Guitar lesson for

Lookin' Out My Back Door

by Creedence Clearwater Revival  •  Lesson #261

Video Lesson

Sheet music for this song will be returning shortly!

  • The sheet music for this song is temporarily unavailable while I move it over to Musicnotes.com, a sheet music service that is providing licensing for my "song" arrangements.
  • Want me to priortize this song, so the sheet music is ready sooner? Click the button below and let me know – this helps me know which songs to work on next!
Request This Song

To learn more about my library of song sheets & instructional PDFs, click here.

Editor’s notes

Here’s a quick lesson for the CCR song “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” – performed fingerstyle with no capo. This is what I’d call an “easy” or “lazy” approach to this song, where I’m taking a very accessible route when it comes to the capo (not using one), fingerpicking (using an easy pattern), and key change (not bothering withit here). While not the stuff of virtuosos, this approach makes for a good campfire take on the song - which sometimes is all you need to feel the musical goodness.

I plan on eventually tackling a more thorough lesson of this song (complete with muted strumming, chord changes, a few guitar licks, etc) – but that will be for another day.

Lyrics w/ chords

** Capo 1st Fret

INTRO
    [muted strumming, then...]

    A ... F#m ... D . A . E . A .

VERSE
    A                            F#m
    Just got home from Illinois, lock the front door, oh boy
    D          A               E
    Got to sit down and take a rest on the porch
    A                    F#m
    Imagination sets in, pretty soon I’m singing
    D         A              E           A
    Doo, doo, doo... lookin’ out my back door

              A                         F#m
    There’s a giant doing cartwheels, a statue wearin’ high-heels
    D               A               E
    Look at all the happy creatures dancin' on the lawn
      A                  F#m
    A dinosaur Victrola, listenin’ to Buck Owens
    D         A              E           A
    Doo, doo, doo... lookin’ out my back door

CHORUS
        E                             D                A
        Tambourines and elephants are playin’ in the band
                  A           F#m           E
        Won’t you take a ride on the flying spoon? Doo, doo, doo...
        A                        F#m
        Wondrous apparition, provided by magician
        D         A              E           A
        Doo, doo, doo... lookin’ out my back door

    [instrumental verse w/ solo]

        [E] Tambourines and elephants are [D] playin’ in the [A] band
        Won’t you [A] take a ride [F#m] on the flying [E] spoon? Doo, doo, doo...
        [A] Bother me tomorrow, [F#m] today I’ll buy no sorrows
        [D] Doo, doo, [A] doo... lookin’ [E] out my back [A] door

KEY CHANGE - or keep using chords above after moving capo up 2 frets

        [muted strumming, then...]

        | F# . . . | E . B . | B . G#m . | F# . . . |

    B                            G#m
    Forward troubles Illinois... lock the front door, oh boy
    E               B               F#
    Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn
    B                   G#m
    Bother me tomorrow, today I’ll buy no sorrows
    E         B              F#          B
    Doo, doo, doo... lookin’ out my back door

OUTRO

    [muted strumming => E B F# B => end]

Other notes

Standard Tuning, Capo 1st Fret

This tab shows how to play this song using a capo (positioned on the 1st fret) in standard tuning. You only need to apply a capo (and play in the key of A major) if you want to play along with the album version. Otherwise, a capo is not required. Also, let me disclaim that I’m aware CCR may have played this song without a capo, starting in the key of Bb. If you’re looking for the exact tab to play in Bb, seek elsewhere. I’m primarily concerned with creating a tab that is accessible to the masses (and playing in the key of A is certainly easier than that of Bb).

Guitar Chords Used

Here is how to play the guitar used in this song. First, the chords used in the key of A:

e-|---0----2----2---0----
B-|---2----2----3---0----
G-|---2----2----2---1----
D-|---2----4----0---2----
A-|---0----4--------2----
E-|--------2--------0----
      A   F#m   D   E

After changing key to B, you’ll want to use these chords:

e-|--------4----0----2----
B-|---4----4----0----2----
G-|---4----4----1----3----
D-|---4----6----2----4----
A-|---2----6----2----4----
E-|--------4----0----2----
      B   G#m   E    F#

Note the Change in Key

Late in the song, note that the song modulates (changes key) up one whole step. Using the chords shown above, you’ll notice the change is from the key of A to the key of B. All chord progressions stay the same, as far as each chord’s relative position to the root. Ultimately, this change in key is by no means required when playing the song – but I wanted to make note of this for those interested in a faithful adaptation.

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)

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

August 29, 2021

First Electric! 8 Things I Didn't Expect

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #386

I recently got my 1st electric guitar, and was surprised how many things immediately confused me. Here's a quick inventory, in case it helps anyone else starting out!

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