In Spite of Ourselves

by John Prine • Lesson #437 • Jun 4, 2022

Today we’ll learn In Spite of Ourselves, the classic John Prine duet that he recorded with Iris DeMent (1999). I’ll start off by showing you campfire chords & strumming, allowing you to play this song even if you’re just getting started with guitar. From there, I’ll pile on a few additional tricks (e.g. strumming with alternate bass notes) before diving headlong into the Travis Picking fingerstyle used in the song’s intro. This passage took me a while to learn, but with time and persistence, I got over the hump! And I’m sure you can learn it just the same. Enjoy!

Free Video Lesson


  • 0:00 Preview & Lesson Summary
  • 0:57 Basic Chord Shapes
  • 3:51 Chord Progressions
  • 5:51 Strumming Patterns
  • 7:50 Alternating Bass Notes
  • 13:40 Fingerstyle: Right Thumb
  • 19:45 Fingerstyle: Melody Notes
  • 23:48 Fingerstyle: Full Tab
  • 27:52 Full Playthrough
  • 29:38 Tour of my Song Sheet

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