Exploring "The Sloop John B."

Happy Traum

Learn a Classic Caribbean Folksong

35-minute video lesson, includes TAB
  • Code:DLHAPJB21
  • Skill Level:Early Intermediate (3)

The old Bahamian folk song, “The Sloop John B.” (also known as “John B. Sails”), was one of the most popular and widely-sung songs of the folk revival. It was in virtually everyone’s setlist and was recorded by dozens of artists, from the Weavers to the Beach Boys. It can be played as an engaging sing-along or as a great solo number.

Happy breaks it down for guitarists at all levels, starting with basic chords and simple strums that even novices will be able to accomplish. He then builds the arrangement step-by-step, adding new chords, bass lines, turnarounds and fill-ins that make for a lively and interesting accompaniment.

Finally, he brings out the full potential of the song with a bluesy instrumental solo that makes it a complete showpiece for intermediate-level fingerstyle players. It’s a lot of fun for anyone, at any level, who wants to learn new tricks on the guitar and shine with this timeless song.

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