Neil Young Acoustic Guitar Covers 
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Neil Young Acoustic Guitar Covers

Here on this Neil Young acoustic guitar covers page you'll find a collection of demo covers and full lesson tutorials available for purchase along with several free chord sheets in pdf. format. Help yourself to the free chord sheets.

Jump links to quickly access sections

After The Goldrush | Cinnamon Girl
Comes A Time | Cowgirl In The Sand
Don't Let It Bring You Down
Harvest | Harvest Moon
Heart Of Gold | Helpless
Hey Hey My My | Human Highway
In The Days That Used To Be
Like A Hurricane | Long May You Run
Ohio | Old Man | Out On The Weekend
Powderfinger | Sugar Mountain
Tell Me Why | The Loner
The Needle And The Damage Done
Tonight's The Night
When You Dance I Can Really Love

Neil Young Acoustic Guitar Covers
Chords, Demos PDF's & Tutorials

1. After The Goldrush

This song hails from the album of the same name from 1970. The song was never released as a single but was covered by Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt on their Trio album.

Natalie Merchant, KD Lang and Patti Smith have also covered this song. 

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: use a 1-2-3 arpeggio up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: D, G, A, Bm, C
Chords & Lyrics

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2. Cinnamon Girl

In 1969 Neil Young put out his debut album with his band Crazy Horse and this song was one of the releases from the album "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere". This song was one of three singles from the album and Neil was battling the flu at the time of writing. 

The song reached #55 in the US and #34 in Australia.

  • Drop D Tuning: Yes
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down up down up and repeat with various accents and downstrokes when blending in riffs
  • Picking: Yes into the rhythm
  • Chords: D, F, G, Am, C, Am7, Dm
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3. Comes A Time

This song was also from the 1978 album of the same name but this one was released as a single. Apparently the original mix of this album was unsatisfactory due to a master tape being damaged during shipment, but a master copy was fine.

So Neil purchased 200,000 copies of that first batch and used them a shingles on a barn roof. He-remixed the version which most have heard today.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: root down root up down and repeat
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: G, C, Bm, D, Am, F
Chords & Lyrics

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4. Cowgirl In The Sand

Cowgirl In The Sand hails from the same 1969 album as Cinnamon Girl above and that is the "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere"album. 

CSNY have covered this song as have The Byrds.

This song was never released as a single.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down down up, up down up down down up and repeat , there are accent changes as well which you'll have to feel out
  • Picking: Yes within the rhythm
  • Chords: Am, F, C, G, Dm, Em, Fmaj7

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5. Don't Let It Bring You Down

This song also hails from the 1970 "After The Goldrush" album. but the song was never released as a single but has been covered by more than a dozen artists.

  • Drop D Tuning: Yes 
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: a steady down down up down up down - down up down up down up and repeat with some chops in the rhythm
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: D, C/F, C, G, G6, D/A#, Am7, G7, Em
Chords & Lyrics

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6. Harvest

Harvest as a 1972 album released by Neil Young and contained this song of the same name. This particular track was not released as a single but the album shot to the top of the Billboard Charts as best selling album of 1972.

Neil wanted the album jacket to be biodegradable after the shrink wrap came off, but he was over-ruled by the record company due to the extra costs.

  • Drop D Tuning: Yes
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: root down up root up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: D, A, G, Bm, E7

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7. Harvest Moon

This song was also from the "Harvest Moon" album released back in 1992. The peaked in Canada at #5 but never charted in the US but reached #36 in the UK.

The song was a tribute to his late wife Pegi. Linda Ronstadt sang backup vocals on this track.

  • Drop D Tuning: Yes
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: root down root up down up and repeat
  • Picking: yes ... and this has harmonics which are tricky
  • Chords: D, G, Em, Dmaj7, D/B, A, A7 
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8. Heart Of Gold

Make sure you grab the Neil Young guitar chords for his only #1 hit song.

James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt both sang backup on this track.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes within the rhythm
  • Chords: Em, D, C, G
Chords & Lyrics

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9. Helpless

Neil Young wrote this song but it was released in 1970 while he was part of Crosby Stills Nash and Young from their "Deja Vu" album.

The song was never released as a single.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down up down down up and repeat will work
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: D, A, G
Chords & Lyrics

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10. Hey Hey My My

This song hails from the 1979 album "Rust Never Sleeps" and was the only single release from the album.

The song peaked at #79 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down up down up down up and repeat with some riffs
  • Picking: Yes within the rhythm
  • Chords: Am, G, Fmaj7, C, Em
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11. Human Highway

This can be found on the 1978 "Comes A Time" album. Young presented the song a few years earlier to CSNY but apparently they didn't want to record it.

The song was never released as a single.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: root down root up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: G, C, Em, D, Bm
Chords & Lyrics

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12. (In The) Days That Used To Be

This song is on the 1990 album "Ragged Glory".

