Needle and the Damage Done

by Neil Young • Lesson #397 • Oct 30, 2021

Description

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.

Only available to Premium members

Upgrade to 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.

On the fence? Here's a guide I made showing the purchase & print process, including answers to common questions about my song sheets.

Buy at Musicnotes.com

Save 50% on this song sheet by applying the December 2022 code at Musicnotes checkout: K2LN3PKDTR (click to copy). Thanks for being a Premium supporter!

Song Notes Premium includes a 50% discount code you can use when buying any of my song sheets from Musicnotes.com. For the current month's code, upgrade to premium or log in.

Browse Related Lessons

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

About Song Notes

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 »

Get Free Lessons Each Week!

Join the 20,000+ readers who get my new lessons dropped in their inbox each week. I teach a fun mix of songs, weekly riffs, practice ideas, and more!

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).

Thanks!


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

Browse All Recent Lessons →

Browse my all lessons

By lesson type

By technique

By musical genre

By decade

By musical key

By popular artist


← back to homepage