Lean On Me

by Bill Withers • Lesson #450 • Aug 20, 2022

Part 1 - Free Video lesson

In this week’s lesson I’ll teach you to play Lean On Me, the 1972 classic from Bill Withers. I’ll begin by teaching the chords, progression, and basic strum patterns (1:25) before showing how to mimic the iconic piano/vocal melody with your guitar (4:12). Then, I’ll take things a step further by showing how you can use filler strums to flesh things out (7:51), before finally teaching the bridge and ending (10:26).

Part 2 - Chorus Melody & Advanced Rhythm

This extended video includes instruction on playing the chorus melody while strumming (0:16), a demo of my preferred ”advanced” strumming pattern (9:12), and how to mimic the percussive sound of the bass during the bridge (14:16).

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Part 3 - Playthrough with Tabs

Finally – I’ve also put together a start-to-finish play-through of all sections, with chords & tabs shown on the screen.

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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.

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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!

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Lyrics and chords

See my 3-page song sheet! It’s all on page 1, carefully formatted to nicely fit on a single page while still being readable. Pages 2 includes tabs for the verse & chorus melodies, while page 3 shows you the progression, basic & advanced strumming, and full bridge tabs.

Bill Wither’s Original Recording


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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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