Colter Wall's Sleeping on the Blacktop intro riff

Lesson #237 • May 11, 2019

Video Overview

Instructional PDF 1 page

Follow along with the print-friendly PDF! It includes all of my notes for this lesson, allowing you to follow along at your own pace. You're free to download, print, and share the PDF across your devices.

Thanks for being a Premium member of Song Notes! Your support makes these lessons possible.

Download PDF

Follow along with the print-friendly PDF!

It includes all of my notes for this lesson, allowing you to follow along at your own pace. You're free to download, print, and share the PDF across your devices.

To download the PDF, upgrade to premium or log in.

Editor’s notes

In this lesson I’ll show how to play the outlaw country fingerstyle groove of “Sleeping on the Blacktop” by Colter Wall. This is a straightforward, stripped down, and raw sequence that cycles between two sections: (1) a subdued repeating walk-down which builds up tension; and (2) an unleashed chorus-like drop that releases all the energy. I’ll teach you the chords (with tabs), explain the Travis picking technique, and talk through how to practice the different phrases heard throughout this sequence. This makes for a great warmup exercise, even if you’re not familiar with Colter Wall or this song in its full form.

Video timestamps:

  • 0:00 Playthrough & overview
  • 2:13 Chord shapes needed
  • 6:04 Part 1: Walk down
  • 9:21 Part 2: Main riff
  • 16:21 Farewell

Capo and tuning notes

Take note that I’m playing this in standard tuning and without a capo. Colter Wall plays this song with a capo on the 2nd fret while tuned down one whole step… but I’m going to keep it straightforward and simple for now. If you’d like to eventually see a full lesson for this entire song, let me know… I might get to it one day. In the meanwhile, I trust this will do you good. Best of luck!

Other suggested videos

Here’s a great solo acoustic performance by Colter Wall – I find these sorts of clips super helpful just to watch how he plays it.

Here’s a clip from Hell or High Water, a really great 2016 movie that uses the album verison of this song. I can’t recommend this movie enough! Good stuff.

Browse Related Lessons

Click any tag below to view other lessons I've made in that category:

About Song Notes

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 »

Get Free Lessons Each Week!

Join the 20,000+ readers who get my new lessons dropped in their inbox each week. I teach a fun mix of songs, weekly riffs, practice ideas, and more!

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).

Thanks!


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 Lessons

Browse All Recent Lessons →

Browse my all lessons

By lesson type

By technique

By musical genre

By decade

By musical key

By popular artist


← back to homepage