"Jolene" Guitar Tutorial – Dolly Parton | Easy Fingerpicking + Strumming + Intro

"Jolene" Guitar Tutorial - Dolly Parton | Easy Fingerpicking + Strumming + Intro

Hey everyone! In this lesson we show you how to play “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. It’s simple as far as the chords are concerned, so we’ll be spending our time building up some fingerpicking dexterity.

For help with fingerstyle check out my latest course, Fingerpicking Mastery: https://goodguitarist.com/fingerpicking-mastery/

I also have other premium courses (Beginner to Intermediate) available to improve your chords, strumming, barre chords and more: https://courses.goodguitarist.com/

And don’t forget to grab your copy of my free eBook: https://goodguitarist.com/learn-rhythm-guitar/

The chords are just Am, C and G. That’s it! We show you some tips for switching through them seamlessly and practice playing them in order, nice and slow.

After that, we show you a simple fingerpicking pattern that you can use over the whole thing. On the original recording, the pattern changes ever-so-slightly at certain times. We’ve opted to keep it consistent and give you something to work off of as you improve your fingerstyle chops.

After that, we show you all a simple strumming pattern that you can substitute for the fingerpicking. This is for those of you who simply want to be able to play and sing the tune, and the pattern we’ve chosen uses the exact same rhythmic feel, so there’s definitely no shame in simply strumming along!

At the very end of the tape, as a bonus, I show you how to play the intro exactly like it is on the recording. This part is a bit more difficult than the rest of the tune, so if you’re looking for a challenge, here it is!

Enjoy playing along and workin’ out those fingerpicking chops! See ya next week!


Jolene – Dolly Parton

Video Rating: / 5


  1. Thanks, that's amazing guitar course

  2. That’s a terrific lesson. Thanks very much. The intro was always a challenge for me but you broke it down brilliantly. Thanks so much!

  3. are you trying to not wake up your neighbors?

  4. Thanks a lot! I learned the chords for this song on a different tutorial, and while it was helpful, the fact that the guy was annoyingly singing the chords rather than the words was distracting. Your system of scrolling the chords and the tabs and the words along with the playing is 1k percent better! (Not to mention that I now have a much clearer understanding of how to finger pick the song instead of just hammering away with a pick. There might be some instances where I prefer to really pound this song out, but at least now I have a choice. You made Travis picking much more manageable. Great job.)

  5. i love this. you are the man.

  6. The best tutorial! Thanks from Italy

  7. This is a great lesson, but I'm more impressed by the way you throwback to the 90s with your tape reference 0:50 seconds in I just had to watch after that. Nice work.

  8. Thank you so much! I have to perform in front of my guitar class on Wednesday and the finger picking saved me cause I was doing something complicated before! This helped me!

  9. This is a fantastic tutorial and I was able to learn the entire song and play it with a few days of practice. You explain and demonstrate very clearly and slowly, and the recommendation to practice the intro in four stages was super helpful. Thank you so much!

  10. Just starting out and found it a really great video. I barely do strumming right, and yet your breakdown of the fingerstyle part was so simple that I'll definitely try to learn it afterwards!

    One thing I missed was a link to the full chords chart, as you have it in the video, to help when practicing by myself at a slower pace.

  11. Jolene 33rpm

  12. Great tips

  13. Thank you! It was extremely useful!

  14. Thank you so much! It took me forever to find something I could actually play along with! You are awesome at teaching!

  15. This is such a great channel and video. I’m actually playing Jolene and it sounds good (slower tempo for now). Thanks so much!

  16. I really like the way to compiled the song and displayed the fingering and chord patterns simultaneously.  Well done, on the video and teaching method. Keep up the "Good Work and Good Video Instruction. "  You are a natural teacher…

  17. Does It matter if you Play this Song with an acoustic or Western Guitar?

  18. Suicidal Rockstar

    If you have to show the people how to use the guitar chord they probably should not be watching this lesson. Obviously not for beginners.

    You showing this lesson way too slow. People can rewind etc. just play the goddamn song you’re dragging it out it’s ridiculous.

  19. Well I tried to learn fingerstyle songs for a year now, and this is the first lesson that made the "thumb as a metronome" concept somewhat feasible to me. And it´s so simple, once somebody teaches you properly! Thanks so much!

  20. Thank you. A great professional is essential to a full life. You are an artistic pro. Thanks for all your caring and work.

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