How To Play Johnny B Goode
By Chuck Berry

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Johnny B Good

On this page I'll give you some tips on how to play Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry, a classic Rock and Roll song from 1958. There are also free tabs and lyrics in the left hand menu.

Chuck Berry wrote Johnny B Goode in 1955 and recorded it in 1958. It became a #2 hit and has been covered by tons of artists over the years.

It was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999 and is near the top of many lists as one of the greatest songs of all time.

The song is on the "Chuck Berry Is On Top" album released in 1959, which is a compilation of Berry hits up to that point.

This may come as a surprise. That opening riff of Johnny B Goode did not originlly come from Chuck Berry.

Its almost note for note from a song in 1946 from a guy by the name of Louis Jordan who had a song called "Ain't That Just Like A Woman".

Jordan was a blues, jazz and big band swing artist. This song was a #1 hit in 1946 and the intro was played on horns. That's where Berry got the opening riff from for Johnny B Goode.

How To Play Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry
Kirby Style

As is most 50's Rock and Roll songs, this one can be played with 3 chords. I've seen Berry playing this in C in early footage but it sounds like it was recorded in A. In my tutorial below I'm using A, D and E. You can also throw in an E7 if you'd like.

On the original version there are two back to back lead breaks. Or you could play this with a guitar break followed by a keyboard break if you're playing this with a full band. Here I'm only going thru one break besides the main intro riff. Both are fully explained in the full instructional tutorial from the link below.

Johnny B Goode - Demo Only - Full Tutorial is 19 min 59 sec

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How To Play Rhythm for Johnny B Goode

Chuck Berry Johnny B Good

In my instructional tutorial I show you 3 separate ways you can play rhythm for this song. You can use all down strokes, you can use a steady up and down pattern or you can use a combo of both.

Because I'm moving around here a bit trying to work in some additional fill in lead in the chorus, all down strokes seems like the best pattern to use.

Don't forget to grab the free tab in the left menu to help with the chord changes.

I hope you found this how to play Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry page useful and informative.

Chuck Berry Official Website


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Free Tab For
Johnny B Goode