Dreadlock Holiday

Learn How To Play Dreadlock Holiday

Chords and Guitar Lessons

Watch This Video

Complete song – Acoustic guitar and vocals


Dreadlock Holiday is single from 70s Prog/Rock/Poppers 10cc.

The song has been adapted into a one guitar arrangement by using a capo on fret three.

This way you can play as if in Em, using open strings and chords in combination with bass lines. This is very similar to how I arranged I Shot The Sheriff for just one acoustic guitar.

Chord progression (capo fret three)


| Em Bm7 | Am7 | x2
| Em | Am Am7 | x4


| Em | Am | repeat
| Em Bm7 | Am | x2


| Em D | C  Bm7 | Am Bm7 | C D | x2

Chorus tag

| G | x4
| Em Bm7 | Am Am7 | x2

Verse/bridge and outro after key change

| Em Bm7 | Am7 Bm7 | repeat

Original key – Chords without a capo

Using the chords above, adjust the capo up or down the neck to find what key suits your singer.

Dealing with key changes a semitone up in the middle of a song is always going to be awkward for a guitarist. The Glider Capo might be the only real practical solution to this problem.

Without a capo, the chords are from the key of Gm. If you choose to play it like this, you will need to barre every chord.


| Gm Dm7 | Cm7 | x2
| Gm | Cm Cm7 | x4


| Gm | Cm Cm7 | repeat


| Gm Dm7 | Cm7 Dm7 | x2
| Gm Dm7 | Cm7 |


| Gm F | Eb Dm7  | Cm Dm7 | Eb F | x2

Chorus tag

| Bb | x4
| Gm | Cm7 | x2

Verse/bridge after key change

| G#m | C#m7 | repeat
| G#m F# | E | x2

Chorus after key change

| G#m F# | E D#m7 | C#m D#m7 | E F# | x2

Chorus tag after key change

| B | x4

Verse/bridge and outro after key change

| G#m D#m7 | C#m7 D#m7 | repeat

Capo or no capo, if you understand a chord progression as roman numerals, you can create licks and build your own guitar parts using suitable scale and chord shapes.

As I was building the course, I discovered a few mistakes among my chords.

By taking a closer look at the song, transcribing the original bass line, I ended up with a much better way to play this song on one acoustic guitar. All will be revealed in step 8.

Guitar Lessons

Dreadlock Holiday – Step 1 (Free Preview)

In this first step, we play the intro, the verse, and the bridge of this pop-reggae classic by 10cc.

A few chords in this one guitar arrangement are not correct. Find out what we can learn from this.

Go to Dreadlock Holiday step 1.

Dreadlock Holiday – Step 2

In this step, we focus on how to play the chorus, tag, and instrumental sections, just like I do in the video.

This time, only one little chord has been left out compared to the original recording.

Go to Dreadlock Holiday step 2.

Dreadlock Holiday – Step 3

Now, the capo has somehow miraculously moved up the fret board so we just play the same sections again, although in a different key.

Seemingly easy to do, if it wasn’t for all those new rhythmical variations…

Go to Dreadlock Holiday step 3.

Dreadlock Holiday – Step 4

Let’s play the complete song, from beginning to end, including the capo move key change.

Using a chart rather than TAB, aim to let the rhythmical variations happen naturally.

Go to Dreadlock Holiday step 4.

Dreadlock Holiday – Step 5

Let’s start learning from Dreadlock Holiday by creating a 2nd guitar part that explores the fret board.

This will help with your fret board knowledge as you run around the fret board, finding different chord shapes.

Go to Dreadlock Holiday step 5.

Dreadlock Holiday – Step 6

I this step, we create a 2nd guitar for the chorus, the chorus tag, and the instrumental section.

The chorus maintains the idea of copying the bassline rhythm. The tag could be developed further.

Go to Dreadlock Holiday step 6.

Dreadlock Holiday – Step 7

Creating a 2nd guitar part has by now been done to all sections, so when we change key, we just move it up a fret, right?

Well… why not develop all this even further? That Chorus tag for example, can we come up with something completely new?

Go to Dreadlock Holiday step 7.

Dreadlock Holiday – Step 8

In this final step, you join me and the singers to form a band and play Dreadlock Holiday as a band.

I also give you a completely new concept for how to play this tune on your own, without a capo. Time to fire the assistant and embark on a solo career!

Go to Dreadlock Holiday step 8.

Related Pages


Dreadlock HolidayI was walking down the street
Concentrating on truckin’ right
I heard a dark voice beside of me
And I looked round in a state of fright

Go to Dreadlock Holiday lyrics.


10cc-thumbWith influences such as the late Beatles and Frank Zappa, 10cc was not your average, middle of the road band.

Similarly to Supertramp, 10cc was almost prog/rock/pop with long instrumental sections and lots of different styles mixed.

Go to 10cc biography.


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

The intermediate songs require you to learn barre chords and pentatonic scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fret board.

Go to Intermediate guitar course.

Intermediate Acoustic Songs

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

A Change Is Gonna Come, American Pie, Angie, Babylon, Blowin’ In The Wind, Dreadlock Holiday, Fast Car, Hey There Delilah, I Can’t Stand The Rain, I’m Yours, Kiss Me, Mad World, Red, Starman, Sunny Afternoon, and Whistle For The Choir.

Go to Intermediate acoustic songs.


All those open position chords you learned in the beginner course now become barre chords and pentatonic scales.

We’ll use this to map out the entire fret board. Everything becomes easier to visualize once this foundation is laid.

Go to Intermediate guitar exercises.

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