Songnotes

the hand-crafted music library of @davidpots

 

follow Songnotes:

Sweet Home Alabama

Lynyrd Skynyrd

from the album Second Helping released in 1974

jump to: lyrics / notes & tabs / videos / chord progressions / song info

Lyrics

Intro

D ... C9 ... G ... G ... x4, with riff

Verse

D C9 G Big wheels, keep on turning D C9 G Carry me home to see my kin D C9 G Singing songs about the Southland D C9 G I miss ole 'Bamy once again (and I think it's a sin, yes)

Interlude

D ... C ... G ... G ... x2, with interlude riff Well I heard Mr. Young sing about her Well, I heard ole Neil put her down Well, I hope Neil Young will remember A Southern Man don't need him around, anyhow

Chorus

D C9 G Sweet home, Alabama D C9 G Where the skies are so blue D C9 G Sweet home, Alabama D C9 G Lord, I'm coming home to you (interlude) F C D In Birmingham they love the governor (boo, hoo, hoo!) Now, we all did what we could do Now, Watergate does not bother me Does your conscience bother you? Tell the truth Sweet home, Alabama Where the skies are so blue Sweet home, Alabama Lord, I'm coming home to you Here I come... Alabama... (solo + interlude) Now, Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers And they've been known to pick a song or two Lord, they get me off so much They pick me up when I'm feeling blue Now, how about you? Sweet home, Alabama Where the skies are so blue Sweet home, Alabama Lord, I'm coming home to you Sweet home, Alabama (Oh, sweet home, baby) Where the skies are so blue (And the governor's true) Sweet home, Alabama (...Lordy) Lord, I'm coming home to you (Yeah... yeah!) (solo to end)

Notes & Tabs

General Song Notes

A great tune, as made famous by the Oscar-winning film "Con Air" in 1997. And I'm just kidding, of course. There isn't much I can add about this song with authority, but for an interesting read on the "takedown" of Neil Young in this song, here are a few articles that cover this and the general topic, including the relationship/friendship between Young and Ronnie Van Zant (here, here, and here). For what they're worth, read and enjoy.

Basic Chords Used

This song is quite simply D-C-G the entire time, for all of the intro/verse/chorus/interlude/solo. Easy to remember! Actually, there are a few minor variations. The first is the inclusion of a F-C-D progression solely on the "Boo, hoo, hoo!" portion -- which is played once. Otherwise, let me note that C9 and C are basically interchangeable in this song -- C9 (which is really "Cadd9") is simply adding a single note, with your pinky or ring finger, which slightly modifies the C chord.

e-|-----2------0----------- ----1----
B-|-----3------3------3---- ----1----
G-|-----2------0------0---- ----2----
D-|-----0------2------0---- ----3----
A-|------------3------2---- ----3----
E-|-------------------3---- ----1----
        D    Cadd9    G         F 

Playing the Main Riff

Here is the basic, essential core of the main riff heard in the intro and throughout this song. Note, you'll find micro variations of this riff elsewhere online and in the video lessons I reference on this page -- but for starting out, this tab is plenty to get you started. Remember, play it in a way that works for you -- and add to it / improve / refine as your talent and interest afford. And listen along for reference, especially for the rhythm -- these tabs focus on the notes.

e-|---------------------------------------------------------|-
B-|-------3------------3-----------3------------------------|-
G-|---------2------------0---------0------------------------|-
D-|---0-0--------------------------0--------0h2--0----------|-
A-|----------------3-3-------------2----0h2---------2--0h2--|-
E-|---------------------------3-3---------------------------|-
      D            C9         G 
 -|---------------------------------------------------------||
 -|-------3------------3-----------3------------------------||
 -|---------2------------0---------0----2-0-0--4-0-0--5b----||
 -|---0-0--------------------------0------------------------||  ...repeat
 -|----------------3-3-------------2------------------------||
 -|---------------------------3-3---------------------------||
      D            C9         G 

Variations to the Main Riff Hammer-On Portion

When listening to the recorded version of this song, you'll notice several ways in which the tailing hammer-on portion of the main riff is changed. Here are a few. Learn and use these to the extent they're helpful.

Here, you're taking the last two notes up to the G string (I use my ring finger to pull off the 2nd fret here). This is actually what is heard on the intro to the song, as per the album:

e-|-------------------------|-
B-|-------------------------|-
G-|-------------------2p0---|-
D-|---------0h2--0----------|-
A-|-----0h2---------3-------|-
E-|-------------------------|-

In the verses, the hammer-on section is sometimes played like this:

e-|-------------------------|-
B-|-------------------------|-
G-|-----------0---0---------|-
D-|-------------------------|-
A-|-----0h1h2-------0h2-----|-
E-|-------------------------|-

In the choruses, you'll hear them ending this riff by resolving to the C-note (5th string, 3rd fret):

e-|-------------------------|-
B-|-------------------------|-
G-|-------------------------|-
D-|---------0h2--0----------|-
A-|-----0h2------------3----|-
E-|-------------------------|-

Finally, for the very cool-sounding repeating hammer-on effect heard during the chorus, use something like this. This may take a bit of practice to pull off and stay perfectly in rhythm with the song tempo.

e-|---------------------------------------|-
B-|---------------------------------------|-
G-|---------------------------------------|-
D-|---------0-----0-----0-----0-----0-----|-
A-|-----0h2---0h2---0h2---0h2---0h2---0---|-
E-|---------------------------------------|-

Interlude Riff

This is another fun riff to add to your bag of tricks. To hear this in the song, listen out for those "interlude" sections that I note inline with the lyrics. Here's a few ways to play that riff.

