Papa Ain’t Salty chords by T-Bone Walker

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Papa Ain’t Salty | Chords and lyrics


| G9 | G9 | G9 | G9 |
| C9 | C9 | G9 | G9 |
| D9 | C9 (F#m7b5 Em7b5) |
| G9 | G9 |

Verse 1

| G9 | G9 | G9 | G9 |
Come home little girl, your papa ain’t salty no more.
| C9 | C9 | G9 | G9 |
Come home little girl, your papa ain’t salty no more.
| D9 | C9 | G9 | G9 |
I need your love and I swear I miss you so.

Verse 2

| G9 | G9 | G9 | G9 |
I know I was wrong, and I know I’ve caused you pains.
| C9 | C9 | G9 | G9 |
I know I was wrong, and I’ve caused you pains.
| D9 | C9 | G9 | G9 |
I’m sorry pretty baby, I won’t do that again.


| G9 | C9 | G9 | G9 |
| C9 | C9 | G9 | G9 |
| D9 | C9 | G9 | G9 |

| G9 (C#m7b5 Bm7b5) | G9 | G9 | G9 |
| C9 (F#m7b5 Em7b5) | C9 | G9 (C#m7b5 Bm7b5) | G9 |
| D9 (G#m7b5 F#m7b5) | C9 (F#m7b5 Em7b5) |
| G9 (C#m7b5 Bm7b5) | G9 |

Verse 3

| G9 | G9 | G9 | G9 |
Why or why pretty baby, why did you have to go.
| C9 | C9 | G9 | G9 |
Why or why pretty baby, why did you have to go,
| D9 | N.C | N.C | Ab9 G9 |
Please come back home pretty mama, Papa ain’t salty no more.

Papa Ain’t Salty chords and progressions

Built around a standard 12-bar blues, Papa Ain’t Salty’s chords have been extended to 9.

By substituting each chord with a min7b5, starting on the 3rd, we get this lovely-sounding dom9 extension.

Furthermore, this is slid up a tone, hinting at a 6 extension, before the 9.

I have indicated this by putting the min7b5 chords in brackets. On the original recording, this is only implemented after the solo, you could put it in more often if you like, maybe even in other songs!

The electric guitar pioneer

Like so many Texans before him, T-Bone moved to California to record and it was here that Mr. Walker first got his hands on one of the first electric guitars, a Gibson ES, the Electric Spanish.

Around 1939, T-Bone Walker made his mark in musical history by making the first blues recording with an electric guitar.

T-Bone could have stopped right there and still been a legend! Luckily, he didn’t and the most famous blues guitarist after him cites T-Bone as one of their main influences.

In the video lesson above, you can learn how to play Papa Ain’t Salty, one of T-Bone’s more famous tracks, and a great introduction to Mr. Walker’s legendary licks.

A personal favorite here is the Am-shaped m7b5 chords used as a substitute to create a dom9-sounding chord lick.

Papa Ain’t Salty | Related pages

T-Bone Walker

This is it, the root, the granddaddy, the first electric guitar soloist: Mr. T-Bone Walker.

It was as early as 1929 when T-bone started to record, but as he says: “I’ve been doing it for a long time before that came around”.

Go to T-Bone Walker.


Over the years, Spytunes have recorded many songs, some of these used to be in eBooks and courses but for one reason or another have been discontinued.

Since they have video guitar lessons, I’ve kept these and added chords and lyrics.

Go to Discontinued.

Song Book

As a guitarist, a repertoire is the greatest asset you can acquire. It is your ticket to playing with other musicians.

To help you on this journey, I’ve gathered tunes I play with acoustic duos, Jazz trios, Indie/Rock/Party bands as well as large Soul/Motown ensembles.

Go to Song Book.

Copyright + Comments

Studying great songs is the best way for a musician to develop, we believe displaying chords and lyrics falls under “fair use in education”.

If you are the copyright holder and do not wish to be represented in this way, or want to comment on anything in these lessons, do reach out.

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