Don't think Twice It's Alright guitar lesson

Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright by Bob Dylan Guitar Lesson

This is the full guitar lesson for Don't Think Twice It's Alright by Bob Dylan.

Don't Think Twice It's Alright was written by Bob Dylan in 1962 (released in 1963) and appears on his album 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan'. This is an early song of Dylan's and a very well-known one. The song was written after his girlfriend of the time, Suze Rotolo, left him in New York to go and study in Italy. He claims it's not a love song, but instead "a statement that maybe you can say to yourself to make yourself feel better."

Don't Think Twice It's Alright certainly has some challenges in it. It's fast paced with a tempo of roughly 111 bpm, so your fingers are really on the move! The chords are thankfully straight forward enough and are just your normal open position shapes. However the most peculiar thing I found when first learning this song is the funny bass notes. Throughout the piece Dylan often plays the V of the chord on the first beat of the bar i.e when playing a C chord he'll play the note of G on beat one instead of C. If you've been fingerpicking for a while this will likely feel really strange. Whether he intended to do it or he just did what felt right to him I can't be sure, but it really is unnatural and uncomfortable to play at first.

Anyway, let's start learning how to play Don't Think Twice It's Alright!

Song Details:

  • Key - E
  • Capo - 4th
  • Difficulty - Intermediate
  • Standard tuning

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Don't Think Twice It's Alright Part 1 (The Intro)

Let's begin with the short intro. Another thing to watch out for are some of the nasty hammer-ons that pop up. They're very fast and often you have to play the bass note at the same time that hammer-ons land. If this doesn't make sense right now you'll soon realise when you get to one.

If you want the lyrics of Don't Think Twice It's Alright and just the chords in their most basic form, then you can find them here.

Want to learn more fingerpicking songs?

Don't Think Twice It's Alright Part 2 (The Verse)

The verse of Don't Think Twice It's Alright is similar to the intro but there is just more of it. More twists, turns, funny bass notes and awkward hammer-ons. Dylan's timing on the recording weaves a lot; however, I do recommend (as always) pulling out your metronome and seeing if you can play it in time and up to speed once you get to grips with it.

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Let me know what you thought of the lesson in the comments section below. Say what you found hard/easy, what level you're at and what your fingerpicking goals are. 

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  1. broil left a comment on 13th May 2018 at 10:14 pm

    Thiѕ site truⅼy has all the info I wanted concerning this suƄjeϲt and didn’t know ѡho to ask.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 14th May 2018 at 5:40 pm

      Glad to hear it!

  2. jwm572 left a comment on 24th April 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Superb tab, superb lesson. Thanks a lot.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 25th April 2019 at 3:02 pm

      It’s a pleasure.

  3. Mark left a comment on 15th May 2020 at 11:29 am

    Hi, really loving the lessons, is there any way to print the tab out?
    Thanks

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 19th May 2020 at 9:10 am

      Thanks Mark, not currently but I’ll be sending this one off for publication soon. Then you’ll be able to print it after purchase.

  4. Lucas Cerimeli left a comment on 19th May 2020 at 9:01 pm

    Just wanted to let you know this is still the best lesson available in 2020.
    Thanks a lot!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 22nd May 2020 at 9:52 am

      Thanks a lot Lucas, really pleased you like it.

  5. Ivan left a comment on 21st September 2020 at 9:04 pm

    Think there’s a mistake at 9:16, when going from D7/F# to G you say to keep doing the same pattern but then go on to name a different one: EBDG instead of EGDB. I guess you’re supposed to just do EGDB right? Because switching to EBDG mid-run sounds a little funky.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 24th September 2020 at 11:34 am

      I probably called out the wrong strings, I do that sometimes. Always go with what I play as opposed to what I say if you think I’ve done that.

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