Guitar lesson for

You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go

by Bob Dylan  •  Lesson #26

Video Lesson

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Editor’s notes

Here’s a guitar lesson showing you how to play “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” by Bob Dylan (in standard tuning). This is a great song from the album “Blood on the Tracks,” which I love love love. As I note in the lesson, this is likely not how Bob Dylan played (plays) the song – it’s unique arrangement I pieced together myself – so take it for what it’s worth. This lesson includes chords, tabs, and strumming pattern – with a nice focus on how to emphasize the bass note of each chord as part of the strumming pattern.

Video timestamps:

Lyrics and chords

    E . . . Emaj7 . . . A . . . A . . .
    E . . . E     . . . B . . . B . . .
    E . . . Emaj7 . . . A . . . A . . .
    E . . . B     . . . E . . . E . . .

    E                 Emaj7            A               A
    I've seen love go by my door, it's never been this close before
    E                E          B         B
    ...Never been so easy or so slow
              E               Emaj7               A               A    
    I've been shooting in the dark too long, when something's not right it's wrong
    E                    B                 E           E
    You're gonna make me lonesome when you go

    [E] Dragon clouds so [Emaj7] high above, I've [A] only known [A] careless love
    [E] ...It always [E] hits me from [B] below... [B]
    [E] This time around it's [Emaj7] more correct, [A] right on target, [A] so direct
    [E] You're gonna make me [B] lonesome when you [E] go... [E]

    [E] Purple clover, [Emaj7] Queen Anne lace... [A] crimson hair [A] across your face
    [E] You could make me [E] cry if you don't [B] know... [B]
    [E] Can't remember what I was [Emaj7] thinking of, you [A] might be spoiling me [A] too much, love
    [E] You're gonna make me [B] lonesome when you [E] go... [E]

        A6                A6                 E       E
        ...Flowers on the hillside, bloomin' crazy
        A6                           A6        E       E
        ...Crickets talkin' back and forth, in rhyme
        F#            F#/E             F#      F#/E
        ...Blue river runnin' slow and lazy
        A                 A                B            B
        I could stay with you forever, and never realize the time

    [E] Situations have [Emaj7] ended sad, [A] relationships have [A] all been bad
    [E] Mine've been like [E] Verlaine's and [B] Rimbaud... [B]
    But [E] there's no way I [Emaj7] can compare, [A] all those scenes to [A] this affair
    [E] You're gonna make me [B] lonesome when you [E] go... [E]

        [A6] You're gonna make me [A6] wonder what I'm [E] doin'... [E]
        [A6] Stayin' far [A6] behind, without [E] you... [E]
        [F#] You're gonna make me [F#/E] wonder what I'm [F#] sayin'... [F#/E]
        [A] You're gonna make me [A] give myself a [B] good talkin' [B] to

    I'll [E] look for you in old [Emaj7] Honolula, [A] San Francisco, [A] Ashtabula
    [E] You're gonna have to [E] leave me now, I [B] know... [B]
    But I'll [E] see you in the [Emaj7] sky above, in the [A] tall grass, in the [A] ones I love
    [E] You're gonna make me [Emaj7] lonesome when you [E] go... [E]

Chord progression cheat-sheet


E . . . Emaj7 . . . A . . . A . . .
E . . . E     . . . B . . . B . . .
E . . . Emaj7 . . . A . . . A . . .
E . . . B     . . . E . . . E . . .


A6 . . . A6   . . . E  . . . E    . . .
A6 . . . A6   . . . E  . . . E    . . .
F# . . . F#/E . . . F# . . . F#/E . . .
A  . . . A    . . . B  . . . B    . . .

Chords used

Verse chords

As I note in my video lesson, there’s a few caveats of note here. Whenever I play the E-major chord that precedes an E-major-7, I’ll only play the highest 4 strings – which lets the walk-down in the bass note be heard much more prominently. Also, my A-major is technically an Asus2 chord – play whichever you like. Likewise, I’m doing a modified (easier) B where the highest two strings are left open. You can replace this with a normal B-major, if you like, obviously.

E ||––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0–––––
B ||––––0–––––0–––––0–––––0–––––
G ||––––1–––––1–––––2–––––4–––––
D ||––––2–––––1–––––2–––––4–––––
A ||–––(2)––––––––––0–––––2–––––
E ||–––(0)––––––––––––––––––––––
        E   Emaj7   A     B

Refrain chords

I’m playing an Aadd6 for the “A6” chord I note below. You could also make that a F#-minor if you want. I’m playing the A-major and B-major the same way I play them in the verse, but again – play them like normal if you prefer.

