Son Of A Preacher Man chords by Dusty Springfield


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Son Of A Preacher Man | Chords + Lyrics

Intro (0:00)

| N.C (Em) | E | Esus4 E (Em) | E | Esus4 E |

Verse 1 (0:14)

| E E6 | A E E6 |
Billy-Ray was a preacher’s son and when his daddy would visit he’d come along.
| E E6 | B B6 |
When they gathered around and started talkin’, that’s when Billy would take me walkin’,
| B7 B6 | B7 B6 | B7 |
out through the back yard, we’d go walkin’, then he’d look into my eyes, Lord knows to my surprise.

Chorus 1 (0:33)

| E E6 | A E E6 |
Well, the only one who could ever reach me, was the son of a preacher man.
| E E6 | A E E6 |
The only one who could ever teach me, was the son of a preacher man.
| E B | A A6 |
Yes, he was, yes he was, oh, yes he was.

Instrumental (0:49)

| E Em E | E Esus4 E |

Verse 2 (0:54)

| E | A E E6 |
Bein’ good isn’t always easy, no matter how hard I try (oh-oh).
| E E6 | B B6 |
When he started sweet-talkin’ to me, he’d come and tell me “Everything is all right” (oh-oh).
| B7 B6 | B7 |
He’d kiss and tell me “Everything is all right” (oh-oh), can I get away again tonight?

Chorus 2 (1:10)

| E E6 | A E E6 |
Well, the only one who could ever reach me, was the son of a preacher man.
| E E6 | A E E6 |
The only one who could ever teach me, was the son of a preacher man.
| E B | A A6 |
Yes, he was, yes he was, oh, yes he was.

Middle 8 (1:26)

| D (Db) | D (Ab) | A A6 A (Ab) | A A6 A (Bb) |
How well I remember, the look that was in his eyes, stealin’ kisses from me on the sly.
| B B7 B6 (Bb) | B B7 B6 (Eb) |
Takin’ time to make time, tellin’ me that he’s all mine.
| E (Eb) | E E7 |
Learnin’ from each other’s knowin’, lookin’ to see how much we’ve grown and.

Chorus 3 (1:47)

| A A7 A6 A | D A A6 |
The only one boy could ever reach me, was a son of a preacher man.
| A A7 A6 A | D A A6 |
The only one who could ever teach me, was a son of a preacher man.
| A E | D D6 |
Yes he was, he was, ooh yes he was.

Outro (2:03)

||: A A6 A | D A A6 :|| repeat to fade
(The only one who could ever reach me, was a son of a preacher man) Was son of a preacher man.
(The only boy who could ever teach me, was a son of a preacher man) Oh it was, was a son of a preacher man.
(The only one who could ever woo me, was a son of a preacher man) Oh, yeah, was son of a preacher man.
(The only one who could ever woo me, was a son of a preacher man) Ah he was the son of a preacher man.
(The only one who could ever reach me, was a son of a preacher man). Oh yes he was now, oh he was yeah.


You can learn how to play Son Of A Preacher Man!

Son Of A Preacher Man is a 1968 single by Dusty Springfield. Re-released in 1994 for the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, it has been firmly cemented onto most soul bands’ setlists.

The chord progression you find above has plenty of movement over each chord. Quick extensions appear as chord licks. You need the full TAB for all this to make sense (available below for the verse).

Another very important part of playing this song is to use different chord shapes. This is the opposite concept of playing rock guitar – you don’t have a set part, instead, you improvise your rhythm parts!

Embrace these two ideas (chord extensions as licks and varying the chord shapes) and Son Of A Preacher Man becomes an excellent study in how to move around the fretboard as you create rhythm guitar parts.

Let’s start with nailing how to play the chords for Son Of A Preacher Man’s verse. There’s an in-depth guitar lesson with TAB available below, enjoy!


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Son Of A Preacher Man guitar lesson | Verse with TAB

Let’s learn that verse. The progression moves from chord I to chord IV and then back again. The use of the 6 over the E chord, hints at the 3rd of the A.

The B (chord V) could be a B7. During the first verse, we play 4 bars of B, but in verse two, we only play three.

Here’s the first TAB example. First, learn it as written, once this is achieved, don’t be afraid to apply variations to it.

Son Of A Preacher Man chords and TAB, verse example 1.
Son Of A Preacher Man | Verse example 1 TAB

I do find it difficult to fret the first chord as this is a C shape. My natural instinct is to fret it like a D shape.

Should this be the case for you too, simply do that, then move to the A chord. When you go back, now fret it as a C shape.

Should you add more muted strums than just one, that’s OK, aim to sit in the groove with the band, that’s the most important aspect.

The B, or B7 in this example climbs from a G shape to an E shape, to a D shape. All are B7, apart from the first one.

Here’s the next verse example in TAB.

