Learn Motown/Soul songs by Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Sam & Dave, Dusty Springfield, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Temptations and more!

When playing songs on the electric guitar, we must learn all our barre chords in order to build rhythm parts. We must also learn our pentatonic scales so we can incorporate licks and play solos.

In the intermediate electric guitar course, we do just that – at the same time as we learn songs!

As you practice playing chord shapes and creating licks along to live band loops, there is little need for boring exercises to a metronome.

Upon completion, you will not just have mapped out the fret board and gained an understanding of how to create a guitar part. You will also have got yourself a Motown/Soul repertoire.

To find out more about each song, follow the links below.


1. Rescue Me

Rescue Me has a simple but very clever chord progression. Learn how to play it all over the neck and you’ll be able to improvise the rhythm part.

Improvising means to use pentatonic scales to build licks, slide into chords, add extra rhythms, as well as moving between chord shapes.

Go to Rescue Me – Chords & Guitar Lessons.


2. You Can’t Hurry Love

You Can’t Hurry Love has a great chord progression using only chords from the key of Bb.

By starting some of the chords earlier than expected, You Can’t Hurry Love gets its famous bouncy feel.

Go to You Can’t Hurry Love – Chords & Guitar Lessons.


3. Can I Get A Witness

Can I Get A Witness is a fast blues format song in the key of Eb.

Over each chord in a blues, you quickly switch between three chords, creating an energetic riff.

Go to Can I Get A Witness – Chords & Guitar Lessons.


4. Be My Baby

Be My Baby is an early “Wall Of Sound Production” by Phil Spector.

When playing this with a band, we need to create a big sounding guitar part to compensate for the lack of an orchestra.

Go to Be My Baby – Chords & Guitar Lessons.


5. Soul Man

Soul Man is a song first recorded and performed by Sam & Dave on the label Stax. The band behind them was the legendary Booker T and The M.G.’s.

Steve Cropper was a member of this Stax house band. Let’s play it as Steve did!

Go to Soul Man – Chords & Guitar Lessons.


6. Money (That’s What I Want)

Money (That’s What I Want) is a song written by Motown Record Executive Berry Gordy. First performed by Barrett Strong, it has since been covered by many.

As you learn this, I’ll reveal several ways you could play this song, including how to improvise a solo.

Go to Money (That’s What I Want) – Chords & Guitar Lessons.


7. I Heard It Through The Grapevine

I Heard It Through The Grapevine is a Motown classic with a very clever chord progression.

All chords are as if from the key of Eb with just one chord being different, the Eb is a minor.

Go to I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Chords & Guitar Lessons.


8. Get Ready

Get Ready is a song that moves from a repetitive Minor Pentatonic verse riff to a simple four-chord chorus progression.

When the solo comes along, we take the original sax and string ideas and put them on the guitar.

Go to Get Ready – Chords & Guitar Lessons.


9. Son Of A Preacher Man

Son Of A Preacher Man was first recorded and released by Dusty Springfield in 1968.

Since then, few artists have recorded their version, however, most have probably had it on their set list more than once.

Go to Son Of A Preacher Man – Chords & Guitar Lessons.


10. My Guy

My Guy was an early Motown hit from Mary Wells who was the first female Motown star.

Using more jazz-influenced harmony, when you learn this song you’ll get an introduction to “playing over changes” as the licks use new scales for each chord.

Go to My Guy – Chords & Guitar Lessons.


11. Respect

Respect is the most famous soul song ever recorded. Breaking up the standard blues chord progression we play G7 – F7 for the verse and C7 – F7 as a chorus.

The biggest showpiece of the song is the sax solo, let’s learn how to play it note for note on the guitar.

Go to Respect – Chords & Guitar Lessons.


12. Jimmy Mack

Jimmy Mack is a song written by Motown’s main songwriting team, Holland-Dozier-Holland. Penned especially for Martha Reeves and The Vandellas.

This song invites us to discuss how you can substitute instead of extending chords to create more interesting sounds.

Go to Jimmy Mack – Chords & Guitar Lessons.


13. Master Blaster (Jammin’)

Master Blaster was released on the Motown label, but unusually played in a Reggae feel. Written by Stevie Wonder, it is a tribute to Bob Marley.

In the course, I’ll break it down for you with live band loops to practice along with. Before you know it, you’ll be Jammin’.

Go to Master Blaster (Jammin’) – Chords & Guitar Lessons.

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