Redemption Song

Learn How To Play Redemption Song

Chords and Guitar Lessons

Watch This Video

Complete song – Acoustic guitar and vocals


Redemption Song was penned by the legendary Bob Marley and released in 1980, less than a year before his death.

Played on just one guitar, it is one of the most politically loaded and widespread songs the world has ever heard.

Perhaps the ultimate campfire song, it uses only open position chords from the key of G. This makes Redemption Song one of the best songs for a beginner to learn.

In the 2nd video of the playlist above, you’ll see how you can play Redemption Song from beginning to end on just one acoustic guitar, including the famous intro and all the chords.

Chord Progression

Verse 1

| G | Em | C G/B | Am | x3
| G | Em | C | D | D |


| G | C D | x2
| Em | C D |
| G | C D | x2

Verse 2 and 3

| G | Em | C G/B | Am |
| G | Em | C G/B | D | (repeat all)
| D |

Guitar break

| Em | C D | x4


| Em | C D |
| G | C D |
| G | C G/B | Am | Am | Am6 | Am6 |

Improve your playing with Hammer-on’s

As you can see when I play the song, the intro uses a hammer-on technique. You play the open string, then hammer-on the note.

This is a very common technique on the guitar and can be found in many songs. Fast Car and Wish You Were Here are only two more examples.

Improving your hammer-on technique may seem like a small detail to pay attention to but you’ll be surprised by its impact. Once you get your hammer-on’s bang on, you’re overall playing really does improve.

Guitar Lessons

The Reversed Chromatic Exercise

The simplest variation we can develop for the chromatic exercise is to simply start high up the neck and move down the fret board instead.

This concept can be applied to all future chromatic exercises.

Go to The reversed chromatic exercise.

Redemption Song – Step 1 (Free Preview)

Today we start looking at another acoustic classic in Redemption Song by Bob Marley.

Before we look at all the different chord progressions, let’s first establish what chords are available in the key.

Go to Redemption Song step 1.

Muting When Strumming

Today we take a look at how to mute when you strum. You’ll discover how different chords will require different muting techniques.

Use the chords G, Em, Am, C, and D over each example as demonstrated in the video.

Go to Muting when strumming.

Redemption Song – Step 2

Today we play the more exact parts of Redemption Song.

The intro and outro need to be done like on the record, the guitar break is down to you to design.

Go to Redemption Song step 2.

Chromatic Exercise 2

In chromatic exercise 2, we play using 16th notes, which means 16 notes in a bar.

In practice, this means that if you can play the first exercise at 100 BPM, you can automatically play this exercise at 50 BPM.

Go to Chromatic exercise 2.

Redemption Song – Step 3

Let’s have a crack at Redemption Song in all its glory, from beginning to end.

Simply play along with me in the video, keeping one eye on the chart.

Go to Redemption Song step 3.

Redemption Song – Step 4

Today we learn how to construct a 2nd guitar part for Redemption Song.

This means you can soon join me and the singer, which is what happens in the final step.

Go to Redemption Song step 4.

Redemption Song – Step 5

You don’t have to follow the patterns I showed you in the last step perfectly.

Since the first guitar is so consistent, you as a 2nd guitarist can afford to be a bit more experimental.

Go to Redemption Song step 5.

Related Pages


Redemption SongOld pirates yes they rob I
Sold I to the merchant ships
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit

Go to Redemption Song lyrics.

Bob Marley

bob-marley-thumbBob Marley was a Jamaican singer, songwriter, guitarist, and activist.

Marley is the most widely known performer of reggae music and regarded by many as a prophet of the Rastafarian religion.

Few artists have had such widespread recognition as Bob Marley.

Go to Bob Marley biography.


Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

Not only will learning songs help you with switching between chords and improve your rhythm playing. Songs also hold the key to how music works theoretically.

Go to Beginner guitar course.

Beginner Acoustic Songs

You can learn how to play these beginner songs on the acoustic guitar.

Ain’t No Sunshine, The Drugs Don’t Work, One More Cup Of Coffee, Redemption Song, Rewind, Robin Hood, Talking About A Revolution, Time Of Your Life, and Wonderwall.

Go to Beginner acoustic songs.


Beginner Chord ProgressionWhat do you need to know in order to play real songs?

What exercises should you practice to warm-up and improve your technique? How do you understand and change the key of a song?

Go to Beginner guitar exercises.

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Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

Go to Monthly subscription.