Oh, Pretty Woman

by Roy Orbison • Lesson #441 • Jun 25, 2022

Hey, friends! New lesson today for Roy Orbison’s 1964 classic Oh, Pretty Woman. This song is tremendously fun to play, featuring an all-timer guitar riff that’s integrated quite seamlessly with the intro, verse, and chorus of the song. With a solo acoustic guitar, I’ll teach you to play it all: the riff, the strumming, and everything in between. It took me a few days of serious practice before I could sing + strum + play the riff all without missing a step, but I finally able to get there — and I’m excited to show you the way. Let’s check it out!

Free Video Lesson

Print-Friendly Song Sheet 3 pages

Follow along with my print-friendly guide for this song! It's properly licensed and available for individual purchase at Musicnotes.com

It includes my carefully crafted presentation of the lyrics, tabs, chord shapes, and all other info needed to play this song. On the fence? Here's a video guide I made showing the purchase & print process.

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Slow Playthrough

If you’d like to see a slowed-down version of this song, check out this additional video. I play the entire song (ending included) at 100 beats per minute, which is quite a bit slower than Roy Orbison’s 127bpm. I also use simple strumming pattern (down strums on the 1 and 3 counts only), and the simplified version of the riff (no pinky used). After the playthrough, I’ll also give some general performance tips & advice not included in my full-song lesson above. I hope you find this helpful!

Note, Patreon membership is required to view this video. Learn more about supporting me through direct membership – it’s just a few bucks a month (or pledge annually). In return, you get access to my library of instructional PDFs, save 50% when buying my song sheets, and more. It’s also the best way to support me & these lessons. Thanks you!

Backing Track Available

I made a drum backing track for you to use while playing this song (or, when practicing just the riff). The track is a relatively simple drum beat matching what you hear on Orbison’s recording. This particular drum beat is very quarter-note heavy (e.g. ONE-TWO-THREE-FOUR), repeating for ~5 minutes or so. The idea is you can practice the main riff, or strumming the full song, while this track is helping you keep time. I made two separate backing tracks:

127 bpm (Roy Orbison’s actual tempo)

100 bpm (slower version)

How to use the backing track to practice the riff

  1. Play the track. Begin counting in a 1-2-3-4 manner (four beats per measure).
  2. When you’re ready, play the “tease” version of the riff on the beat, and remember the “tease” last six counts total. Then, play the tease one more time. Finally, play the “full” intro riff – and repeat it 4 times total.
  3. If you want, you can continue to play over the track during the verse. You can even play over it for the chorus, but this is where it may sound a bit different than Orbison’s album version — as his drum track changes during the chorus section.

If you’d like to download the track, the source files (mp3) are available over on my Patreon post for this song (look for the attachment at the very bottom of the post).

Listen to Roy Orbison’s Album Recording

Played at 127 beats per minute. Key of A, standard tuning.

Additional Lessons To Help With This Song

Here’s instructional lessons I’ve made teaching concepts that are useful in this song.

Join the Discussion on My Patreon Page

Members of the Song Notes community are discussing this lesson over on the Patreon post I made for it — if you’re a member, join the discussion here! You can also find handy links to the various Patreon posts I mention in the lesson, each of which has the instructional PDF available for download. Curious about Song Notes membership on Patreon? Learn more »


Meet the Teacher

Hey there! My name is David Potsiadlo, and I'm the creator of the 400+ weekly lessons here at Song Notes, going back to 2013. Here’s my guitar story »

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