by Guy Clark • Lesson #445 • Jul 14, 2022
In today’s lesson I’ll teach you how to play Dublin Blues, the Guy Clark classic from 1995. This is a three chord song (D, G, and A) where we’ll have a capo on the 2nd fret – but we’ll only put the capo on the thinnest five strings. This gives us a tuning similar to Drop D, where the D-major chord is played with all six strings (e.g. 000232) — but the G and A major are played like normal, which is great! I’ll teach you the chords, break down the intro riff step by step, and show you a few options for strumming. Enjoy!
Free Video Lesson
- 0:00 Playthrough
- 1:17 Chord Shapes
- 1:55 Intro: Bass Notes
- 5:25 Intro: Adding Basic Strums
- 8:37 Intro: Adding Full Strums
- 10:37 Strumming (Verse & Chorus)
- 16:07 Adding an Optional D-Riff
- 19:03 About the Texas Chili Parlor
Print-Friendly Song Sheet 4 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 September 2023 code at Musicnotes checkout: WRKGBMXP7Y (click to copy). Thanks for being a Premium supporter!
Jump in the conversation with other members of the Song Notes community! Post a comment about this lesson, ask a question, or even upload a video of your progress. All skill levels welcome!View Comments
Guy Clark Performing This Song
Live version from Austin City Limits:
Additional Tuning and Capo Notes
To the ear, this song is in the Key of E (using the chords E, A, and B). But by adding a capo on the 2nd fret, we’re able to use the chords D, G, and A. This is what I do in my lesson, and likewise what Guy Clark does when he plays it. With regard to tuning and how you apply the capo, you have a few options.
Option 1: Stay in Standard Tuning, Capo 2nd Fret on thinnest 5 Strings
I suggest playing this song with a capo (2nd fret) across the thinnest 5 strings only, while keeping the strings tuned to standard tuning (EADGBe). This lets you play a D chord using all six strings, while also playing the G chord like you normally would. Best of both worlds! This is what I recommend, and likewise what I use in my main video lesson.
•• e ––2–––3–––0–– •• B ––3–––0–––2–– •• G ––2–––0–––2–– •• D ––0–––0–––2–– •• A ––0–––2–––0–– E ––0–––3–––––– D G A
Option 2: Tune Thinnest String Down to D, Capo 2nd Fret on thinnest 5 Strings
To play it exactly like Guy Clark, use the same 5-string capo approach as above (2nd fret), but also tune the thinnest string down a whole step, to a D. This modifies the chord voicings slightly, as shown below. Note, I don’t think you need to use this approach — as option #1 shown above gets the job done just fine, especially if you’re just getting started with things.
•• d ––0–––0–––2–– •• B ––3–––0–––2–– •• G ––2–––0–––2–– •• D ––0–––0–––2–– •• A ––0–––2–––0–– E ––0–––3–––––– D G A
Option 3: Drop-D Tuning, Capo 2nd Fret on all 6 Strings
You can also play this song with typical Drop-D tuning, along with a capo on the 2nd fret (across all strings). For the G chord, use your left ring finger on the 5th fret note. That same finger can mute the 5th string, so it doesn’t make a sound. Meanwhile, put your left index finger on the 3rd fret note (thinnest string).
•• e ––2–––3–––0–– •• B ––3–––0–––2–– •• G ––2–––0–––2–– •• D ––0–––0–––2–– •• A ––0–––x–––0–– •• D ––0–––5–––––– D G A
Additional Lessons To Help With This Song
Here’s instructional lessons I’ve made teaching concepts that are useful in this song.
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).
Fun & Helpful Tools I've Made
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!
September 15, 2023
September 11, 2023
September 8, 2023
September 1, 2023
August 31, 2023
August 29, 2023
August 18, 2023
August 17, 2023
August 12, 2023
August 8, 2023
Browse All My Lessons
By lesson type
- Strumming & Rhythm
- Walk-Ups & Walk-Downs
- Learning Barre Chords
- Travis Picking
- Learning Chords
By musical genre
By musical key
By popular artist
- Johnny Cash
- Tyler Childers
- Tom Petty
- Neil Young
- Chris Stapleton
- Willie Nelson
- Guy Clark
- John Prine