Needle and the Damage Done
by Neil Young • Lesson #397 • Oct 30, 2021
Hey friends, new Neil Young lesson for you today! This one dives into his 1972 classic The Needle and the Damage Done, the second-to-last track from his album Harvest. This one is a bit challenging, but an absolute joy to play once you’ve fully learned it. The entire song uses a single chord progression, but Neil puts together an amazingly distinctive riff you hear during the first 8 measures. It will require some mastery of alternate picking and “targeting” specific strings – but as I said, it’s a pure joy to play after you’ve put in the practice. I’ll walk you through everything, step by step. Let’s do it!
Part 1 - Free Video Lesson
Where I teach you the song structure (1:24), the riff chord shapes (2:24), the riff down-strum technique (5:34), a walkthrough of exactly how Neil plays it (7:20), how to strum the verse (18:28), and finally the E-riff used at the end of each verse (21:31).
Part 2 - For Premium Members
Based on popular demand, I’ve created a video showing a play-along cover of this song. This shows me playing the entire song using everything I teach in my lesson, with lyrics and chords shown on the screen the entire time (intro tab too). This video is only available to members of Song Notes Premium.
Print-Friendly Song Sheet 3 pages
Follow along with my print-friendly guide for this song! It’s available for purchase at Musicnotes.com, the web’s leading provider of licensed sheet music.
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