My 4 tips for starting to learn Blackbird

Lesson #265 • Nov 3, 2019

Video lesson

Note, there’s an obvious error in my video’s PDF chord notation – where I list the G as 8th & 10th fret (5th and 2nd strings, respectively), when it should be 10th and 12th fret. This has been corrected in the Instructional PDF! But my mistake lives on forever in this video. Wanted to give you a heads up!

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

Here’s 4 quick tips to keep in mind when going about learning “Blackbird” by The Beatles –– which is a song I’m currently learning for the very first time! I wanted to capture these insights while they’re fresh. Whether you go about learning Blackbird from my lesson (coming soon) or from some other teacher, these tips will help you get over some of the initial hurdles you may encounter.

Things I talk about:

  1. You don’t have to play the entire song
  2. You don’t have to play it the exact way Paul does
  3. It’s okay to avoid the third string when starting out
  4. It’s okay to simplify the 2 difficult chords

The point is to have fun, and not feel pressured by the weight of this song when getting started. From there, you can take it as as you want to go – whether your goal is to play it like Paul, or you just want to casually futz around with the chord shapes. Have fun!

Watch Paul McCartney play it live

If you’re curious how he plays it, give this a watch! Notice how strummy he is, both with his thumb and his index finger. As I state in my video, it’s okay if you don’t play it exactly like him!

Unlock My Secret Stash!

Gain instant access to my library of 225 print-friendly cheat sheets! Also includes my extended video lessons, jam tracks, courses, and more.

Join Song Notes Premium

Have questions? Watch video tour »

Browse Related Lessons

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

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).

Fun & Helpful Tools I've Made

Fret Monster

Interactive fretboard map! See the patterns behind every scale in any key.

View

Capo Captain

An easy way to calculate key & chord combinations, for any capo location!

View

Key Master

See and hear the notes, chords, scales used in each of the most common keys.

View

Blank Tabs

Free PDF templates to download, print, and write out your own guitar tabs!

View

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

  • May 10, 2024

    "Wichita Lineman" by Glen Campbell

    Let's dive into Glen Campbell's all-time classic from 1968, originally written by Jimmy Webb. I teach this with capo 5th fret, using easier-to-manage Key of C chords.

  • May 1, 2024

    Tour of My New "KeyMaster" Web Tool

    My new interactive web tool lets you see and hear the notes, chords, and common progressions in all of the most common keys. Super helpful!

  • April 24, 2024

    13 Must-Know Riffs with Droning Strings

    A handy roundup of all the songs I've taught that use droning strings... with a quick breakdown of each riff!

  • April 18, 2024

    "Moonshadow" by Cat Stevens

    Learn how to play Cat Stevens' 1971 classic! I include campfire-friendly chords and strumming, and a step-by-step breakdown of the intro fingerstyle riff.

  • April 12, 2024

    Playing Songs "Correctly" vs. When to Cut Corners

    When learning songs, are we allowed to simplify things? Do we always need to play things exactly as they're recorded? Here's some quick thoughts!

  • April 9, 2024

    Chords & Music Theory... 9 New Lessons!

    A roundup of a batch of new chord-related video lessons & PDF cheat sheets I just added to my library! Lots of good stuff here, be sure not to miss 'em.

  • March 30, 2024

    Gordon Lightfoot's "Carefree Highway"

    Learn how to play Lightfoot's 1975 classic, with plenty of tips to help simplify some of the quicker chord changes.

  • March 22, 2024

    Lead Guitar & the F1 Theme Song

    Let's look at the catchy Formula 1 theme song and learn how to play it on lead guitar...including handy trick for dealing with the key change.

  • March 15, 2023

    Pink Floyd's "Breathe" - with Simpler Chords Included

    Learn to play through Pink Floyd's 1973 classic! I'll teach the chords they use, while also showing a handful of useful simplifications and riffs to make this work on a single acoustic guitar.

  • March 6, 2024

    Q&A: 8 Tips to Avoid Muting Strings

    If you're frustrated by muffled, muted, or buzzing strings when playing chords, you're not alone! Here's 8 tips to avoid this common issue.

  • March 1, 2024

    Blues Shuffle Riffs - Using Just 2 Strings!

    A step-by-step introduction to blues shuffle riffs in open position, which are an amazingly fun-to-play way to get that blues sound with just a few fingers.

Browse All Recent Lessons →

Browse All My Lessons

By lesson type

By technique

By musical genre

By decade

By musical key

By popular artist


← back to homepage