Redemption Song chords

You can learn how to play Redemption Song by Bob Marley!

Redemption Song was penned by the legendary Bob Marley and released in 1980, less than a year before his death.

Played on just one guitar, it is one of the most politically loaded and widespread songs the world has ever heard.

Perhaps the ultimate campfire song, it uses only open position chords from the key of G. This makes Redemption Song one of the best songs for a beginner to learn.

In the video above, you’ll see how you can play Redemption Song on just one acoustic guitar, including the famous intro and all the chords.

You’ll also find two 2nd guitar parts, learn them and you can play this song with me and the singer as if we were a band.

Creating a second guitar part using a capo means you have to change the key, this is one of the best ways to learn more about playing guitar. In the beginner acoustic guitar course, we do this to all songs.

Redemption Song chords and lyrics

Chords for Redemption Song – Guitar 1

The intro is a melody, you don’t play any chords. There is TAB for how to play this further down this page.

Verse 1 is displayed with lyrics below. Notice how the progression changes at the end before we go to the chorus.

| G | Em | C G/B | Am |
Old pirates yes they rob I, sold I to the merchant ships.
| G | Em | C G/B | Am |
Minutes after they took I, from the bottomless pit.
| G | Em | C G/B | Am |
But my hand was made strong, by the hand of the almighty.
| G | Em | C | D |
We forward in this generation, triumphantly.

The chorus has both a D and D5 chord, notice the difference this seemingly small change makes.

| D | G5 | C D5 | G5 |
Won’t you help to sing, these songs of freedom.
| C D5 | Em | C D | G5 | C D5 | G5 | C D |
‘Cause all I ever have, redemption songs, redemption songs.

Verse 2 does not have the same progression as verse 1 did. There are now both G and G5 chords.

| G5 | Em | C G/B | Am |
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.
| G | Em | C G/B | D |
Have no fear for atomic energy, ’cause none of them can stop the time.
| G5 | Em | C G/B | Am |
How long shall they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look?
| G | Em | C G/B | D | D |
Ooh, some say it’s just a part of it, we’ve got to fulfill the book.

This is followed by another, identical chorus and then a guitar break, repeated four times.

||: Em | C D5 :|| x4

Verse 3 is the same (including lyrics) to verse 2.

The outro chorus is varied with an Em. We end on an Am6.

| D | G5 | C D5 | G |
Won’t you help to sing, these songs of freedom.
| C D | Em | C D | G5 |
‘Cause all I ever had, redemption songs.
| C D5 | Em | C D5 | Em |
All I ever had, redemption songs.
| C D5 | G | C D | G | C G/B | Am | Am | Am6 | Am6 |
These songs of freedom, songs of freedom.

Improve your playing with Hammer-On’s

As you can see when I play the song, the intro uses a Hammer-On technique. You play the open string, then hammer-on the note.

This is a very common technique on the guitar and can be found in many songs. Fast Car and Wish You Were Here are only two more examples.

Improving your hammer-on technique may seem like a small detail to pay attention to but you’ll be surprised by its impact. Once you get your Hammer-On’s bang on, you’re overall playing really does improve.

Course preview (Guitar Lesson – Step 2)

In the first video above, starting at 4:22, you find a preview of Redemption Song’s guitar lesson, it’s the beginning of step 2 of the course.

The first thing we do is learn the intro, below you find TAB for it.

Redemption Song – Guitar Lessons

To learn how to play Redemption Song by Bob Marley, we first study the individual parts using play-along loops, including how to play the intro note for note.

Once you learned how to play the complete song, we develop a 2nd and even a 3rd part so we can play Redemption Song together.

Go to Redemption Song guitar lessons.

Redemption Song – Lyrics

Old 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.

Bob Marley – Biography

Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer, songwriter, guitarist, and activist.

Marley is the most widely known performer of reggae music and is regarded by many as a prophet of the Rastafarian religion. Few artists have had such widespread recognition as Bob Marley.

Go to Bob Marley – Biography.

Beginner Acoustic – 9 Songs

Beginner acoustic guitar songs

You can learn how to play these 9 beginner acoustic songs!

Ain’t No Sunshine, The Drugs Don’t Work, Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life), One More Cup Of Coffee, Redemption Song, Rewind, Robin Hood, Talking About A Revolution, and Wonderwall.

Go to Beginner Acoustic Songs.


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