by Billy Strings • Lesson #279 • Jan 14, 2020

Part 1 - Main Lesson

Hey friends! Here’s a lesson teaching you how to play the classic song “Summertime”, specifically using the Billy Strings guitar arrangement from his cover with Marcus King. In my main video above (lesson #279), I’ll be covering the 80% broad-stroke core of what Billy plays: chords, the progression, basic strumming, and some muting techniques.

  • 0:00 Lesson overview
  • 1:50 Chord shapes: big picture
  • 2:42 Chord shapes: Em D/F# G
  • 6:14 Chord shapes: Am C G B7
  • 7:01 Full tab, w/ strumming explained
  • 11:18 Advanced: silencing chords w/ left hand
  • 13:52 Advanced: adding flourish strums
  • 15:51 Farewell & PDF overview

Part 2 - How Billy Strings Plays It

In this additional video (lesson #316) I’ll teach you the exact strumming, runs & fills Billy plays – but watch this one first if you’re just getting started with the song, as that other lesson builds off of this one. Note that this version of the song is similar, but not exactly the same to the Doc Watson version.

  • 0:00 Lesson overview
  • 1:56 Recap of chord shapes
  • 4:19 Strumming the intro Em-D/F#-G
  • 8:37 Runs & fills tab (measures 1-8)
  • 12:32 Runs & fills tab (measures 9-16)
  • 13:56 Full playthrough (measures 1-16)
  • 14:39 Farewell & final tips

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The version I’m basing my lesson on

This lesson is based on the Billy Strings & Marcus King cover of this song, which was posted to the Carter Vintage Guitars YouTube channel in March 2019. I’m not going to presume this is the “only” way Billy has played this song – so when it comes to my arrangement, keep this in mind and stray off the path if you want.

I should note, the Billy & Marcus version above is very much similar to the Doc Watson version, which can be seen here:

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