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Tell Me Why Neil Young & More
On The Acoustic

tell me why neil young

This Tell Me Why Neil Young songs page is to showcase songs you can easily learn on the acoustic guitar. Check out the free sample demos, chord sheets, rhythm tips and more.


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Tell Me Why Neil Young & More
Chords, Rhythm Tips, Lyrics, Tutorials

1. After The Goldrush

after the goldrush guitar lesson

After The Goldrush 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

cinnamongirl

Cinnamon Girl was a 1969 Neil Young release from his debut album with his band Crazy Horse 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
Chords & Lyrics

 

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3. Comes A Time

comes a time guitar lesson

Comes A Time 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

cowgirlinthesand

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
Chords & Lyrics

 

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5. Don't Let It Bring You Down

dont let it bring you down guitar lesson

Don't Let It Bring You Down hails from the 1970 "After The Goldrush" album.

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. Four Strong Winds

fourstrongwinds

Four Strong Winds was recorded by Neil Young back in 1978 for his "Comes A Time" album. 

Four Strong Winds and Comes A Time were the only two singles from this album. It peaked at #18 in Canada and #57 in the UK.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: root down up down up down up
  • Picking: a little
  • Chords: C, Dm, G, F

Chord & Lyrics

 

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7. Harvest

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
Chords & Lyrics

 

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8. Harvest Moon

harvest moon guitar lesson

Harvest Moon 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 
Chords & Lyrics

 

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9. Heart Of Gold

heartofgold

Heart Of Gold was Neil Youngs 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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10. Helpless

helpless guitar lesson

Helpless was written by Neil Young and 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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11. Hey Hey My My

heyheymymy

Hey Hey My My 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
Chords & Lyrics

 

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12. Human Highway

human highway guitar lesson

Human Highway 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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13. (In The) Days That Used To Be

daysthatusedtobe

In The Days That Used To Be 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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14. Like A Hurricane

like a hurricane guitar lesson

Like A Hurricane hails 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
Chords & Lyrics

 

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15. Long May You Run

longmayyourun

Long May You Run 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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16. Ohio

ohio guitar lesson

Ohio 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
Chords & Lyrics

 

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17. Old King

oldking

Old King is a track from the 1992 Harvest Moon album.

The song was never released as a single.

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

 

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18. Old Man

oldman

Old Man has two famous artists as backup singers and they were James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt.

Both had appeared 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
Chords & Lyrics

 

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19. Out On The Weekend

out on the weekend guitar lesson

Out On The Weekend 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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20. Powderfinger

powderfinger

Powderfinger 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
Chords & Lyrics

 

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21. Sugar Mountain

sugar mountain guitar lesson

Sugar Mountain 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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22. Tell Me Why

tellmewhy

Tell Me Why hails from the album "After The Goldrush" from 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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23. The Loner

the loner guitar lesson

The Loner hails from Neil Youngs debut album from 1969, where four singles were released, 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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24. The Needle And The Damage Done

theneedleandthedamagedone

The Needle And The Damage Done 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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25. Tonights The Night

tonights the night guitar lesson

Tonights The Night 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
Chords & Lyrics

 

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26. When You Dance I Can Really Love

whenyoudanceicanreallylove

When You Dance I Can Really Love 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 my Tell Me Why Neil Young songs page. I hope you found the info here useful and helpful.

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