This first method used barred chords a bit up the fretboard. A key to understanding this method is realizing that your hands should be in position for the D at x9777x, and for the C at x7555x. Understanding those are your base positions, the following riffs are a bit easier to contextualize. I prefer playing it like this (versus the method shown next), since you can anchor your hand in each barre chord position while playing the lead notes.

e-|--------------------|---------------|------------------|-------------
B-|----------7--7------|--------5--5---|------------------|-------------
G-|----------7--7------|--------5--5---|---------0-0------|---4--2--0---
D-|----------7--7--7---|--------5--5---|------------------|-------------  x2
A-|---7h8h9--------9---|---5h7---------|---0h1h2----------|-------------
E-|--------------------|---------------|--------------3---|-------------
      D                    C               G 

Alternatively, shown below is a way to play the same fill closer to the neck of the guitar (without barre chords). I find this technique a bit tricker, but if nothing else it is helpful to practice. Refer to the Nail Guitar Licks video lesson (below) to see this played, which is immensely helpful.

e-|-----------------|------------------|------------------|-------------
B-|----------3------|--------1--1------|------------------|-------------
G-|-----------------|------------------|---------0-0------|---4--2--0---
D-|---2h3h4-----4---|---1h2--------2---|------------------|-------------  x2
A-|-----------------|------------------|---0h1h2----------|-------------
E-|-----------------|------------------|--------------3---|-------------
      D                 C                  G 

Videos

My Video Lesson

Here's a video I made showing how to play this song! Check it out.



Official Album Version

Here is a video featuring the audio from the album version of this song. If you want to reference the official recording, look no further.



Other Recommended Lessons

After looking around YouTube, I believe this is the best of all the lessons available for this song (via Nail Guitar). Terrific breakdown of the chords, rhythm, strumming, and the main riff.



Nail Guitar also made this video, which focuses on the lead guitar lick used in this song (head in the interlude). Note that he plays this differently than Marty and Justin (whose videos are below) -- I recommend watching them all if you can, it will show you how there is often more than one proper way to play something.



If you want some other lessons for context, here's Marty Schwartz giving one of his great-as-always guitar lessons for this song, breaking down the chords and each riff very slowly. Highly recommended if you want to see someone playing the song for reference.



And, here's Justin Sandercoe with two lessons on this song. In the 1st video he covers the basic chords and intro section, while in the 2nd video he continues into the verse, chorus, and interlude areas. Like Marty above, he does a great job breaking everything down.



Chord Progressions

Intro

| D . . . | C9 . . . | G . . . | G . . . | x4, with riff

Verse

"Sweet wheels, keep on turning..."
| D . . . | C9 . . . | G . . . | G . . . | x4

Interlude

| D . . . | C . . . | G . . . | G . . . | x2, with riff

Chorus

"Sweet home, Alabama..."
| D . . . | C9 . . . | G . . . | G . . . | x4

Solo

| D . . . | C . . . | G . . . | G . . . | x4

Song Info

Song: Sweet Home Alabama
Artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd
Album: Second Helping
Year: 1974
Label: MCA

Tip Jar

Want to support Songnotes? If you would like to donate a dollar or few, that would make my day. I've spent over 1000+ hours building this site and transcribing these songs -- and happily make everything available freely. Visit my PayPal page if you'd like to toss something back my way.

Donate via PayPal

Thanks so much!

Video Lessons

Here are some of the video lessons I have made recently. I typically aim to create 3-4 lessons per month. Subscribe on YouTube to be sure you never miss a new lesson.



View my notes & tabs for Shape of You →

View my notes & tabs for Simple Man →

View my notes & tabs for Highwayman →

View my notes & tabs for Audition (The Fools Who Dream) →

View my notes & tabs for Strangers →

View my notes & tabs for A Lovely Night →

View my notes & tabs for this song →

Browse All Songs

Here's a list of the 173 songs I've added to the site since December 2012. Each song was added by me personally.

Songs are grouped by the year they were released.

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1985
1984
1983
1982
1981
1980
1977
1975
1974
1972
1971
1970
1969
1968
1967
1965
1964
1961
1960
1958
1957

About

My name is David Potsiadlo, and I created Songnotes to share my collection of guitar tabs, chords, and lyrics for my favorite songs.

Since I started playing guitar over 10 years ago, I've often been frustrated by the preponderance of mediocre and incomplete song tabs littered across the internet. To combat this, I started keeping my own collection of notes for each song I learn -- always taking the extra time to make sure accuracy and completeness are never compromised. Years later, my collection grew to the point where I knew I had to share it online with fellow aspiring musicians.

In December 2012, I began designing & developing a website that became Songnotes. Here, I share my personal collection of hand-crafted music notation with all those online. I hope you enjoy.

You can also view my personal website or follow me on Twitter / Dribbble / GitHub / LinkedIn.