Guitar lesson for
Like a Rolling Stone
by Bob Dylan • Lesson #33
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This video is an acoustic guitar lesson for the classic rock song “Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan (1965, from his album “Highway 61 Revisited”). This video includes a playthrough, chords, tabs, and strumming patterns – showing how to play this song in standard tuning on an acoustic guitar (without a capo). I created this tutorial for Songnotes, which is my personal music lesson web project (video and text-based lessons).
Chords with lyrics
INTRO C - Fmaj7 - C - Fmaj7 VERSE C Dm Once upon a time you dressed so fine... Em F G Threw the bums a dime in your prime... didn't you? C Dm ...People call, say beware doll Em F G You're bound to fall, you thought they were all... kidding you PRE-CHORUS F G ...You used to... laugh about F G ...Everybody that was... hanging out F Em Dm C ...Now you don't talk so loud F Em Dm C ...Now you don't seem so proud Dm F G About having to be scrounging... your next meal CHORUS C F G C F G ....How does it feel.............. how does it feel... C F G C F G To be without a home.......... like a complete unknown.... C F G Like a rolling stone... ADDITIONAL VERSE, PRE-CHORUS, & CHORUS SECTIONS: Ah, you’ve gone to the finest school Alright, Ms. Lonely, but you know you only used to get... juiced in it Nobody’s ever taught you how to live out on the street And now you’re gonna have to get used to it You said you’d never compromise With the mystery train, but now you realize He’s not selling any alibis As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes And say, do you want to, make a deal? How does it feel?.... How does it feel? To be on your own.... With no direction home A complete unknown... Like a rolling stone Ah, you never turned around to see the frowns On the jugglers and the clowns when they all did tricks for you You never understood that it ain’t no good You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you You used to ride on a chrome horse with your diplomat Who carried on his shoulder a siamese cat And it hard when you discovered that He really wasn’t where its at After he took for you everything he could steal How does it feel?............... How does it feel? To have (to be?) on your own.... With no direction home Like a complete unknown......... Like a rolling stone Ah, princess on the steeple, and all the pretty people They’re all drinking, thinking that they’ve got it made Exchanging all precious gifts, but you better take a diamond ring You better pawn it babe You used to be so amused That Napoleon in ranks, and the language that he used Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal How does it feel?.......... Ah, how does it feel? To be on your own.......... With no direction home Like a complete unknown.... Like a rolling stone
Chord progression cheat sheet
"Once upon a time you dressed so fine..." C . . . Dm . . . Em . . . F . . . G . . . G . . . G . . . G . . . "People call, say beware doll..." C . . . Dm . . . Em . . . F . . . G . . . G . . . G . . . G . . .
"You used to laugh about..." F . . . F . . . G . . . G . . . x2 "Now you don't talk so loud..." F . . . Em . . . Dm . . . C . . . x2 "About having to be scrounging..." Dm . . . Dm . . . F . . . F . . . G . . . G . . . G . . . G . . .
"How does it feel..." C . . . F . . . G . . . G . . . x4
How to play the chords
Here are the chords you’ll need to play this song, as played in their standard voicings. For the intro, I’ll use an Fmaj7 instead of a pure F-major chord… this sounds like more like Dylan, and is also easier to pull off with the pretty quick strumming. If you’re having trouble with the F, you can play a simplified version by only playing the thinnest 4 strings OR the middle 4 strings (there’s no strict need to play all 6 strings or bust).
E ––––0––––1––––0––––1––––3–––– –––1––––0––– B ––––1––––3––––0––––1––––0–––– –––0––––1––– G ––––0––––2––––0––––2––––0–––– –––0––––2––– D ––––2––––0––––2––––3––––0–––– –––0––––3––– A ––––3–––––––––2––––3––––2–––– –––2––––3––– E ––––––––––––––0––––1––––3–––– –––3–––––––– C Dm Em F G G7 Fmaj7
You can also use barre chords to play these same chords. I’m mainly showing this so you can get a sense of how the chord shapes look when they move up the fretboard (which is a handy thing to remember when learning other songs which use any of these same chords):
E –––––(3)–––––(5)–––––(7)–––––(8)––––(10)––– B ––––––5–––––––6–––––––8––––––10––––––12–––– G ––––––5–––––––7–––––––9––––––10––––––12–––– D ––––––5–––––––7–––––––9––––––10––––––12–––– A ––––––3–––––––5–––––––7–––––––8––––––10–––– E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– C Dm Em F G
Here’s how I’ll strum the intro of this song:
E –––0–––––––0–––0–0–––0––0––0––0––0––– B –––1–––––––1–––1–1–––1––1––1––1––1––– G –––0–––––––0–––0–0–––2––2––2––2––2––– D –––2–––––––2–––2–2–––3––3––3––3––3––– A –––3–––––––3–––3–3–––3––3––3––3––3––– E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– C Fmaj7 1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a d d d u u d u d u d u
For the rest of the song, I’ll typically use a pattern like this.
1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a d d d d u d d d d u > > > >
Which reads as:
DOWN down DOWN down up, DOWN down DOWN down up (etc)
I hope this helps, and as always let me know if you have any questions.
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