Guitar lesson for

You've Got a Friend in Me

by Randy Newman  •  Lesson #338

How to play the full song (Lesson #338)

Get the sheet music(2 pages)

  • A properly licensed, print-friendly arrangement is available for individual purchase at
  • This sheet music was designed & hand-crafted by me (David Potsiadlo) with care, providing you with everything needed to both learn and play this song.
  • On the fence? Here's a video guide I made showing the purchase & print process.
Buy at

Patreon supporters: click here to get the 50% off discount code on this purchase

Editor’s notes

Hey friends! New lesson here teaching you how to play a strum-friendly campfire version of “You’ve Got a Friend In Me”, from start to finish. This is a song I first learned the intro to last year (see my lesson #246), but knew I needed to return and teach the entire song after several of you requested I do so. As such, I put together this lesson teaching you basic chord shapes, progressions, and strumming patterns needed – and also show you two new ways to play the intro (one very simple, the other my “secret stash” personal version). This one has been a blast to learn, I hope you enjoy learning it as much as I did!

This version is largely inspired by the Claire Ryann (and her dad) cover that’s on YouTube, which is fantastic and I recommend watching. Note, I don’t get into the complexities of his fingerstyle technique – just because they raise the bar of difficulty quite a bit. Where possible, I’m opting for easy / familiar chords, especially during the bridge which I keep as simple as possible.

Video timestamps:

Advanced fingerstyle intro (Lesson #246)

Here’s my earlier lesson, recorded about one year before my full-song lesson above. This one focuses only on the intro, and aims to fully mimic what’s played in the Claire Ryann cover on YouTube. Just note, this one is tricker than my newer video above!

Song lyrics

See PDF for my intro tab.

Chord Progression

See PDF for chord progression.


When first learning this song, begin with something simple – e.g. downstrums on the 1/2/3/4 counts, with the 1 and 3 getting the bass note of whatever chord you’re playing. Then do a full strum on the 2 and 4 counts.

See PDF for strumming pattern.

Then, you can proceed to this full version – which adds extra up strums on the “+” counts after the 2 and 4:

See PDF for strumming pattern.

Intro riff

Simple version:

See PDF for full tab diagram.

My “secret stash” personal version:

See PDF for full tab diagram.

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 $5/month you'll get access to a print-friendly PDF of my notes for each new lesson (view free sample).


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 my sheet music arrangements. Patreon supporters get 50% off each purchase. Learn more here »

June 22, 2022

How to Make Drum Tracks Using GarageBand's Beat Sequencer

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #442

A beginner's guide to using GarageBand's Beat Sequencer tool to create custom drum beats! Even if you're a total novice when it comes to drumming (like me), I'll walk you through the basic steps to create rich-sounding drum tracks to play over while practicing or performing.

May 27, 2022

Creating a Fingerstyle Arrangement of Tom Petty's "American Girl"

Practice Log  •  Lesson #438

A few years after learning American Girl the way Tom Petty plays it, I returned to it — this time determined to work out a low-key, easy-going fingerstyle arrangement. Here's how it went!

Patreon PDF

May 22, 2022

Using Triads & Double-Stops to Punch Up a Melody

Practice Log  •  Lesson #436

As part of my Learning Lead Guitar series, I share a realization I recently had showing different ways to fill out melody lines using triads, double-stops, and harmonized sixths.

Patreon PDF

May 19, 2022

Q&A: Learning a Song for a Wedding? Here's My Advice.

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #435

I answer an audience question about how to go about learning a song (with a tricky riff) for a peformance at a family wedding.

Patreon PDF

May 12, 2022

List of My Beginner-Friendly Song Lessons


After many requests from y'all, I finally created this list of all my beginner-friendly song lessons! These are grouped by key, allowing you to take the chord shapes you already know and find other songs using those same shapes.

Patreon PDF

May 4, 2022

Easier Ways to Play B-minor (No Barring Required)

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #431

Two easier ways to play B-minor, using open chord voicings — super helpful to have these in your toolkit. Includes different practice riffs to accompany each chord voicing.

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