Guitar lesson for

Enough to Leave

by Billy Strings  •  Lesson #337

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

Hey friends! Here’s a brand new lesson for the Billy Strings song “Enough to Leave,” which several of you wrote in suggesting I check out. While it’s easy to associate Billy Strings with virtuoso bluegrass guitar licks played at a breakneck speed – I appreciate this song for how relatively basic & straightforward it is. A common strumming pattern, standard chords – and heartfelt lyrics expressing sadness at the sudden loss of two good friends. As per the licks n’ fills that Billy’s music is known for – I do teach some of those here, but they’re a bit simplified – just because I can’t play exactly like him, and wanted to make this song accessible for all. Beyond that, I’ll show you the usual: the chords, the progressions, talk about strumming tips, show tabs for the intro & a few other fills, and then end things with a full play-through.

I hope you enjoy! If you want more Billy Strings, I also did a lesson for classic song Summertime that he covered with Marcus King – where I similarly show relatively simplified versions of the licks and fills he plays.

Video timestamps:

Lyrics with chords

    Em (8 measures, see tab below)

    G                      Bm                    Em         Em
    ...Enough to kill you..... enough to put you down
    C                  G                         D                D  
    ...Seems like everywhere you turn, is like a hard wind comin' down
    G                      Bm                     Em        Em
    ...Enough to leave me..... enough to leave me here
    C                         G                D               D
    ...And though the room is empty now, I can almost feel you here

      D                Bm          D               G
      ...What am I supposed to do.... with my afternoons?
      Am              D              Am              D
      ...Know I won't hear your call... know I won't see you soon
      D               Bm          D             G
      ...What can you say to me..... to ease my heart and pain
      Am                  D             Am                  D              (G)
      ...Could you send a ray of light.... to come down and dry the rain again

          G Bm Em Em C G D D  x1, with solo

    G                         Bm                        Em       Em
    ...I'd give you diamonds.... I'd give you rings and pearls
    C                      G                       D               D
    ...If you could stay a while with me, and just hold on to this world
    G                 Bm                      Em      Em
    ...Feelin' sorry.... for things I haven't said
    C                        G                        D             D
    ...And there's a lot I'd like to say, before your final page is read

      [D]...What am I [Bm] supposed to do...[D]...with my after[G]noons?
      [Am]...Know I won't [D] hear your call...[Am] know I won't [D] see you soon
      [D]...What can you [Bm] say to me... to [D] ease my [G] heart and pain
      [Am] Could you send a [D] ray of light, to [Am] come down & [D] dry the rain again

          G Bm Em Em C G D D  x2, with solo

    G                     Bm                   Em       Em
    ...It's finally over.... it's finally over now
    C                      G                                   D           D
    ...And you can rest assured, my friend... 'cause you'll be restin' anyhow
    G                       Bm                  Em       Em
    ...I hate to leave you.... hate to say goodbye
    C                     G                          D               D
    ...I try to hear your voice come through, in the early morning skies

      [D]...What am I [Bm] supposed to do...[D] my after[G]noons?
      [Am]...Know I won't [D] hear your call...[Am] know I won't [D] see you soon
      [D]...What can you [Bm] say to me... to [D] ease my [G] heart and pain
      [Am] Could you send a [D] ray of light, to [Am] come down & [D] dry the rain again

             G Bm Em Em C D G (let final G ring, "Mercy")

Chord shapes

Here’s the chord shapes you’ll need to play this song. These are ordered by when they appear in the song (e.g., G to Bm to Em is how things begin). For the D, also get comfortable with removing your finger from the thinnest string, to play a Dsus2 (xx0230) which Billy uses a lot.

E ––3–––2–––0–––0–––2–––0–––
B ––3–––3–––0–––1–––3–––1–––
G ––0–––4–––0–––0–––2–––2–––
D ––0–––4–––2–––2–––0–––2–––
A ––2–––2–––2–––3–––––––0–––
E ––3–––––––0–––––––––––––––
    G   Bm  Em  C   D   Am

Chord progressions

This song is in the key of G and is played at a tempo of 147 beats per minute. Here’s the chord progressions used in the verse and chorus sections.

Verse (play this twice):

G               Bm              Em              Em
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
C               G               D               D
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

Chorus (play this twice):

D               Bm              D               G
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
Am              D               Am              D
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

Strumming pattern

To get started, I recommend getting comfortable doing a single down-strum on the 1 and 3 counts. Use this to get familiar with the chord shapes, the transitions, and the overall progressions.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +    
D       D          "down... down..."

From there, you can move to the “full” strumming pattern – which is adding an “down-up” on the final two eighth notes of each measure.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D       D   D U    "down... down, down up"

Simplifying chord transitions with “chordless” strums

A fun trick to use while strumming this song, which actually makes it easier to play – is to remove your hands from each chord on or just after the “4” count of each measure. You’ll want to keep strumming with your right hand – and the final “down up” of each measure will be played with no fingers on the fretboard. This is so your left-hand has an extra eighth note (or two) to get into the next chord’s position. See my video lesson for reference.

See PDF for diagram.

Runs and fills

Here’s some approximated versions of the main riffs, runs, and fills you hear during this song. Note, I’m simplifying all these partially, because I cannot play with the speed or agility of Billy. If you want the full what-Billy-plays tabs check out Lessons With Marcel. Otherwise, I’m here to serve us mortals.

Intro riff

The intro is 8 measures of E-minor, beginning with a raked strum (from thinnest to thickest string). Start your counting when you play the thickest (final) note of the raked chord. After that, there’s a bit of light & free strumming – with a small riff Billy plays which I show below. Return to an E-minor, and then slowly build up during your final 8 strums before starting the verse.

See PDF for full tab.

E-minor riff (during the verse)

In the first and third line of each verse section, there’s a chance to do a quick riff on the second of the E-minor measures you play. There are two versions of this, the first of which is super simple.

See PDF for full tab.

D-riff (walking up to the G)

In the verses, there’s a common walk-up Billy does. I play it as follows which is only removes one note from what Billy plays – but, the note I remove buys you back some time to switch back to the G.

See PDF for full tab.

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