Cover Me Up

by Jason Isbell • Lesson #376 • Jul 14, 2021

Hey there, friends! New lesson today for Cover Me Up, a much-requested masterpiece from Jason Isbell (and very recently covered by Morgan Wallen, with much popularity). In my main video, I’ll dive immediately into the main riff that’s heard in the intro, verse, and chorus sections. I’ll tackle it step-by-step, in both standard tuning and Drop-D – which isn’t required, but fills things out quite a bit.

Video timestamps:

  • 0:00 Overview & Lesson Summary
  • 1:53 Intro riff: melody notes & basic timing
  • 3:27 Intro riff: adding basic strums
  • 9:32 Intro riff: adding filler strums
  • 13:49 Playing the riff in Drop D tuning
  • 16:17 Final advice & tips

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Play-Along Covers (Two Versions!)

Here’s an additional video, available to members of Song Notes Premium, where I play two different play-through covers (the entire song, beginning to end). In the first playthrough I am in standard tuning, showing you it is indeed possible to play it without going to Drop-D. And then in my second cover, I’ll tune down to Drop-D just to show you how much more “full” that D chord can sound, in context. I also give some additional tips on strumming and approaching the chord progression.

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Additional videos I suggest!

The original version of the song, from Jason Isbell. This is from his 2013 breakthrough album, Southeastern.

Michael Palmisano’s reaction video (hearing it for the first time). Really dig Michael’s channel all-around, and this reaction video is a very good one in particular!

Grady Smith’s discussion around Morgan Wallen’s massively popular cover of this song, and Isbell’s (positive) reaction to it.

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