E ||––––2–––––0–––––2––––––2–––––0–––––0–––––
B ||––––2–––––0–––––2––––––2–––––0–––––0–––––
G ||––––2–––––1–––––3––––––3–––––2–––––4–––––
D ||––––2–––––2–––––4––––––4–––––2–––––4–––––
A ||––––0–––––2–––––4––––––4–––––0–––––2–––––
E ||––––––––––0–––––2––––––0–––––––––––––––––
        A6    E     F#    F#/E   A     B

Basic strumming pattern

The basic pattern I use is as follows. This reads “Down, down… up-down-up” if you were to speak it out loud. I’ll show you some ways to add some nuance to this next, but this core pattern by itself I find helpful to start with.

D = downstrum
U = upstrum

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

Strumming with bass-note emphasis

Strumming pattern basics

For a more advanced strumming pattern, I like to use the following approach – where each chord’s bass note is picked once at the beginning of each strum sequence. The bass down-strum is indicated by the “B” below:

B = downstrum, bass note only
D = downstrum, all strings of the chord
U = upstrum
> = accented strum

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

Which when repeated in sequence looks like this:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
B   D     U D U B   D     U D U B   D     U D U B   D     U D U
    >               >               >               >

Simple bass-note emphasis

In practice that look like this:

See PDF for tab diagram.

<!-- E ||––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––|–
B ||––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––|–
G ||––––––1–––1–1–1–––––––1–––1–1–1–––––––2–––2–2–2–––––––2–––2–2–2–––––|–
D ||–––0––2–––2–2–2––––1––1–––1–1–1–––––––2–––2–2–2–––––––2–––2–2–2–––––|–
A ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––0––0–––0–0–0––––0––0–––0–0–0–––––|–
E ||––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–
       E               Emaj7           A               A

E ||––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––|–
B ||––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––|–
G ||––––––1–––1–1–1–––––––1–––1–1–1–––––––4–––4–4–4–––––––4–––4–4–4–––––|–
D ||––––––2–––2–2–2–––––––2–––2–2–2–––––––4–––4–4–4–––––––4–––4–4–4–––––|–
A ||––––––2–––2–2–2–––––––2–––2–2–2––––2––2–––2–2–2––––2––2–––2–2–2–––––|–
E ||–––0––0–––0–0–0––––0––0–––0–0–0–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–
       E               E               B               B -->

And so on.

Advanced bass-note emphasis

Finally, here’s a way to use the bass-note emphasis while periodically alternating bass notes on the chords that you stay on for more than one measure. This adds difficulty, but is quite fun to practice & play – and I think sounds great.

See PDF for tab diagram.

<!-- E ||––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––––0–0–––––|–
B ||––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––––0–0–––––|–
G ||––––––1–––1–1–1–––––––1–––1–1–1–––––––2–––2–2–2–––––––2–––––2–2–––––|–
D ||–––0––2–––2–2–2––––1––1–––1–1–1–––––––2–––2–2–2––––2––2–––––2–2–––––|–
A ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––0––0–––0–0–0–––––––––––0–0–0–––––|–
E ||––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–
       E               Emaj7           A               A

E ||––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––––0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––––0–0–––––|–
B ||––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––––0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––––0–0–––––|–
G ||––––––1–––1–1–1–––––––1–––––1–1–––––––4–––4–4–4–––––––4–––––4–4–––––|–
D ||––––––2–––2–2–2–––––––2–––––2–2–––––––4–––4–4–4–––––––4–––4–4–4–––––|–
A ||––––––2–––2–2–2––––2––2–––––2–2––––2––2–––2–2–2––––2––2–––––––––––––|–
E ||–––0––0–––0–0–0–––––––––––0–0–0–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–
       E               E               B               B

E ||––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––––0–0–––––|–
B ||––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––––0–0–––––|–
G ||––––––1–––1–1–1–––––––1–––1–1–1–––––––2–––2–2–2–––––––2–––––2–2–––––|–
D ||–––0––2–––2–2–2––––1––1–––1–1–1–––––––2–––2–2–2––––2––2–––––2–2–––––|–
A ||–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––0––0–––0–0–0–––––––––––0–0–0–––––|–
E ||––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–
       E               Emaj7           A               A

E ||––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––|–
B ||––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––––0–––0–0–0–––––|–
G ||––––––1–––1–1–1–––––––4–––4–4–4–––––––1–––1–1–1–––––––1–––1–1–1–––––|–
D ||––––––2–––2–2–2–––––––4–––4–4–4–––––––2–––2–2–2–––––––2–––2–2–2–––––|–
A ||––––––2–––2–2–2––––2––2–––2–2–2–––––––2–––2–2–2–––––––2–––2–2–2–––––|–
E ||–––0––0–––0–0–0––––––––––––––––––––0––0–––0–0–0––––0––0–––0–0–0–––––|–
       E               B               E               E -->

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