Yellow Ledbetter Guitar Lesson – Pearl Jam – Famous Riffs

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In this “famous riff” lesson we will take a look at the beautiful Jimi Hendrix inspired intro to “Yellow Ledbetter” by Pearl Jam.

This style of using basic triad chord shapes with melodic embellishments was made famous by Hendrix and has been used to various degrees of effectiveness by countless guitarists since.

This intro riff to “Yellow Ledbetter” is certainly one of the better examples of how to use this stye of playing to create beautifully melodic guitar parts.

In this Yellow Ledbetter guitar lesson video I will show you how to play the entire intro note-for-note. Keep in mind also that these chords are the same for the verse as well. The only thing he will do is make little melodic alterations here or there.

Technically probably the only thing guitarists may have an issue with is the fact that you need to use your frethand thumb to hold the bass notes of the chords on the 6th string. That is how Hendrix did it and for good reason. Using your thumb on those notes frees up the other finger to perform those melodic embellishments I mentioned earlier. It is pretty much essential for you to play them this way if you want the riff to sound correct.

If you have never used your thumb like this before I suggest starting to learn. Take a quick look at how your hand is positioned while holding the neck. A quick way of enabling your thumb to play the notes on the 6th string more easily is to simply look at your hand in playing position. You should see the underside of your wrist facing you. Now simply bend your wrist upward towards your face.

This position will allow the thumb easier access to the 6th string as well as help with the first finger barres.

If you would like to learn the entire song simply make sure you help this video get 600 likes on YouTube.

So I will see you guys back here for the complete song lesson soon, in the meantime I hope you enjoy playing this beautiful riff!

Video Rating: / 5


  1. Reminds me alot of little wing, but more of the SRV version

  2. If it wasn’t for you and Marty shwartz and Steve stine I would not be doing what I love

  3. Great lesson. Once you learn this, it will open up some great fill ins and melodies to build upon. Though not the hardest song to learn, there's a lot going on in this and the teacher does an excellent job demonstrating it in only one lesson. Once again, well done.

  4. I have a question about sliding into the A chord? What if I can not bare the high e and b string?

  5. Wonderful tone, man!

  6. Man don't know what it is about this song but it just speaks to me and one of my top 5 fav. to play

  7. This is one of my favorite joints! The Movie "Big Fish" is a perfect setting for their music tambien. Perfect.

  8. Thanks Carl! Your tutorials are perfect. Expertise, feel and humility. You’ve helped me so much. You deserve nothing but success.

  9. nice lesson. But that fret buzz!!! holy cow

  10. I cannot do the thumb chord at 7th fret my pointer will not barre the high e and b and still allow my other finger to fret without unwanted muting strings I can’t get it!!!! Ughhgh

  11. april wine – roller

  12. Can you just slow down a little your good

  13. What happens in the chorus

  14. Ey man, great video. Can u please do black ?

  15. I love your lessons! Please do the Jeremy solo next!

  16. Please do wild eyed crazy marry

  17. Best teacher on youtube and so accurate

  18. can yall get that thumb chord ? Or am i just retarded

  19. Bar chord is easier

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