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House of the Rising Sun


Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange


House of the Rising Sun


Here is my newer House of the Rising Sun Lesson. I've already done three other easier lessons on this old traditional blues tune made popular in the 1960s by The Animals. I recently heard the wonderful Eric Bibb do a version of this on YouTube and started fiddling around with it again. This rather minimalist arrangement emerged after a few minutes and I figured I'd turn it into a lesson for you.

It's in the same key -- Am -- as the other lessons, so you might want to have another look at them and maybe weave them all together into one long arrangement. Could be fun.

This quite dark version uses a lot of open strings and there's a lot of ringing notes adding to the spookiness of it. You'll see that I've done it in two halves. I introduce a slide guitar in the second half to show you how you could use the underlying picking as accompaniment for a sung version. The virtual fretboard for the picking part comes at the end of the slide solo.

The first half is very straight forward once you get the open strings locked into your muscle memory. The only bit you might find tricky is that F chord which requires a full barre.

The second half, where the slide comes in, is a fun one to play. It follows a strict picking pattern on the top 4 treble strings.

The pattern is 4 - 2 - 3 -1. As you will see in the tab and virtual fretboard, strings 1 and 2 are open throughout, so not much to worry about there. All the flavor changes occur on strings 3 and 4 and there's nothing tricky about the positions.

BIG TIP: Let your thumb handle strings 4 and 3. If you try (as I did) to use the thumb and three fingers, you'll find it much more difficult to keep the flow going.

I didn't indicate the chord names in the second half as those two open strings make for some strange extensions, but they are basically the same as the first half:

Am - Am7 - D7 - F
Am - Am7 - E7

As I say, once you get that picking pattern down, you can have a lot of fun listening to those notes cascading off your fingertips. Try singing along!

I hope you enjoy this one, I certainly do. In fact I think I'll go and play through it right now!

PS: There's a little chord-grid diagram top of the page in the PDFs. This is something Guitar Pro threw up there and I could not get rid of it. I spent a good 15 minutes trying to. Ignore it.

For this lesson, I will be charging a small fee of US $4.95 for the Printable PDF of the TAB/Notation. Click here to order it.


For this lesson, I will be charging a small fee of US $4.95 for the Printable PDF of the TAB/Notation. Click here to order it.


Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange

Kirk LorangeAs well as putting together these fingerstyle guitar lessons, I am also the author of PlaneTalk - The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Package, which teaches a mindset, a way of thinking about music and a way of tracking it all on the guitar fretboard. Yes, there IS a constant down there in the maze of strings and fret wire, a landmark that points to everything at all times. I call it The Easiest Yet Most Powerful Guitar Lesson You Will Ever Learn and many testimonials at my site will back up that rather superlative description. If your goal as a guitar player is to be able to truly PLAY the guitar, not just learn by rote; to be able to invent on the fly, not memorize every note; to be able to see the WHOLE fretboard as friendly, familiar territory, not just the first 5 frets and to do it all without thinking about all those scales and modes, then you should read more here.