The song was never released as a single and the album peaked at #31 on Billboard.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down up down up will work - few place where a double downstroke can be used
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: G, C, Bm, G6, Am, D, D/Gb, Em, F
Chords & Lyrics

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13. Like A Hurricane

From the album "American Stars N Bars" from 1977, this song was a single but only charted in the UK at #48.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down up stop up down up stop up
  • Picking: Yes in the rhythm
  • Chords: Am, G, Fmaj7, Em, C, F
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14. Long May You Run

This song is credited to the Stills Young band of 1976 as CSNY were on separate career paths with David Crosby and Graham Nash working together and Young and Still on separate projects.

Long May You Run was recorded during the summer of 1976 and released in the fall.  After 9 dates on tour with Stephen Stills, Neil Young dropped out of the duos tour to promote the album. The song was released ahead of the album and peaked at #71 in the UK.

I'm giving credit as a CSNY song as the four of them have performed the song many times together.

  • Drop D Tuning = No
  • Capo = No
  • Rhythm = root down root up down up and repeat
  • Picking = Yes
  • Chords = D, Dmaj7, G, Bm, A7, A7sus, A, A#, C
Chords & Lyrics

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15. Ohio

This song was a protest song written by Neil Young after seeing photos in Life Magazine of the May 1970 Kent State shootings in which four university students lost their lives. They rushed the recording and had the song on the airwaves by June of 1970.

Some radio stations refused to play song and the Nixon Administration were not too happy about the recording. It was the only single from the "So Far" album and peaked at #14 in the US.  

  • Drop D Tuning: Yes
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: root down root up down up
  • Picking: a few riffs
  • Chords: D, F/G, C, Gm, Dm
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16. Old Man

James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt both sang backup on this track after both appearing on the Johnny Cash Show, along with Neil.

  • Drop D Tuning: No but guitar tuned down 2 frets
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down up down up will work
  • Picking: a few riffs
  • Chords: D, C(add11)/D, F, G, Am7, Em
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17. Out On The Weekend

This song was not a single from the 1972 "Harvest" album but is the opening track from the album.

One critic said the song would have been a hit had it been released as a single.

  • Drop D Tuning: Yes
  • Capo: 2nd fret 
  • Rhythm: down down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes within the rhythm 
  • Chords: Am, D, Bm, E7, G, Dsus
Chords & Lyrics

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18. Powderfinger

This song hails from the 1979 album "Rust Never Sleeps".

Even though the song was never a single, in 2014 Rolling Stone said in their opinion, it was Neil Young's greatest song.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down down up down up
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: E, A, B, Abm
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19. Sugar Mountain

Neil Young wrote this song when he was 19 yrs old and the song originally had 126 verses. He managed to bring it down to four eventually but even tho his first demo was in 1965 and the the first recording was back in 1968 along with "The Loner", it never appeared on an album until 1977 which was the "Decade" album.

The song did not chart as a single.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: root down root up down up or ... use a root up down up root up down up
  • Picking: Yes within the rhythm
  • Chords: D, C, G, Fmaj7, Dm 
Chords & Lyrics

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20. Tell Me Why

Neil Young released the album "After The Goldrush" in 1970. This song was performed by CNSY live a few times before the album release during that year.

Nils Lofgren and Neil play acoustic guitars only on this track with every string tuned down a whole step.

Norah Jones and Radiohead have covered this song.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: root down root up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes within the rhythm
  • Chords: G, C, D, Am, Gmaj7, Em, Bm
Chords & Lyrics

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21. The Loner

Neil Young made his debut album in 1969, released four singles including this song, and non of them charted.

In fact in Neil Young's long solo career, he only had one #1 song in Canada and the US and it was "Heart Of Gold". 

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down up and repeat - this one has a few choppy parts and downstrokes and some shuffle strumming in parts 
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: F, G, C, D, Gm, Am, Dsus
Chords & Lyrics

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22. The Needle & The Damage Done

This number appeared on the "Harvest" album from 1972 and on other albums later on.

Our Lady Peace, Duran Duran and The Pretenders have all covered this song. 

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: Im using  1-2-3 arpeggio up down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: a few riffs
  • Chords: D, C, D/B, D/A+, F, Esus, E
Chords & Lyrics

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23. Tonight's The Night

This was Neil Young's sixth studio album which was released in 1975 but mostly recorded in 1973.

No singles were released from the album.

  • Drop D Tuning: Yes
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down strokes with muted strings
  • Picking: Yes and a few riffs
  • Chords: D, C, G
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24. When You Dance I Can Really Love

This song is found on the 1970 album "After The Goldrush". There was a title misprint and someone swapped the I for the word You.

The song peaked at #93 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down up pause down down up down up with downstrokes also mixed in
  • Picking: a few riffs in the rhythm
  • Chords: D, C, G, A#, Dm, F, Am
Chords & Lyrics

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Thanks for stopping by this Neil Young acoustic guitar covers page. I hope you found the info here useful and helpful.


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