Hey Hey Eric Clapton

Hey Hey by Eric Clapton Guitar Lesson (with TABS)

Hey Hey was originally written by Big Bill Broonzy in 1951 and Eric Clapton's cover of the song can be found on his massively successful live album 'Eric Clapton Unplugged', recorded in 1992. 

Hey Hey is no. 47 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.

The song is a straight up 12 bar blues in E and it's a terrific one to learn for aspiring fingerstyle blues players. Although the chord structure is very simple and repetitive throughout, it's certainly not an easy tune to master. It's fast, demanding on the right hand and moves all over the neck. Having said, that once you do get it together it's a lot of fun to play and it sounds fantastic!

Hey Hey Song Details:

  • Key - E major
  • Tempo - roughly 157 bpm
  • Tuning - standard
  • Difficulty - Intermediate/advanced

Part One:

Hey Hey is made up of just two parts, both of them are built with the exact same 12 bar chord structure. The first part is the instrumental section (kind of the riff) that opens the song and reappears after every sung verse.

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Part Two:

The second section is the 12 bars where Clapton sings. You don't have to play this part as I've written it, note-for-note. If you watch Clapton play the song you'll notice he mixes things up often. This is very typical among blues players, so instead see this as a template to work from.

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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. Robert Schuetz left a comment on 8th November 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Hello Chris,
    Your lessons are fantastic! A little fast at times, but I think this has more to do with my older fingers than anything you’re doing.
    With the holidays approaching, do you have any favorite holiday songs that play well as fingerpicking tunes? Also, I am jumping around your Top 60 list learning songs I appreciate most.
    Outside of your courses, I am learning “Just Breathe” by Pearl Jam. It is simultaneously simple and complex – a beautiful song. I am interested in seeing your interpretation of this song – a lesson would be helpful to me with respects to mastering the nuances.
    I saw your Beatles fingerpicking video – will your course expansion include some of these songs?
    I am not sure if you take requests – just sending you mine. Keep up the great work!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 8th November 2018 at 9:27 pm

      Hi Bob,

      Really glad that you like my lessons.

      I am planning on doing some Christmas stuff of course. I’m hoping to do 12 fingerstyle songs, but it all depends on having the time arrange them.

      Until the top 60 list is complete I can’t do any more song lessons, but I’ll certainly add it to my ever increasing song requests list!

      It won’t I’m afraid, but possible I will add more songs to the course as time goes on. I would love to do (and probably will) individual lessons on all those Beatles songs.

      Thanks for the kind words.

  2. Johnk left a comment on 15th October 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Great lesson Chris, many thanks.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 16th October 2019 at 10:20 am

      Thanks a lot John.

  3. Ricky Mills left a comment on 20th December 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Chris , Ive always been fascinated with fingerstyle an wanted to get better at it. Hoping Your course will be a breakthrough for me. Gonna try the free stuff first an if I get the anticipated results will be a Full subscriber soon. Thanks for what You do .

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 21st December 2019 at 12:46 pm

      Thank you Ricky! Soak up as much free stuff as you like. hope you enjoy.

  4. Tille left a comment on 22nd July 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Hey Chris, you did it! Now, i am addicted to fingerstyle. Let’s keep the fingers burning! Thank you

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 23rd July 2020 at 11:45 am

      Thanks Tille, long may your addiction to fingerstyle last!

  5. Tobias Burri left a comment on 30th September 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Hi I was learning this song, unfortunately the tabs got removed. I dedicded then to buy the tabs on musicnotes.com.

    However I was not able to find the tabs there.

    Can you let me know I would be able to obtain the tabs ?

    Thank you!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 30th September 2020 at 7:24 pm

      Hi Tobias, yeah I’ve had to remove all free tabs due to copyright laws. I’m spending the next few weeks transcribing them and then they’ll be available back on the site via musicnotes. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

      • Tobias Burri left a comment on 30th September 2020 at 8:52 pm

        Many thanks for your reply. Maybe you can give the “Hey Hey” tab some priority 🙂

        • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 1st October 2020 at 11:53 am

          I think it’s about fifth on my list so I’ll probably transcribe it next week but it depends on how long it takes musicnotes to publish it, sometimes it’s the same day, sometimes it’s over six weeks.

  6. Tobias Burri left a comment on 1st October 2020 at 11:59 am

    Great. Many thanks !

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