Guitar lesson for

Saskatchewan in 1881

by Colter Wall  •  Lesson #318

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

Hey friends! here’s a new guitar lesson teaching you how to play Colter Wall’s 2018 song “Saskatchewan in 1881”. Instead of playing it fingerstyle like Colter does, I’m going to show you a strummed version (simply because I cannot pull off what Colter Wall is able to do with his fingers). While I am simplifying it in this regard, there’s plenty of room for fun – through alternating bass notes with your strumming, as well as walk-ups and walk-downs in each of the verse sections. I’ll teach all this and more!

Video timestamps:

Colter Wall playing this song

Album version:

Live version (so you can watch him play fingerstyle):

Want to learn the fingerstyle version?

Here is a lesson from another teacher if you want to learn it fingerstyle, like Colter plays it. This teacher has a printable tab showing the exact fingerpicking notes. Here’s his video:

Lyrics and chords

    | C       | C       | C       | C7        |
    | F       | F       | F       | C   (C/B) |
    | G       | G7      | C       | C         |

    C           C      C               C7
    Mr. Toronto man... go away from my door
        F                F                         F             C       C
    You got my wheat and Canola seed... and you're asking me for more
           G                 G7            C        C
    Better fly 'fore I... produce my forty-four

    C                  C      C                   C7
    I'm just a prairie boy... never meant none no harm
    F               F               F                   C       C
    Spend my day... makin' wages... out on the Martin's farm
       G                 G7             C        C
    No eastern boy... is gonna twist my arm

            [ INSTRUMENTAL VERSE ]    

         C                C       C                         C7
    It's so damn cold out here... wind will cut you half in two
            F              F              F            C       C
    I ain't kidding now... my old plow is frozen to my mule
              G            G7               C       C
    I've been livin' on... ice cold rainbow stew

    C                C         C           C7
    Don't be pickin' fights... with no Mennonites
             F                           F                   F                   C      C
    Don't be raisin' Cain, while they're plantin' grain, and workin' through the night
          G                  G7               C        C
    Gonna let you know... if you ain't acting right

            [ INSTRUMENTAL VERSE ]  

        C           C      C               C7
    So, Mr. Toronto man... go away from my door
        F                F                         F             C      C
    You got my wheat and Canola seed... and you're asking me for more
           G                 G7            C        C
    Better fly 'fore I... produce my forty-four
           G                 G7            C        C  [ end on final C ]
    Better fly 'fore I... produce my forty-four

Chord shapes

See PDF for fretboard diagrams of all chords.

Strumming patterns

See PDF for strumming diagram.

Walk-up and walk-down tabs

See PDF for tabs.

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