How to Play Greg Brown

“What we have to learn to do, we have to learn by doing.”


I just learned how to play Greg Brown’s song, “Rexroth’s Daughter,” from this site: Greg Brown’s Songs: Transcriptions for Guitar. I quickly discovered I don’t have the voice for that particular song, so now I’m moving on to “Jacob’s Ladder” from Honey in the Lion’s Head. There are 70 or so transciptions available on the site.

Also provided are some basic tips for learning the songs. Here’s the first one:

Keep in mind that Greg is an excellent guitarist, but uses fairly basic chords. I would describe him as an excellent guitarist not becasue he’s excellent like Hendrix, but because he uses the chords and guitar to augment the song, not to write a song around flashy guitar. Many, if not most of his songs only have 3 or 4 different chords, and most all are played in the first position.

(via Bob Steidl)

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John's, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at

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