Son Of A Preacher Man chords and TAB, verse example 2.
Son Of A Preacher Man | Verse example 2 TAB

To me, this is a better way to play the verse than example 1. In my opinion, the part sounds better using strings 2-4, rather than 1-3.

For the B7, which is still over four bars, we use these shapes.

  • G shape, with a 6
  • E7 shape, with a 6
  • E7 shape (higher), with a 6
  • D7 shape

Experiment with sliding into all shapes as well as none of them. Maybe you could even find a way to hammer-on, instead of sliding.

For the final example, we find ourselves using a G shape for the E chord and a C shape for the A chord.

I’ve also squeezed in some licks here, mainly to prove that it is possible, although you’re treading a fine line here as you may piss off the singer, especially if you do it too much.

Worth noting is how I mainly play two notes at the same time, either string 3 and 2 or string 3 and 4. Here’s the TAB.

Son Of A Preacher Man chords and TAB, verse example 3.
Son Of A Preacher Man | Verse example 3 TAB

Varying your rhythm parts like this makes all the difference. To an extent, this is a feel thing, you may have to play three strings at the same time at first. Once you know the part, start aiming for only two strings.

The B or B7 (chord V) is now only three bars long and I’m using an E shape, an E7 shape, and a G7 shape. Experiment with finding other shapes.

In the course, we next look at the chorus, which is similar to the verse. If you didn’t nail it today, by moving on and learning the chorus, what you play for the verse will soon improve as well.

For the complete experience of learning how to play all sections from Son Of A Preacher Man, including chords, licks, the key change, intro, and instrumental section, sign up here.

Son Of A Preacher Man’s chords and progressions

Son Of A Preacher Man starts in the key of E, then modulates to A. There are loads of 6 and dom7 extensions quickly added and taken away. There are also chromatic hammer on’s and slides from, for example, Em to E, Db to D.

To learn and memorize all these as individual chords would be mad. Instead, learn how to play all CAGED shapes all over the neck and you can move around the fretboard in an improvised way as you play the song.

To get all the details of exactly how to play this, you want TAB. Once you’ve gone through that, seeing just the chords like above with lyrics, is all you need.

The intro is just an E chord, although we hammer on from minor to major as well as pull off from sus4 to major.

| N.C (Em) | E | Esus4 E (Em) | E | Esus4 E |

The verse sounds best if we add and take away 6 extensions. Notice how there are four bars of B chords at the end.

| E E6 | A E E6 |
| E E6 | B B6 |
| B7 B6 | B7 B6 | B7 |

The chorus also has 6 extensions, added and taken away quickly.

| E E6 | A E E6 |
| E E6 | A E E6 |
| E B | A A6 |

The first chorus is followed by an instrumental section, similar to the intro but shorter.

| E Em E | E Esus4 E |

Verse 2 is different in length from verse 1, the B chords now last for three bars, not four.

| E | A E E6 |
| E E6 | B B6 |
| B7 B6 | B7 |

Chorus 2 has the same chords as chorus 1. Instead of going to an instrumental section after it, we change the key as we now go to the m8. There are plenty of chromatic slides as we go from one chord to the next.

| D (Db) | D (Ab) | A A6 A (Ab) | A A6 A (Bb) |
| B B7 B6 (Bb) | B B7 B6 (Eb) |
| E (Eb) | E E7 |

The chorus which follows is in a new key. The m8 has taken us to this key, clever stuff!

||: A A7 A6 A | D A A6 :||
| A E | D D6 |

Finally, we hit the outro chorus, now the BV’s take over, and the lead vocal is answering. These are the chords.

||: A A6 A | D A A6 :||


Son Of A Preacher Man | Related pages


Son Of A Preacher Man – 8 guitar lessons

Son Of A Preacher Man, 8 guitar lessons in the course.

Since Son Of A Preacher Man doesn’t have any guitar to copy, we must invent our parts.

I’ll give you several ideas so you can create your own part for when you play with the band in step 8.

Go to Son Of A Preacher Man – 8 guitar lessons.


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Learn all these Motown/Soul songs and you will have gained yourself a repertoire so you can jam or even join a working band.

Study these songs in-depth and you will map out the fretboard, master the CAGED system and learn how to design a rhythm guitar part that works in a band.

Go to Intermediate Electric Songs.


Son Of A Preacher Man – 5 similar tunes

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Dusty Springfield

Find out more about Dusty Springfield, the woman behind Son Of A Preacher Man's chords.

Dusty Springfield is the 60s and 70s singer from London U.K who was a big part of bringing American R&B and soul to the U.K

Her most famous songs include Son Of A Preacher Man, Spooky, You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, and I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself.

Go to Dusty Springfield.


Dusty Springfield on the web

Listen to Dusty Springfield on Spotify.