Bob Marley Biography

The prophet of Reggae music

Biography and Guitar Lessons

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Bob Marley

Bob 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. Between ’73, the year of his first major tour and ’81, when he sadly passed away due to cancer, Bob Marley became one of our times most recognized performers.

Since Marley’s death, his legacy has continued to escalate and he has been inducted into many Hall of Fames and received numerous cultural awards including Greatest Album Of The Century for Exodus (Time Magazine).

Bob Marley classics include Could You be Loved, Jammin’, One Love, No Woman No Cry, Redemption Song, Get Up, Stand Up and I Shot The Sheriff.

When Marley wrote Redemption Song he was terminally ill

Redemption Song is a song by Bob Marley from the album Uprising.

The original and most famous recording of Redemption Song was performed on just one acoustic guitar. However, there are other versions by Marley either live or in the studio, with and without a band. When Uprising was re-released in ’01, the full band version was featured as well as the original acoustic take.

When Marley wrote Redemption Song in ’79, he already knew about his cancer and was dealing with his mortality. How much this affected the meaning of the song might be dangerous waters to explore but there is usually a strong connection with timeless songs and great loss.

The lyrics do have a connection with a speech by Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr, an African journalist, black nationalist and a main figure in the Rastafarian movement. Marcus Mosiah Garvey and Bob Marley shared the interest of fighting issues such as slavery, colonialism, and racism.

Pan-Africanism has hundreds of years of oppression behind it. Redemption Song speaks about this.

Seen as one of the ultimate campfire songs, Redemption Song can only be compared to other masterpieces such as Wish You Were Here and Blowin’ In The Wind.

Rolling Stone’s magazine ranked Redemption Song #66 on their list of Greatest Songs Of All Time.

Guitar Lessons

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.

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.

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


I Shot The SheriffSpytunes one guitar arrangement of I Shot The Sheriff is inspired by the original Bob Marley recording but also by Eric Clapton‘s version.

The verse chord progression is simple and very Aeolian using the IVmaj7 and the IIIm7 to point back to VI.

Go to I Shot The Sheriff chords.


I Shot The SheriffI shot the sheriff
But I didn’t shoot no deputy, oh no! Oh!
I shot the sheriff
But I didn’t shoot no deputy, ooh, ooh, oo-ooh

Go to I Shot The Sheriff lyrics.

Chords and Guitar Lessons

Redemption Song ChordsBob Marley’s classic Redemption Song is the first song many beginner guitarists learn.

With a simple arrangement, powerful lyrical message, and open position chords, surely this is the ultimate campfire song.

Go to Redemption Song chords and guitar lessons.


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.

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