Dublin Blues

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

Timestamps:

  • 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 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.

Lesson Discussion

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

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!

To access the community forum, upgrade to premium or log in.

Guy Clark Performing This Song

Album version:

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.


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