Classical Gas Guitar Lesson

Classical Gas by Mason Williams (Guitar Lesson and TABS)

  • 14th February 2019
  • Songs
  • 7 Comments

In this lesson we're going to be learning how to play one of the most famous guitar instrumentals ever recorded - Classical Gas by Mason Williams. Released in 1968, this 3 minute action-packed song holds nothing back, you barely have a second to breathe when playing it. 

Classical Gas has been covered by some of the greatest musicians on earth. Artists such as Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Howe, Eric Clapton and many others have had a stab it, continuing to keep the song popular amongst blossoming fingerpickers.

Classical Gas is no. 55 on my Top 60 Fingerpicking Songs of ALL TIME list. If you've not seen the list be sure to check it out and sign up to my weekly email lesson. That way you won't miss learning any of these great fingerstyle songs.

Classical Gas Song Details:

  • Key - A minor
  • Tuning - standard
  • Tempo - as fast as you like (originally recorded at about 156 bpm)
  • Difficulty - advanced

There's no doubt that it's not an easy song to play. Two problems many guitarists encounter when learning this is 1. the speed of it and, 2. remembering the structure. In this lesson I've broken each section of the song up into individual parts in order to help you learn faster, make sure you practise each section in isolation before bringing them all together when you're ready.

To help yourself out with gaining the speed, be sure to always a have a metronome at hand to track your progress.

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Classical Gas (Demo):

First off, here's a run through the whole song from start to finish.


Learn more about the techniques used in this song.

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Intro:

The intro to Classical Gas is played freely with no set pulse. It's the easiest part of the song, but regardless of that make sure you really work on your feel as you play through it.

Classical Gas Guitar tab

Verse:

This is where all the craziness begins and the tempo picks up. Not necessarily super hard to play, but a lot to remember and playing it at full speed is likely going to be the most challenging aspect.

Classical Gas Guitar tab


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Chorus

I'd say the chorus is probably more complicated and demanding than the verse. Rhythmically it's hard and you'll need a lot of left hand strength to get each of the notes to ring out.

Classical Gas Chorus Guitar Tab

Bridge:

Without a doubt this my favourite part of Classical Gas to play. Again, rhythmically it's tricky, so you absolutely must be practising with a metronome.

Classical Gas Bridge Guitar Tab


Learn more about the techniques used in this song.

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Ending:

Much of the ending has been covered earlier in the song, so hopefully adding this section in isn't too much of a struggle for you.

Classical Gas Guitar tab

Let me know what you thought of the lesson in the comments section below. Tell me what you found hard/easy and add any song suggestions that you may have. 

Recent Song Lessons:

Neon (John Mayer), God Only Knows (The Beach Boys), Never Going back Again (Fleetwood Mac), Don't Fear The Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult, Papa George (Tommy Emmanuel.


If you want to make sure that you're really on the right track with fingerpicking, then try one of my fingerstyle guitar courses - find out more here.

If you have any questions or want to share anything at all, then please leave a comment below.

I hope you've found this lesson useful and thank you for reading.

  1. Eddie left a comment on 14th February 2019 at 3:32 pm

    On the strength of you EXCELLENT tutorial of “Classical Gas”, I will purchase the $99 course when I can set aside that amount (retired on social security). I’d like to thank you for the free tutorial. These old fingers have some work to do. I can Hana (Flower) by Massaki Kishibe, so perhaps this may just be a next level jump!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 14th February 2019 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks Eddie, really glad that you like the lessons. Keep on practising!

  2. Lizzy left a comment on 21st February 2019 at 8:31 pm

    What can I say?
    Awesome lesson, great vids with playing/description at the right speed; clear sheet music.
    I just wish I was at home to get practising and not stuck at work!!
    Thanks.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 21st February 2019 at 9:53 pm

      Thanks a lot. Yeah, guitar is way more fun than work.

  3. Lizzy Johns left a comment on 21st February 2019 at 8:31 pm

    What can I say?
    Awesome lesson, great vids with playing/description at the right speed; clear sheet music.
    I just wish I was at home to get practising and not stuck at work!!
    Thanks.

  4. Dave left a comment on 21st April 2019 at 10:00 pm

    Hi
    I’ve really enjoyed and benefited from your free lessons and tabs. You are a gifted musician
    I’m 64 years old and I bought a guitar to help with my dexterity and to see if I could learn to play

    Intend to sign up for the classes but will take a while due to Soc Sec But thanks ad I will look forward to getting started with your classes
    Thx. Dave

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 23rd April 2019 at 1:57 pm

      Hey Dave, thanks for your comment. I’m really pleased to hear that you like my lessons, means a lot to me. I hope I can continue to help you get better at fingerstyle for a long time.

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