There’s a lot going on in the Lynyrd Skynyrd recording of Sweet Home Alabama. So much in fact, that some of you might be a little overwhelmed in trying to learn it as it was originally done.
You can throw all of that aside and just learn the basic strumming pattern. You can use it throughout the song and once you’ve mastered it, then maybe you can add some of the fills and variations found in the original recording.
Playing it this way is a lot easier than this, wouldn’t you say:
Again, with just strumming it you won’t get all the nuances found in the original recording, but hey, at least it’s a good starting point.
Bridging The Gap
So, if you find yourself in the boat of wanting to learn and play it like the original, but find your skills lacking, you can combine the two different approaches. Learn it as a straightforward strumming song and then gradually add some of the detail. For example, look at the tab below. We’ve omitted some of the arpeggiation found in the original, but subtracted some of the full chord strums found in the strumming version. In the end, we’ve added the fill over the open G chord (if you dare).
Play Your Way
Hundreds and even thousands of performers play this song all over the place. A lot of them will end up doing their own thing with it. Lynyrd Skynyrd really did a number on this song and it’s hard to replicate it note for note. It’s not because it’s “so darn hard”. The reason is that it’s too much to remember! You can get a fair approximation of the song by just understanding it’s basic parts and replicating it to an extent. I highly doubt the boys from Skynyrd ever played it the same exact way every time, so why should you.
With that being said, it’s fun to go back and check out the full tab just as a learning experience.