John Jorgenson Song Guitar Lesson: ’61 SGLP

John Jorgenson Song Guitar Lesson: ’61 SGLP

John Jorgenson returns to TrueFire for his second course, Eclectic Electric: ’61 SGLP, showing students how to play his song recorded with The John Jorgenson Electric Band, “’61 SGLP.” In the course, John breaks down the whole song, section by section. He’ll delve into each individual phrase of the song, pointing out everything you need to know to play it in it’s entirety (even the solo!).

In these lessons, watch and play along while John takes you through the first section and solo, with all the tab, notation, and jam tracks included. If you’ve got these down and want to learn the rest, make sure to check out the rest of the tune in the full course. Let’s get rockin’!

’61 SGLP – A Section: Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this section of “’61 SGLP” on TrueFire.

Here we have the A section of the song. First I’ll perform it in its entirety, and then we’ll break down each individual phrase in the following videos.

’61 SGLP – A Section: Phrase 1 Breakdown

You just heard the A section – now let’s break it down. The first phrase is really built around chords – E, G, D, and A. Basically, you play one note on each chord. When you get to A, you want to grab the G on the E string and rock back and forth (with some vibrato).

If you notice, my right hand is doing a few things that you wouldn’t necessarily notice to keep it clean. By muting, it allows me to play the chords “short”, and gives me more clarity and punch in the riff. So, in between the chord, I’m muting all the strings with my palm, and muting just a little bit when I rock back and forth between the A and the G. It’s especially important when you have distortion on to mute the ones you don’t want ringing and to keep it clean and punchy. Distortion adds a lot of sustain and overtones, which is fantastic, but it doesn’t necessarily know which notes you want to sustain.

’61 SGLP – A Section: Phrase 2 Breakdown

The second phrase starts exactly the same as the first phrase, but instead of the rocking back and forth between the A and G, you get another hammer-on lick. Again, I’m muting with my right hand in between the chords, hammering on from open A to B, playing the open D string, then playing it again (open A to B), and then playing D to E on the D string. You can leave the D ringing just a little bit. You’ll notice that I don’t play a full E chord, I just play the E bass note and let it ring.

’61 SGLP – A Section: Phrase 3 Breakdown

The third phrase, you’re gonna like, because it’s exactly the same as the first phrase. Again, E-G-D-A and then rock back and forth between the A and the low G on the E string. Remember the muting with your palm. The fourth phrase you’ve already learned as well – it was part of the intro and had all the hammer-ons up and down the fretboard. Let’s finish the section off by going over how all these phrases go together, and then we’ll be ready to move on to the slow and at tempo playalongs.

’61 SGLP – A Section: Slow Playalong

Now let’s go through the A section again, going a little slower. Once you’ve mastered this, it’s time to move on to the at tempo playalong. Let’s check it out!

’61 SGLP – A Section: At Tempo Playalong

Here’s the A section of “’61 SGLP” at tempo. If this is too fast, go back to the slower playalong until you’ve really nailed it.

’61 SGLP – Solo Section: Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this section of “’61 SGLP” on TrueFire.

Now we’re ready to move on to the solo section of “’61 SGLP”. First I’ll perform it in its entirety, and then we’ll break down each individual phrase in the following videos.

’61 SGLP – Solo Section: Phrase 1 Breakdown

You just heard the solo section, let’s take it apart lick by lick. The opening lick has a unison between the B string and E string, and you slide into starting on the 3rd fret of the B string and going into the 5th fret while keeping the E string open. So, you go back and forth.

After that, you do a relatively normal blues lick. Slide down on the B string from the 5th to the 3rd fret, then play an open B, then slide from the 3rd to the 2nd fret on the G string, followed by and open G. Then you’re gonna do a hammer on and double pull off, hammering from the 2nd fret to the 3rd fret, then pull of to the 2nd fret and again to the open. You end the phrase by playing E (2nd fret D string) to open D, and back to E (throwing a low B in there as well).


Great job getting through “’61 SGLP” so far! Be sure to learn the rest in the full course available at TrueFire. John Jorgenson will guide you through the rest of the track so you can really nail it, and improve your rock guitar chops in the process. Check it out!