This is the full guitar lesson for Chet Atkins' arrangement of The Entertainer.
Originally this song was composed by Scott Joplin in 1902. It's a classic ragtime song that has been covered many times on many instruments. Chet's arrangement is pretty tricky but it's great fun to play. The bridge is particularly challenging and certainly requires some work but I'm sure you can do it!
Alright, let's pick up our guitars and learn how to play The Entertainer!
- Key - D major
- Tuning - dropped D - D A D G B E
- Difficulty - high intermediate - advanced
The Entertainer (Performance)
As you learn to play this song, be sure to frequently return to the performance as a good reference point and guide.
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OK let's jump into the lesson. When Chet plays this song he switches between playing with free time and playing actually in time. It really adds a nice dynamic to the arrangement and I recommend doing it yourself. If you're unsure what I mean then just listen to the performance and you'll hear exactly what I'm talking about.
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How to Play the Bridge
The only other section of the song to learn is the bridge. As mentioned above, this part is hard but it's really fun to play.
Want to learn more songs?
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.