I Shall Be Released

by Bob Dylan • Lesson #466 • Jan 7, 2023

Hey there, friends! New lesson today teaching you how to play Bob Dylan’s classic I Shall Be Released, taught in the style of his “Studio Outtake” recording from 1971. This guitar lesson will be capo 2nd fret, using chord shapes in the Key of G. I’ll break things down using the simplest possible chords — including an easier (non-barred) version of B-minor. I’ll also show a few strumming options, as well as tabs for some of the distinctive licks and fills. All in all, such a classic song! I hope you enjoy.

  • 0:00 Playthrough & Overview
  • 2:08 Intro Riff
  • 5:45 Chords
  • 8:27 Strumming
  • 13:33 Licks & Fills
  • 17:47 Chord Progression: Add’l Variations
  • 24:23 Vocal Melody

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Strumming Tutorials

There’s two strumming patterns I demonstrate in my video lesson. For a detailed tutorial on each pattern, click either thumbnail below:

Additional Techniques to Help with This Song

Recorded Versions of I Shall Be Released

Bob Dylan’s 1971 “Studio Outtakes” recording. This is what I based my lesson after.

The Band’s 1968 cover. Note, this is in the Key of E and features some small changes to the progression.

The live version heard in The Last Waltz featuring The Band, Dylan, many others.

Cover from Reina Del Cid. Key of A.

Cover from Olav Larsen:

There’s so many more! Have a look around YouTube, or Spotify, or wherever you get your music. Such an amazing song, and so great to hear the ways each artist makes it their own.

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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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