how to play “Baby Blue” on guitar by Badfinger | electric guitar lesson tutorial

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Here’s the link to the Wikipedia article on Badfinger. They might be the most tragic band of all time…

An electric guitar lesson on how to play the electric rhythm guitar parts and solos to “Baby Blue” by Badfinger from the “Straight Up” album released in 1971.
Baby Blue has always been one of my all-time favorite tracks. For me, it’s the perfect pop record. It has a certain magic about it. It has that sort of Phil Spectre “Be My Baby” groove to it, but it takes it a step further with the brilliant melodies and harmonies.

I was happy when it re–emerged in the final episode of Breaking Bad, it fit that so well. Badfinger were such an excellent band. Pete Ham’s writing was amazing. No Matter What, Day After Day, and Without You are just total classics.
The “Straight Up” album was produced in part by George Harrison, although he had to abandon it to put together the concert for Bangladesh. He hired Todd Rundgren to take over production duties. With these kind of folks involved you can see why some of these songs have stood the test of time.
I had a really great time working on the demo and doing the lesson for this song. When you break them down, you realize what great musicians these guys were. The drumming on this track is excellent, and it’s no surprise that it’s very Ringo influenced. Also the bass playing is great, again very Paul McCartney like and of course the electric rhythm guitar part is a classic and apart from the actual melody, it really makes the song.

I hope you find the lesson useful and I hope you have fun playing this great song.

I get a lot of questions about my sound so here’s what I’m using:

My amp is an Egnater Renegade head. I am using a Two Notes Torpedo Live. It’s a load box and a speaker emulator so I’m not running the Marshall 1960b speaker cabinet anymore. It enables you to crank up your tube amp but use headphones, or just listen at low volume through your monitors, so I can be rocking out and getting a great sound without bothering people around me. So far I like it!
I use a TC Electronics Nova System through the loop for effects. I also have a BB preamp which I essentially never use anymore, and sometimes (rarely) a Boss CS-3 compressor. The reverb is from the amp. My wah is a Dunlop MC404 CAE Dual Inductor, REALLY great pedal! I also use a Polytune tuner which is fantastic.
My guitar is a 1975 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe. I have Suhr Aldrich pickups on it. I have them coil split, but for this video they were in full humbucker mode.

For this song I ran the amp with only as much gain needed to get a sound. I also used a bit of chorus from the Nova System, but it was dialed way back. I didn’t use any reverb on the rhythm guitars. For the solos I just turned up the gain slightly, and actually used a bit of flange post in the recording software.

Folks may be surprised at how much time and effort goes into creating these videos. If you’re getting something out of the lessons and can afford to contribute, I’ve setup a Paypal link. If you can’t afford it no worries, but if you can, any amount is appreciated and will help me to continue to make the videos.


Thanks for all the comments, and questions and of course for subscribing. A special thanks to all of you that have contributed financially by making a donation! I really appreciate the support. Good luck to everyone with their guitar playing.
Video Rating: / 5


  1. Nice!

  2. thanks for music sir, would you ply Def Leppard – Hysteria make us lurn better how to play Def Leppard – Hysteria please .

  3. Thanks for this demo. This and all the other Badfinger songs came about during the most magical part of my life. High School, guitar player and band member, beautiful girlfriend who is still with me today…the love of my life. I still get the same feeling when I hear and play these although I play them much better and more true thanks to you. Absolutely the best tutor online!

  4. Thank you so much for this fantastic tutorial of a brilliant song, absolute classic, if I could play a quarter as good as you I would be very happy, I will have to get practising in earnest, I follow all of your tutorials, they are so well explained so thank you very much once again, Best Wishes, John

  5. Excellent lesson as usual, you're lessons are the best I've seen on the net….

  6. How… how… can anyone vote this thumbs down?

  7. Great lesson – and of course awesome song. Ever do it with capo at 2nd fret? I go back and forth on whether I think he did it with regular tuning or capo'd at 2. just curious if you tried it that way and what your ear tells you.

  8. awesome

  9. You're making that Les Paul sound pretty good.

  10. albert navarro

    thank you so much man I really appreciate this lesson. been wanting to learn this song for a long time and your lesson really helped. wish I knew someone like you to play along to this. much fucking love. thank you again

  11. albert navarro

    what tuning is this song in???

  12. I always liked their sound. The George-esque singing leads/fills and tasty but judicious use of power chords gets the thumbs up.

  13. Robert Zimmerman

    You got great videos Shutup & Play – Guitar Tutorials . I'm a 25+ year professional guitarist & vocalist. Your phrasing & intonation are a bout as bang on as it gets for theses guitar song greats on your channel. I have a hint for your to make the chord shapes/voicing easier like Stu played it in the studio which was very common in the 60's/70's. This song is capo'd on the 4th fret making natural chord shapes/voicings. 4th fret capo = natural G(B) intro/D(F#)/C(E)/ F(A)/C(E), G(B)/D(F#)/Am(C#m)/C(E)… back to start G(B) then there's Bm (D#m) to start the bridge etc… Wait til you play the staccato licks!!!! Woohoo! Makes perfect sense now. Wit til you hear these open string voicings interact with the subtle distortion of your amp. Magic! Keith Richards, Mr McCartney & Glen Campbell on all the Byrds & Beach Boys don't like letting their secrets out. neither would Paul Kossoff from Free (Alright Now) god bless his soul. If you like it… it would be cool to see that version on your channel too. :)

  14. Fantastic lesson and spot on, note for note. Thanks! I'm simply amazed to see 4 thumbs down as of this date. Pete Ham is one of my all-time favorites. This song was written about his girlfriend at the time. Anyone interested in a gripping story about the perils of the music business should check out the book Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger. It's truly a shame what happened to this band.

  15. Loadedsixstring Yeahiuseit

    how can someone dislike this video?

  16. First of all, your youtube videos are far and above some of the best tutorials anywhere. Your patience and detailed explanations are simply amazing. You have over 70,000 thousand subscribers. We should all send him a dollar of month. That's less than a cup of coffee a month for the best tutorials on the planet by some of the greatest song every written. He should be able to sit home and devote his time to more videos. 12 dollars over the course of a year is meaningless to us for all we get back. I am headed to paypal to give him 12.00 now. I challenge all of you to do the same. Let the man do what he does!

  17. Awesome ! Thanks

  18. love the band

  19. Great concise lesson!!!

  20. I learned to play most of this by ear but I could never quite figure out the outro. This is great. Subscribing.

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