Rescue Me

Learn How To Play Rescue Me

Chords and Guitar Lessons

Watch This Video

Complete song – Electric guitar and live band

Rhythm guitar parts using slides and pentatonic licks

This is the first song in the course so we start with making sure you can play all CAGED chords, all over the neck.

When you can play all the chords in all shapes, the next step is to decorate the chords with some slides and licks.

When sliding into a chord you create tension. How fast you slide in or how many strings you use from what shape, is best discovered by improvising over the live band backing track.

Similarly, when adding more rhythms and pentatonic licks, you create excitement. This too should be practiced with the band, not in isolation, in order to really find out what the best part is.

Chord progression

The chord progression of Rescue Me may appear simple at first glance, there is actually a very clever key change in there.


||: A | D :|| D C#m Bm A | E |


||: A | D | G | Em :||

Guitar Lessons

Rescue Me – Step 1

For bands playing other people’s songs, Rescue Me has become an easy classic to add to the Motown/Soul repertoire.

Before we look at how to play each section in detail, let’s have a listen to the complete song and study a Bars and Beats chart.

Go to Rescue Me step 1.

Rescue Me – Step 2 (Free Preview)

The chorus of Rescue Me mainly moves between the two chords A and D.

To develop a good guitar part for it, you must ensure you can play these two chords anywhere on the neck. Let’s practice with the band.

Go to Rescue Me step 2.

Rescue Me – Step 3

In this step, we learn two new chords all over the neck in G and Em.

Pair this with A and D and you have the complete progression for the verse of Rescue Me to play with the band on a loop.

Go to Rescue Me step 3.

Rescue Me – Step 4

In this step, we take a look at the turnaround and how we can play it all over the neck, both as a single line and as chords.

To work out what chords we can play instead of just the melody, we must harmonize the A major scale.

Go to Rescue Me step 4.

Rescue Me – Step 5

As the intro has notes from the Major Pentatonic, let’s learn the scale in all shapes and make sure we can play the intro all over the neck.

I’ve made five custom-made exercises for this, see them as an introduction to learning the Major Pentatonic.

Go to Rescue Me step 5.

Rescue Me – Step 6

It’s time to put sections together, let’s play the verse, chorus, and turnaround one after another.

Remember this is still an exercise, keep exploring that fret board!

Go to Rescue Me step 6.

Rescue Me – Step 7

In this step, I play Rescue Me from beginning to end. Play along with me and the video, using both the same shapes as I do, as well as trying others.

And don’t forget to play the turnaround both as a melody, as well as chords.

Go to Rescue Me step 7.

Rescue Me – Step 8

The final step is now for you to play the full song.

If you practiced well, you could do this in an improvised way, picking out different chord shapes as the song moves along.

Go to Rescue Me step 8.

Related Pages


Rescue me, take me in your arms
Rescue me, I want your tender charm
‘Cause I’m a lonely and I’m blue
I need you and your love too

Go to Rescue Me lyrics.

Fontella Bass

Fontella Bass spent a large amount of her life chasing a royalty check she never received for her million-selling smash hit Rescue Me.

It took her 28 years until she got paid, but it wasn’t in royalties for writing the song.

Go to Fontella Bass 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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Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

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