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Sweet Little Sixteen Chuck Berry & More
On The Acoustic

songs by chuck berry

Welcome to my Sweet Little Sixteen Chuck Berry page. Below are several great Chuck Berry songs you can easily learn on the acoustic. View my demos and download the free .pdf chord sheets.

I've included Chuck Berry album covers so you know where each song originated. If you need or want to purchase the full lesson, it's available for a few bucks or less with a bulk purchase.


Jump links to quickly access to Chuck Berry songs sections.

Sweet Little Sixteen Chuck Berry & More
Lyrics, Chords, Demos & Tutorials

1. Johnny B Goode

johnny b goode chuck berry song

Johnny B Goode was written in 1955 but not recorded and released until 1958. Chuck Berry said later on the song was a reflection of his early days and changed the lyrics country boy from colored boy to ensure the song received radio play. The opening riff was lifted from a song from 1946 entitled "Ain't That Just Like A Woman".

The song has become one of the most recognized and influential rock and roll songs of all time.

The song tells the story of a young, talented guitar player named Johnny B. Goode who comes from humble beginnings but dreams of making it big in the music industry. The lyrics describe Johnny's journey to fame and fortune, as well as his incredible guitar skills, which are showcased in the song's iconic guitar riff.

"Johnny B. Goode" has been covered by many artists over the years and has been featured in numerous films, TV shows, and commercials. It has also been included on several "greatest songs of all time" lists, including Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, where it ranked at number 7.

The song's enduring popularity and influence can be attributed to its catchy melody, relatable lyrics, and iconic guitar riff, which has been emulated by countless musicians in the years since its release.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down up down up and repeat or use al down-strokes
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: A, D, E7
Chords & Lyrics

 

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2. Roll Over Beethoven

roll over beethoven chuck berry song

Roll Over Beethoven is a rock and roll song written by Chuck Berry, which was released in 1956. The song became a hit, reaching number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and helping to establish Berry as a major force in the emerging rock and roll genre.

The song's lyrics describe a desire to leave classical music behind in favor of rock and roll, with Berry urging the titular composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, to "roll over" in his grave and make way for the new music. The song features Berry's signature guitar style and a driving rhythm section, which helped to establish it as an early rock and roll classic.

"Roll Over Beethoven" has since become a staple of rock and roll music, and has been covered by many artists over the years, including The Beatles and Electric Light Orchestra. The song's lyrics and infectious melody have also been referenced in popular culture, appearing in films, television shows, and commercials.

Overall, "Roll Over Beethoven" is a classic example of Chuck Berry's influential contribution to the development of rock and roll music, and remains a beloved and enduring classic of the genre.

  • Drop D Tuning = No
  • Capo = No - original key is capo 1st
  • Rhythm = down up down up or steady down-strokes
  • Picking = Yes
  • Chords = D-A-G
Chords & Lyrics

 

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3. Sweet Little Sixteen

sweet little 16 chuck berry song

Sweet Little 16 was recorded and released in Jan of 1958 and managed a #2 on the Billboard chart. Berry surpassed this with a number one eventually, but not until 1972 with My -Ding-A-Ling. The song became a massive hit, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and helping to solidify Berry's status as one of the biggest stars in rock and roll music.

The lyrics of "Sweet Little Sixteen" describe a young girl who loves rock and roll music and attends concerts and dances to see her favorite bands. The song's upbeat rhythm, catchy melody, and sing-along chorus helped to make it an instant classic and one of Berry's most enduring hits.

"Sweet Little Sixteen" has been covered by numerous artists over the years, including The Beatles and The Beach Boys. The song has also been referenced in popular culture, appearing in films, television shows, and commercials.

Despite its enduring popularity, "Sweet Little Sixteen" has also been the subject of controversy due to accusations of plagiarism. In 1959, the song's melody was the subject of a lawsuit by the publishers of a song called "Sweet Little Sixteen" by a group called The Crests. The case was settled out of court, and Berry was required to give the publishers partial songwriting credit and royalties.

Overall, "Sweet Little Sixteen" is a classic example of Chuck Berry's contribution to the development of rock and roll music, and remains a beloved and influential song in the genre's history.

This song is from his album One Dozen Berrys.

  • Drop D Tuning: Yes
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down up down up down up with some chops
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: A, D, G
Chords & Lyrics

 

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4. The Promised Land

promised land chuck berry song

Promised Land a.k.a The Promised Land follows the melody of an old American folk song called The Wabash Cannonball. He had just gotten released from prison when this song was released in Dec 1964 and reached #41 on Billboard a month later.  In fact, Berry used a prison atlas to chart the travels listed in the song.

The song tells the story of a man who is traveling from Norfolk, Virginia to the "promised land" of Los Angeles, California. The lyrics describe the man's journey, his encounters with various people and places along the way, and his excitement at finally reaching his destination.

"Promised Land" features Berry's signature guitar style and a driving rhythm section, which help to convey the excitement and energy of the song's narrative. The song also showcases Berry's ability to craft vivid and memorable lyrics that capture the spirit of the American experience.

The song was a hit for Berry, reaching number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song has since become a favorite of rock and roll fans, and has been covered by many artists over the years, including Elvis Presley and The Grateful Dead.

Overall, "Promised Land" is a classic example of Chuck Berry's influential contribution to the development of rock and roll music, and remains a beloved and enduring classic of the genre.

This song hails from the 1964 album "St Louis To Liverpool". Download the Chuck Berry Promised Land lyrics below.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down up down up and repeat or use all down-strokes
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: C, F, G
Chords & Lyrics

 

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5. You Never Can Tell

you never can tell chuck berry

You Never Can Tell was released in 1964 on his album "St. Louis to Liverpool". The song is known for its upbeat rhythm, catchy melody, and clever lyrics, which tell the story of a young couple who get married and start a new life together.

The song features Berry's signature guitar style, as well as a prominent piano riff played by Johnnie Johnson, his longtime collaborator. The combination of guitar and piano creates a lively and energetic sound that perfectly captures the spirit of the song.

"You Never Can Tell" was a hit for Berry, reaching number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song has since become one of his most beloved and enduring classics, and has been covered by many artists over the years, including Emmylou Harris, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Seger.

The song is also famous for its appearance in the 1994 movie "Pulp Fiction", where it plays during the iconic dance scene between Uma Thurman and John Travolta. The scene helped to introduce a new generation of fans to Berry's music and cemented the song's place in popular culture.

Overall, "You Never Can Tell" is a classic example of Chuck Berry's influential contribution to the development of rock and roll music, and remains a beloved and enduring classic of the genre.

Chords & Lyrics

 

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Thanks for stopping by my Sweet Little Sixteen Chuck Berry page for the acoustic guitar and I hope you found the info here useful in helping you learning the best Chuck Berry songs on acoustic. 


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