This is the full guitar lesson for Hey Hey by Eric Clapton.
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.
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!
Alright, let's pick up our guitars and learn how to play Hey Hey!
- Key - E major
- Tempo - roughly 157 bpm
- Tuning - standard
- Difficulty - Intermediate/advanced
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Hey Hey Guitar Lesson (Part 1)
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. It's pretty tricky at times so really take it slow and focus on accuracy over speed.
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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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Want to learn more fingerstyle arrangements of famous songs?: Can't Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley), Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver), Don't Look Back In Anger (Oasis), Ticket to Ride (The Beatles), Have You Ever Seen The Rain (Creedence Clearwater Revival).
Alternatively you can browse the whole song catalogue: Song Lesson Library
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.