Guitar lesson for

Learnin' To Fly

by Tom Petty  •  Lesson #108

Video lesson

Get the sheet music(2 pages)

  • A properly licensed, print-friendly arrangement is available for individual purchase at Musicnotes.com
  • This sheet music was designed & hand-crafted by me (David Potsiadlo) with care, providing you with everything needed to both learn and play this song.
  • On the fence? Here's a video guide I made showing the purchase & print process.
Buy at Musicnotes.com

Patreon supporters: click here to get the 50% off discount code on this purchase

Editor’s notes

In this lesson, I’ll teach you how to play “Learnin’ to Fly” by Tom Petty – complete with chords, tabs, strumming pattern, and rhythm tips. This entire song only uses 4 chords, in the same order, the entire time – so it’s quite easy to get started with! And if you want to take it a step further, there’s good opportunity to add some flourish notes to spice things up. Here’s what’s in the video:

Video timestamps:

Chords needed

The entire song uses these 4 chords, in this order, repeating. The pinky on the high E-string (for all chords) isn’t required for the C and Am, but it helps keep the sound consistent. Play whatever version of F you prefer – I like this one (or a 3-string version on the D/G/B strings) because they work well with the flourish-note riff I show below.

E –––3–––        ––––3–––           –––3–––              –––3–––
B –––1–––        ––––1–––           –––1–––              –––0–––
G –––2–––        ––––0–––           –––2–––              –––0–––
D –––3–––        ––––2–––           –––2–––              –––0–––
A –––––––        ––––3–––           –––0–––              –––2–––
E –––––––        ––––––––           –––––––              –––3–––
     F               C                 Am                   G   

Strumming and timing

An easy way to play this is using all down-strums. As such, divide up each chord as follows – and accent the first strum of each chord.

F        C              Am       G
•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  
>        >              >        >

The same diagram but with counting instead of generic dots (for each eighth note), is as follows:

F        C              Am       G
1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  
>        >              >        >

Adding flourish note to your strumming

While doing your regular strumming, try to add/remove the notes shown below. See my video for reference.

See my sheet music for the tabs.

Lyrics w/ chords

See my sheet music for the lyrics with chords.

Good luck!

Let me know if you have questions. I hope this was helpful.

Get my lessons in your inbox!

Every couple weeks I send out an email newsletter with links to whatever new lessons I've made. Sign up here and stay in the loop!


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 new lesson (view free sample).

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!


Recent video lessons:

📝 My "song" PDFs are now individually purcasheable! I've arranged a licensing agreement with Musicnotes, a service that lets you buy sheet music. Patreon suppoters get 50% off each purchase. Get the latest info here »   (last updated July 1, 2021)

Browse my all lessons

By lesson type

By song decade

By musical genre

By guitar technique

By musical key

By popular artist


← back to lesson list