Guitar lesson for

My My, Hey Hey

by Neil Young  •  Lesson #157

Video lesson

Get the sheet music(3 pages)

  • A properly licensed, print-friendly arrangement is available for individual purchase at
  • 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

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

Editor’s notes

In this video I’ll teach you how to play the intro riff of “My My, Hey Hey” by Neil Young on an acoustic guitar. I’ll teach you the chords, show the tabs, explain the strumming, and walk you through a step-by-step process of how to go about learning this riff.

Lyrics w/ chords

Tune down a whole step to play with Neil Young: DGCFAD.

See my sheet music for the complete lyrics, with chords and intro tab included.

Tune down a whole step to play with Neil’s version

To play along with Neil Young’s version (e.g., on Rust Never Sleeps) you’ll need to tune your guitar down one whole step (DGCFAD). However, in my video lesson above, I’m staying in standard tuning to keep things easy.

How to play the chords

E ||–––0––––3––––0––––0––––0––––
B ||–––1––––0––––1––––1––––3––––
G ||–––2––––0––––2––––0––––0––––
D ||–––2––––0––––3––––2––––2––––
A ||–––0––––2–––––––––3––––2––––
E ||––––––––3––––––––––––––0––––
       Am   G  Fmaj7  C   Em7

Strumming pattern

I’m a bit torn on this – do you copy Neil, or use your own pattern? He’s so loose with his strumming, I’m hesitant to try to quantify it into a single pattern. Here’s what I recommend to start with – do with this what you will:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D   D   D U D U

Use that for all verses and refrains –– no matter which chord you’re playing. For example:

Am              G               Fmaj7
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D   D   D U D U D   D   D U D U D   D   D U D U D   D   D U D U


C               Em7             Am              Fmaj7
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D   D   D U D U D   D   D U D U D   D   D U D U D   D   D U D U

How to learn the riff

Start with the chords and strumming

First, learn these chords and understand the timing (e.g., Am for one measure, G for one measure, Fmaj7 for 2 measures). I also recommend practicing strumming here, whether you want to keep it simple or be loose and free like Neil.

See sheet music for the tab.

Adding lead notes, but keeping it simple

Next, add some of the foundational lead notes as shown below. If this is tough for you, stick to this simplified tab (below) and take it slow. Watch my video and listen to Neil for reference. This tab below omits some of the strummy nuance, just to help get you through the front door. A final note: it may be easier to use all downstrums at this stage, for the lead notes especially (i.e., the notes between the strums).

See sheet music for the tab.

Advanced version with nuance

This is my attempt to tab it out exactly like Neil plays it. There’s a bit more strum nuance, and a bit more delicacy with the lead notes. Not shown in the tab below is the hammer-on that occur in the first note after the full G-chord strum (see my video for reference):

See sheet music for the tab.

Finally, here’s a modified version of the riff – the only difference between the lead phrase immediately after the G-chord strum (which can start off with a hammer-on as well).

See sheet music for the tab.

Good luck!

Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you.

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).


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)

November 24, 2021

Combining Strumming with Walk-downs (Key of C)

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #401

In this video I answer a patron question about how to add a walking bassline to a fully strummed chord (in the Key of C).

Patreon PDF

October 14, 2021

How to Tune Half-Step Down (E-Flat Tuning)

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #394

A quick guide to tuning all your strings down 1/2 step (E-flat tuning), which is a very common alternate tuning used in many songs.

Patreon PDF

October 2, 2021

F Chord Cheat Sheet! 7 Easier Ways to Play It

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #392

A quick inventory of 8 different ways to play the dreaded F chord, 7 of which are easier than the dreaded six-string barred version.

Patreon PDF

September 28, 2021

Beginner Riffs with Major 7th Arpeggios

Warm-Up Exercise  •  Lesson #390

A quick exercise where I share over 10 riffs based on a single arpeggio shape, using major 7th chord tones. Backing track included!

Patreon PDF

September 19, 2021

Key of C Major Cheat Sheet!

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #388

A deep dive into everything you need to know when playing in the Key of C: notes, chords, fretboard map, tips & tricks, easier ways to play the F chord, and plenty more.

Patreon PDF

September 12, 2021

Major Scale Positions & CAGED Chord Shapes

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #384

A deep-dive into the common positions of the major scale, and how they each relate to the CAGED chord shapes... which makes it all easier to understand!

Patreon PDF

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