Walk Right In

by The Rooftop Singers • Lesson #277 • Jan 16, 2020

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

In this lesson I’ll teach you how to play “Walk Right In” by The Rooftop Singers (1962). This is a classic folk/bluegrass song that combines easy-going strumming with very distinctive acoustic walk-ups and walk-downs between various chords. It can be tricky to combine it all together… but in this lesson I’ll guide you through things step-by-step to help you learn it. I should note that this lesson is steered slightly toward an “easy” version of the song – I’ll be cutting a few corners to keep things simpler with some of the runs & fills, even if it’s not 100% what the Rooftop Singers play in all cases.

I begin with the basics: the chords, progression, easy strumming (all used in the verse)… and then show you how to bring in the slightly more difficult bass-line fills that connect everything together (specifically in the intro). Here’s what I teach, with timestamps if you want to jump ahead:

  • 0:00 Lesson overview
  • 2:35 Chord shapes & progression
  • 6:29 Strumming the verse
  • 9:51 How to play the intro (w/ tab)
  • 20:36 Intro playthrough (simple strumming)
  • 21:43 Intro playthrough (moderate strumming)
  • 22:15 Farewell

I came to know this song from the Forrest Gump soundtrack back in the 90s, which introduced me to so much music I’d grow to love. Recently, it was Patreon supporter Karl who wrote in with a request for this song –– bringing it back to mind. It’s been a pleasure to make this lesson, and I hope you find it helpful!

Quick note about capo and tuning

I’m playing this song using chords in the key of G (to keep things simple), with a capo on the 1st fret. This allows you to play the song along with the album version while being in the same key. I should note that I’ve seen some lessons teach this in the key of A, with the guitar tuned down 1/2 step. I’m not taking that approach, even if that’s the “real” way The Rooftop Singers play this song… simply because I’d rather keep things slightly more beginner-friendly and accessible to more of my audience.

Rooftop Singers version of this song

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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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