Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain

by Willie Nelson • Lesson #433 • May 14, 2022


Hello, friends! Super excited to share my new lesson for Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, as played by Willie Nelson on his 1975 album Red Headed Stranger. I’ve gotten lots of requests for this one over the last few years – and am so happy to have this lesson wrapped up & available.

I’ll start off teaching the simplest way to play this song using the E, A, and B7 chords (0:25). Then, I’ll walk through step-by-step the various ways you can spice things up to capture Willie’s guitar playing vibe: alternating bass notes (6:01), walk-ups & walk-downs (10:56), and adding Willie-esque flourish (15:46). In my extended version of the lesson (below), I’ll even show a simplified way to play the solo – which I had a blast learning over the past week. Please check it out, and I hope you enjoy!

Free Video Lesson

Learning the Solo

Requires membership to Song Notes Premium. Here’s a deep dive into my version of the solo, which is slightly simplified compared to Willie’s version — but still captures the same vibe and is quite fun to play.

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Play-Along Covers

Requires membership to Song Notes Premium. Finally, here’s two play-along covers showing me playing the song from start to finish. One is with lyrics/chords & my singing (0:00). The other is me playing slowly, using a simplified strum, with the verse & chorus tabs shown on screen (2:31).

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Print-Friendly Song Sheet 4 pages

Follow along with my print-friendly guide for this song! It’s available for purchase at, the web’s leading provider of licensed sheet music.

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Backing Track

I also made two different 5-minute backing track to use while practicing this song. They provide a drum beat using the slight “swing” feel that is hinted at in Willie’s recording. There are two tracks, one at 100bpm and the other at 108bpm — both of which you can use while practicing the chords / progression / solo / etc. Nelson’s album version has a tempo of 120bpm.

100bpm (download):

108bpm (download):

Additional Lessons To Help With This Song

Here’s instructional lessons I’ve made teaching concepts that are useful in 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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