Soul Man chords by Sam & Dave

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Soul Man | Chords + Lyrics


| G | F | Bb | C D |

Verse 1

||: G G7 G | G G7 G :||
Coming to you, on a dusty road, good loving, I got a truckload.
And when you get it, you got something. Don’t worry, ’cause I’m coming.

Chorus 1

| G7 | F | G7 | G7 |
I’m a soul man. I’m a soul man
| G | F | G | C D |
I’m a soul man. I’m a soul man, and that ain’t all.

Verse 2

||: G G7 G | G G7 G :||
Got what I got, the hard way, and I make it better, each and every day.
So, honey, no don’t you fret, ’cause you ain’t seen-a, nothing yet.

Chorus 2

| G7 | F | G7 | G7 |
I’m a soul man. I’m a soul man
| G | F | G | C D |
I’m a soul man. I’m a soul man

Verse 3

||: G G7 G | G G7 G :||
I was brought up, on a side street, yes mam! I learned how to love, before I could eat.
I was educated, at Woodstock, when I start loving, oh I can’t stop.

Chorus 3

| G7 | F | G7 | G7 |
I’m a soul man. I’m a soul man
| G | F | G | C D |
I’m a soul man. I’m a soul man

Middle 8

| Eb | Bb |
Look, grab the rope and I’ll pull you in.
| C | D7 |
Give you hope and be your only boyfriend.
| Eb11 |
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (yeah!)


| Ab | Gb | B | Db Eb |


||: Ab Ab7 Ab :||
I’m talking about a soul man,
I’m a soul man, and you’re a soul man.
Soul man (oh lord), soul man.
(I’m a) soul man, (and you are) soul man.
(And you’re a) soul man.

Soul Man Guitar Lesson | Course Preview

Soul Man Analysis + TAB

Soul Man is a song first made famous by Sam & Dave in 1967. Written by Isaac Hayes and backed by Stax legendary house band Booker T. & the M.G.’s, this is a proper classic.

In 1978, it reached the masses again as it featured in the unforgettable film Blues Brothers.

The intro, chorus, and instrumental sections all use sliding D chord shapes, without the root.

When the song changes the key towards the end, you really get a great workout on how to see all those chords, all over the neck.

As if that wasn’t enough, should you play this song live, you might do so following the Blues Brothers version, which is in the keys of E and F. Now you must take everything you know and transpose it – another challenge where you better know your D-shaped chords!

In the course, I show you several different ways you could play each section. This way you can design your own favorite way to play Soul Man when you eventually play it with the live band backing track in the final step.

The first thing we do in the course is to look at the verse, I’ve included some of this lesson in the video above and TAB below so you can get going and learn how to play Soul Man yourself.

Soul Man’s chords, progressions, and TAB

One bar long, that’s all. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Here’s what the original part by Steve Cropper looks like in TAB.

Soul man chords and TAB, original version Steve Cropper.

The first beat is occupied by a G chord. It’s the top part of an E-shape played on 16th 1 and 4. This is a syncopated rhythm, ensure the rest between the notes is well pronounced.

Next, over beat two we start with a rest, then play a Gb7 chord in a D shape, quickly slide this up to a G7, and play that up until beat 3.

Finally, play on fret 5, strings 1 and 3 on the upbeat. Make sure you mute string two with the flesh of the finger playing string 3. End on the initial E-shaped G.

This movement is a classic blues trick. It takes you from the D-shape to the E-shape using the 4th and 9th. Or if you want to, you could call this a C6 as I speak about in the video guitar lesson above.

The syncopated rhythm and all the little rests in this riff create a choppy-sounding, forward-moving part. This is great since it’s only one bar long on repeat!

Such a fantastic riff, surely anyone who plays this song will just learn it, just like the original, right? Well, it turns out that’s not the case…

Soul Man’s 8 guitar lessons in the course

Soul Man is a rare example of how you should stick to just a one-bar riff for a long time as if you’re playing funk, not Soul.

Funnily enough, when other people than Steve have played it, they’ve changed how to play this one-bar rhythm guitar riff.

Once we hit the chorus and the M8, things get much more intricate, the challenge is to put it all together.

In total, there are 8 step-by-step lessons for Soul Man available. Here are links to each lesson in the course (members only):

Become a member today and get unlimited access to all my guitar courses, the SEPR practice route, and the eBook Spytunes Method – You can learn guitar!

Soul Man chords | Related pages

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The intermediate electric tunes will help you with learning the CAGED system all over the fretboard, both for chords and pentatonic scales.

Learn these Motown/Soul classics, and you’ll not just improve dramatically but also gain yourself a repertoire.

Five similar tunes

When you can play Soul Man's chords, try these five tunes from the song book.

Blues Brothers

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The 1980 Musical Blues Brothers tells the story of a band “on a mission from God” to raise money for an orphanage.

Tunes include Gimme Some Lovin’, Rawhide, Shake A Tailfeather, Think, Minnie The Moocher, Soul Man, and Jailhouse Rock.

Blues Brothers on the web

Listen to Blues Brothers on Spotify.

Booker T. & The M.G.’s

Booker T. & The M.G.'s tunes

Led by piano and organ player Booker T. Jones, the Stax Records house band played behind numerous legendary artists.

Hits include Green Onions, Born Under A Bad Sign, Dock Of The Bay, Ain’t No Sunshine, Soul Man, Hold On I’m Coming, Knock On Wood, and Respect.

Booker T. & The M.G.’s on the web

Listen to Booker T. & The M.G.’s on Spotify.

Sam & Dave

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Sam & Dave was a Soul duo that made their most successful recordings with Stax house band Booker T. and The M.G.’s.

When the film The Blues Brothers was released in the cinema, it gave their career one final boost. However, neither Sam nor Dave seemed happy about it.

Sam & Dave on the web

Listen to Sam & Dave on Spotify.

Motown & Soul

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You can learn how to play these Motown & Soul tunes, and in doing so, gain yourself a repertoire so you can jam with, or even join a working band.

Study these tunes 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.