August 7, 2018
- Pinky stretch tips for D-major
August 4, 2018
- Q&A: How to sing and strum at same time?
August 2, 2018
- Lola by The Kinks
July 31, 2018
- My original binder of song notes
July 28, 2018
- Simple blues riff in Drop-D
July 25, 2018
- Playing around in Drop-D
July 20, 2018
- Rocky Mountain High by John Denver
July 17, 2018
- When the Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash
June 25, 2018
- We Are the Champions by Queen
June 16, 2018
- My My, Hey Hey by Neil Young
June 9, 2018
- Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses
June 3, 2018
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.