Exploring the House of the Rising Sun - Video One

Happy Traum

Learn to Play An American Classic

23 Minute Video Download, includes tab
  • Code:DLHAPHR21
  • Skill Level:Near-Beginner (2)

Here’s one of America’s best-known and most powerful folk/blues songs, a classic that every aspiring guitarist will want to learn. Happy Traum breaks down the iconic arrangement he learned from the great Dave Van Ronk, with it’s unique descending bass line and ear-catching chord progression. He then develops variations that will teach early-intermediate players much about the guitar fingerboard, along with a variety of picking techniques. 

“The House of the Rising Sun” is set in New Orleans, but its antecedents probably go back to England or Ireland. It has been recorded hundreds of times through the years by numerous traditional folk, rock and country musicians, including Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Lead Belly and Bob Dylan. The song was a huge international hit for Eric Burden and The Animals in 1964. Their version was directly influenced by Van Ronk’s, and Happy teaches theirs in ways that differ slightly in its time signature and bass notes.

Happy deconstructs the arrangement for both new players and those who already have a good handle on their instrument but want to develop new ways to play an old favorite. 


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