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The Needle and the Damage Done

Neil Young

from the album Harvest released in 1972

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

Lyrics

Intro

| D . . . | Cadd9 . . . | G/B . . . | G/Bb . . . | | C . . . | C . . . | Esus4 . . . | E . . . | (see below for tab)

Verse

D Cadd9 I caught you knockin' at my cellar door G/B G/Bb I love you baby can I have some more C F/C Esus4 E Ooooh, ohhhh, the damage done I hit the city and I lost my band I watch the needle take another man Gone, gone... the damage done (intro x1) I sing this song because I love the man I know that some of you don't understand Milk blood, to keep from running out I've seen the needle and the damage done A little part of it in everyone But every junkie's like a setting sun (intro x1, end on G/Bb and let ring)

Notes & Tabs

Playing the Intro / Main Riff

The intro / main riff for this song is played as follows as follows. These tabs are also used in the verse (with one difference shown below), as well as the breaks between each verse. Pay attention to the up- and down-strum notations, as these are important for emphasizing both the bass note and melody (via the highest note). A terrific video showing how to play this can be seen here.

e-|------2-----0---------------|------------0---------------|-
B-|------3-----3-----3-----3---|------2-----2-----2-----2---|-
G-|------2-----2-----2-----2---|------0-----0-----0-----0---|-
D-|---0-----0-----0-----0------|------2-----2-----2-----2---|-
A-|----------------------------|---3-----3-----3-----3------|-
E-|----------------------------|----------------------------|-
      v  ^  v  ^  v  ^  v  ^       v  ^  v  ^  v  ^  v  ^ 
      D                            Cadd9 

 -|------------0---------------|------------0---------------|-
 -|------2-----2-----2-----2---|------2-----2-----2-----2---|-
 -|------0-----0-----0-----0---|------0-----0-----0-----0---|-
 -|------0-----0-----0-----0---|------0-----0-----0-----0---|-
 -|---2-----2-----2-----2------|---1-----1-----1-----1------|-
 -|----------------------------|----------------------------|-
      v  ^  v  ^  v  ^  v  ^       v  ^  v  ^  v  ^  v  ^ 
      G/B                          G/Bb 

 -|---------------------------------------------------------|-
 -|------1-------1------1-------1-----1-----1-----1-----1---|-
 -|------0-------0---0-----0h2-----3-----2-----0------------|-
 -|------2--0h2--------------------------------------3------|-
 -|---3-----------------------------------------------------|-
 -|---------------------------------------------------------|-
      v  ^  v    ^   v  ^  v    ^  v  ^  v  ^  v  ^  v  ^ 
      C 
      
 -|------0-----0-----0-----0---|------0-----0-----0-----0---||
 -|------0-----0-----0-----0---|------0-----0-----0-----0---||
 -|---2--2-----2-----2-----2---|---1--1-----1-----1-----1---||
 -|---------2------------------|---------2------------------||
 -|---------------2------------|---------------2-----0------||
 -|---------------------0------|----------------------------||
      v  ^  v  ^  v  ^  v  ^       v  ^  v  ^  v  ^  v  ^ 
      Esus4                        E 

Replacing the C-Walkup in the verse

The verse uses the same tab/riff/progression has the intro, with one exception. Instead of playing the C-walkup (after the G/Bb), you only need to play some simpler C and F/C strumming as shown below. After the C and F, you continue to the Esus4 and E -- those remain the same. Listen along for reference.

e-|------------0---------------|------------0---------------|-
B-|------1-----1-----1-----1---|------1-----1-----1-----1---|-
G-|------0-----0-----0-----0---|------2-----2-----2-----2---|-
D-|------2-----2-----2-----2---|------3-----3-----3-----3---|-
A-|---3-----3-----3-----3------|---3-----3-----3-----3------|-
E-|----------------------------|----------------------------|-
      v  ^  v  ^  v  ^  v  ^       v  ^  v  ^  v  ^  v  ^ 
      C                            F/C 
     "Ohhhhhh,                     ohhhh....        the damage done..."

Alternative E-riff to end each verse

Sometimes Neil plays this little riff on the final E to end each verse. The third bassnote in the E measure simply slides up to the 4th fret, and then back to the 2nd fret for the next bassnote.

 -|------0-----0-----0-----0---|------0-----0-------0-----0---||
 -|------0-----0-----0-----0---|------0-----0-------0-----0---||
 -|---2--2-----2-----2-----2---|---1--1-----1-------1-----1---||
 -|---------2------------------|---------2-----2/4-----2------||
 -|---------------2------------|------------------------------||
 -|---------------------0------|------------------------------||
      v  ^  v  ^  v  ^  v  ^       v  ^  v  ^  v    ^  v  ^ 
      Esus4                        E 

Chord Progressions

Intro

| D . . . | Cadd9 . . . | G/B   . . . | G/Bb . . . |
| C . . . | C     . . . | Esus4 . . . | E    . . . |

Verse

"I caught you knocking at my cellar door..."
| D . . . | Cadd9 . . . | G/B   . . . | G/Bb . . . |
| C . . . | F/C   . . . | Esus4 . . . | E    . . . |

Song Info

Song: The Needle and the Damage Done
Artist: Neil Young
Album: Harvest
Year: 1972
Label: Reprise

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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.