Simple Man Guitar Chords, Tabs, And best YouTube lessons

Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of the band’s earliest and most popular songs (1). In this article, we go through all the chords you need to play this beautiful power ballad.

We also review a few very helpful YouTube videos that will make learning to play this song as easy as possible.

Simple Man Guitar Chords — Intro And First Verse

The original recording of this song features the guitars and bass tuned half step down. So you might want to do that if you want to sound exactly like the band does in the record.

Either way, the chords for the intro and first verse of the song are open C, G, and Am:

C diagram
G open
A minor diagram

For the flatpicking pattern used in the original recording of the song, please see the video-lesson review section below.

But you can always strum these chords on an acoustic guitar for an easy, campfire version if flatpicking is out of your skill range right now. Of course, you can strum the chords on your electric guitar as well!

• • •

Simple Man Chords — Second, Third, And Fourth Verses

The rest of the verses of the song feature exactly the same chords and picking patterns as the first verse.

(You can learn the picking patterns and strumming patterns by watching any of the video lessons reviewed below.)

However, between verses, there is a big-sounding electric guitar that does this:

Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd — Guitar Interlude

Tablature for the interlude of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Simple Man

Simple Man Chords — Chorus

The chorus for Simple Man features the same chord progression as the verses but uses power chords, which can be played like this:

C power chord diagram
G power chord diagram

Or like this:

C power open diagrm
G power open diagram
A power open diagram

And chord-wise, that’s basically it. However, as I mentioned, when it comes to learning the picking and strumming patterns, as well as other nuances that are crucial when playing the entire song, watching a video lesson can be very helpful.

I review my favorite YouTube videos for learning Simple Man below.

Chords And Lyrics

But first, let’s look at the lyrics of the song and which chord goes where for those of you singer-guitarists out there:


VERSE 1
Well, Mama told me, when I was young.
Come sit beside me, my only son.
And listen closely, to what I say.
And if you do this, it’ll help you, some sunny day.
Oh yeah!

VERSE 2
Oh, take your time, don’t live too fast.
Troubles will come, and they will pass.
Go find a woman, and you’ll find love.
And don’t forget son, there is someone up above.

CHORUS
And be a simple kind of man.
Oh, be something, you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh, won’t you do this for me son, if you can?

VERSE 3
Forget your lust, for rich man’s gold,
All that you need, is in your soul.
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try.
All that I want for you my son, is to be satisfied.

CHORUS
And be a simple kind of man.
Oh, be something, you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh, won’t you do this for me son, if you can?
Oh yes, I will.

VERSE 4
Boy, don't you worry, you’ll find yourself.
Follow your heart, and nothing else.
You can do this, oh baby, if you try.
All that I want for you my son, is to be satisfied.

CHORUS
And be a simple kind of man.
Oh, be something, you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh, won’t you do this for me son, if you can?
Baby, be a simple, be a simple man

• • •

Best Video Lesson Roundup

Here are what I think are the best lessons for learning Simple Man on YouTube.

Marty Music (Electric)

This lesson is based on the chords exactly as shown in this article. Marty Schwartz walks you through the picking patterns for the verses, the riff between them, and the power chords for the chorus in great detail.

He also offers a free download of two guitar effects patches for the Boss Katana amp (which we reviewed here) that sound great!

Guitar Lessons 365 Song

This lesson goes into a little bit more depth about how to play the different power-chord guitar layers in the chorus section.

It also teaches how to play the solo section of the song, both rhythm, and lead.

Overall, this is an excellent lesson, but perhaps a bit more difficult for beginners than Marty Schwarz’s lesson.

Marty Music (Acoustic)

Here Marty teaches an acoustic version of Simple Man.

First, he explains how to play the song by simply strumming the C, G, and Am chords. Then he explains how to play the flatpicking version.

He also does a great job adding a few licks here and there to make this acoustic version sound as close as possible to the original recording.

• • •

How Do You Play Simple Man?

Let us know in the comments how you’re doing with learning this song, whether you play these chords or any variations, or your own favorite video lessons we should check out!

If you want to keep progressing in your guitar-song learning journey, make sure to read our articles on other great pieces you can master:

• • •

References:

  1. Discogs.com, “Lynyrd Skynyrd,” as published here https://www.discogs.com/es/release/6795525-Lynyrd-Skynyrd-Pronounced-L%C4%95h-n%C3%A9rd-Skin-n%C3%A9rd

Image credits:

Featured image: Andrew King, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Larry Junstrom image: Nico.GI, CC BY 2.0; Jonny Van Zant image: Alberto Cabello, CC BY 2.0

Streaming access to every course in our library!
Monthly $29 On Sale! $24.99/month
Annual $249 On Sale! $179/year

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *