Can I Get A Witness

Learn How to Play Can I Get A Witness

Chords and Guitar Lessons

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Complete song – Electric guitar and live band

Switching quickly between barre chords

The best thing about learning Can I Get A Witness is that you’ll learn all your Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, and Bb chords all over the neck.

To achieve this we must, step by step work on all our barre chord shapes in each area of the neck.

Instead of doing this like a boring exercise to a metronome, in the course, you learn these chords by learning how to play Can I Get A Witness – at the same time. All exercises are practiced along with live band loops.

Chord progression

The chord progression is played in the key of Eb and switch quickly between chords as the bass stays on the root.

To avoid writing a million chords, I’ve just called it Eb riff and so on.


||: Eb Ab | Db Ab Absus4 Ab :||


| Eb riff x4 | Ab riff  x2 | Eb riff x2 |

| Bb | Bb A | Ab riff | Eb riff x2 |

Occasionally, we add an extra Bb and play a Major Pentatonic lick at the end of this progression.

Guitar Lessons

Can I Get A Witness – Step 1

Today we start working on Marvin Gaye’s Can I Get A Witness?. This is a song in the key of Eb and structured similarly to a blues.

Before we dive into how to play the main riff, let’s have a listen to the complete song and map out the arrangement.

Go to Can I Get A Witness step 1.

Can I Get A Witness – Step 2 (Free Preview)

To learn how to play this riff in an improvised way all over the neck, first work your way through all examples one by one.

Then start improvising.

Go to Can I Get A Witness step 2.

Can I Get A Witness – Step 3

As we will soon add a sus4 to the riff, let’s work out how to play that chord in all five shapes.

To create a sus4 chord, we need to start with finding the 3rd, then replace it with a 4th one fret up.

Go to Can I Get A Witness step 3.

Can I Get A Witness – Step 4

As the bass moves to chord IV, we get a new set of chords to build the riff.

Before you start flying around the fret board, picking these chord shapes out like it was the easiest thing in the world, make sure you’ve checked each example in detail.

Go to Can I Get A Witness step 4.

Can I Get A Witness – Step 5

In this lesson, I’ll give you three examples that will make sure you’re comfortable playing the turnaround.

As you’ve seen, some chord shapes don’t work as well. Because of this, you only get three examples, not five.

Go to Can I Get A Witness step 5.

Can I Get A Witness – Step 6

It’s time to put all these things together: The riff in Eb, the riff in Ab, the sus4 movements, the turnaround, and the pentatonic lick.

Practicing to the loop, you’ll soon be able to do it all in an improvised way.

Go to Can I Get A Witness step 6.

Can I Get A Witness – Step 7

In this lesson, you’ll find a video of me playing the complete song, as well as some TAB.

Spend up to half an hour playing along with me, preparing yourself for playing the song on your own.

Go to Can I Get A Witness step 7.

Can I Get A Witness – Step 8

The time has come for you to have a go on your own.

Ensure you play in an improvised way, as in, you don’t plan where on the neck you play the chord riffs.

Go to Can I Get A Witness step 8.

Related Pages


Ah listen everybody (everybody), especially you girls (especially you girls)
Is it right to be left alone by the one you love is never home
I love too hard, my friends sometimes say
But I believe, I believe, that a woman should be loved that way

Go to Can I Get A Witness lyrics.

Holland Dozier Holland

Lamont Dozier and brothers Eddie and Brian Holland was Motown’s main songwriting team in Motown’s hit factory during the 60s.

Their hits are so many and their influence is so great it is a mystery how their names are not more widely known.

Go to Holland-Dozier-Holland biography.

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye helped to shape the Motown sound as a drummer, session singer, writer, lead singer and producer in the 60s and 70s.

Marvin’s biggest hits include I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Can I Get A Witness, and What’s Going On.

Go to Marvin Gaye biography.

The Funk Brothers

Motown’s house band didn’t have an official name, only they knew they were the Funk Brothers.

The band played on pretty much everything Motown released until ’72 when they relocated to Los Angeles and the band found a note on the hit factory door.

Go to The Funk Brothers biography.


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

These Motown/Soul songs require you to learn how to play fractions of barre chord shapes and build improvised licks using pentatonic scales.

Go to Intermediate electric guitar course.

Intermediate Electric Songs

You can learn how to play these intermediate songs on the electric guitar.

Be My Baby, Can I Get A Witness, Get Ready, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Jimmy Mack, Master Blaster (Jammin’), Money (That’s What I Want), My Guy, Rescue Me, Respect, Son Of A Preacher Man, Soul Man, and You Can’t Hurry Love.

Go to Intermediate electric songs.

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