Guitar lesson for

Harvest Moon

by Neil Young  •  Lesson #92

Video lesson

Get the sheet music(2 pages)

  • A properly licensed, print-friendly arrangement is available for individual purchase at Musicnotes.com
  • 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.
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Editor’s notes

In this lesson I’ll show you how to play “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young. This is a beautiful gem of a song. It uses drop-d tuning (I’ll explain this), and some very creative voicing of the D-chord. I’ll show you the chords needed, explain the strumming patterns, and of course show you tabs for all of the above. I hope you enjoy! This song was a true pleasure to learn.

Lyrics w/ chords

112 beats per minute, key of D. Drop-d tuning optional.

See my sheet music for all the lyrics w/ chords included.

Drop-D tuning

The tabs below assume you’ve tuned your low-E string down to a “D” note (aka drop-D tuning). See my video lesson for reference here. A quick cheat to do this: use your 4th string (which is also D, though an octave higher) as a reference note. Lower the low-E string until the 6th string sounds the same as the 4th string. Then, you can play a D chord with all six strings (i.e., 000232) and it sounds great!

My approach to these tabs

The tabs below aren’t going to attempt to capture the timing, individual down-strums & up-strums, and other such subtleties. If you’re looking for that type of tab, search and you’ll likely find what you’re looking for (example). In my opinion, you have to learn the chord shapes (below) and trust your ear. Practice. Listen to Neil Young play this (album version, and live versions). Listen to covers of it. Find a groove and style that works for you.

Ultimately, there are only four main guitar sections needed – and they overlap quite a bit with the chord shapes needed. While it is hard to execute with Neil Young precision, it isn’t a lot to memorize. So print this out, write it down, memorize it, take it slow, work out a version that works for you – and most importantly, have fun! For this is a beautiful song and we’re lucky to have it.

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