The Needle And The Damage Done chords by Neil Young

Video blocked due to privacy settings

[rcb-consent type=”change” tag=”link” text=”Change privacy settings”]

The Needle And The Damage Done | Chords + Lyrics


| D Dsus2 | Dsus2/C | G6/B | Gm6/Bb |
| C C6 | Fmaj11 Fmaj7 Fmaj7sus2 | Esus4 | E (A) |

Verse 1

| Dsus2 | Dsus2/C |
I caught you knockin’ at my cellar door
| G6/B | Gm6/Bb |
I love you, baby, can I have some more?
| C | F/C | Esus4 | E |
Mm, hm, the damage done

Verse 2

| Dsus2 | Dsus2/C |
I hit the city and I lost my band
| G6/B | Gm6/Bb |
I watched the needle take another man
| C | F/C | Esus4 | E |
Gone, gone, the damage done


| D Dsus2 | Dsus2/C | G6/B | Gm6/Bb |
| C C6 | Fmaj11 Fmaj7 Fmaj7sus2 | Esus4 | E (A) |

Verse 3

| Dsus2 | Dsus2/C |
I sing the song because I love the man
| G6/B | Gm6/Bb |
I know that some of you don’t understand
| C | F/C | Esus4 | E |
Milk blood to keep from running out

Verse 4

| Dsus2 | Dsus2/C |
I’ve seen the needle and the damage done
| G6/B | Gm6/Bb |
A little part of it in everyone
| C | F/C | Esus4 | E |
But every junkie’s like a settin’ sun


| D Dsus2 | Dsus2/C | G6/B | Gm6/Bb |

The Needle And The Damage Done Chords: Learn the progressions!

The Needle And The Damage Done Analysis + TAB

This Neil Young classic is essentially just one 8-bar chord progression on repeat. The intro, instrumental, and outro are the same as the verse, just slightly more elaborate.

This is clever as it leaves more room for the vocal, and maintains the theme.

The chords you see above may look very complex but they are based on a logical pattern that once you have the TAB will make sense.

Here’s the instrumental section with Roman numerals. The first line is in the key of D, the second is in the key of C.

| D (I) Dsus2 | Dsus2/C (I/b7) | G6/B (IV/3) | Gm6/Bb (IVm/b3) |
| C (I) C6 | Fmaj11 (IV) Fmaj7 Fmaj7sus2 | Esus4 (III) | E (IIIx) (A) |

Here’s the verse with Roman numerals, all Neil has done is take stuff out!

| Dsus2 (I) | Dsus2/C (I/b7) | G6/B (IV/3) | Gm6/Bb (IVm/b3) |
| C (I) | F/C (IV/5) | Esus4 (III) | E (IIIx) |

Members get TAB for both sections of this classic so it’s obvious exactly what to play. Once you’ve got that down, reading the chords and lyrics above will be easier.

Believe it or not, the complicated chord names will even be helpful! Check out this preview, this is the first line of the verse. Can you see why the chord names are what they are?

The Needle And The Damage Done chords and TAB. Verse first line.

Here’s a link to the complete lesson (members only): The Needle And The Damage Done – Guitar lesson with TAB.

Become a member today and get unlimited access to all step-by-step guitar coursesTAB for the songbook, the Self-Eliminating Practice Routine, and the eBook Spytunes Method.

Neil Young has inspired countless artists!

Released as a B-side to Old Man, the early ’70s really were Neil’s best years, serving as inspiration for many other artists since. Compare Needle And The Damage Done with Jewel’s You Were Meant For Me for example.

Another more widely known example is the Grunge bands that came up during the ’80s and early ’90s, the punk rock attitude that Neil became known for dubbed him the father of grunge.

Two great examples of this are R.E.M. who clearly listened to My My, Hey Hey and then wrote The One I Love.

The other example is Pearl Jam, a band Neil ended up collaborating with in 1995 on his 21st studio album, Mirror Ball.

This seemingly careless attitude Neil has of leaving mistakes in and refusing to edit is down to his debut solo album being edited and then sounding lifeless.

Ironically, that album bore his name (Neil Young, 1970), he later commented that it was “overdubbed rather than played”.

The Needle And The Damage Done Chords | Related Pages

Intermediate Acoustic

Intermediate Acoustic Songs

Most intermediate acoustic tunes can’t be played using just basic open-position chords. We have to move up the fretboard and play CAGED barre chords as well.

We incorporate bass lines, add licks, extend chords, and play vocal melodies. Most importantly, we’ll invent second guitar parts and play these songs together.

Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play The Needle and the Damage Done chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.

Neil Young

Neil Young tunes

Neil Young started out with Buffalo Springfield, briefly joined Crosby, Stills & Nash, and collaborated with Pearl Jam but is best known for his solo career.

His best tunes include Harvest Moon, Heart Of Gold, Old Man, The Needle And The Damage Done, My My, Hey Hey, and Like A Hurricane.

Neil Young on the web

Listen to Neil Young

Country & Folk

Country and Folk tunes

In the primarily acoustic genres of Country & Folk, you must acquire what matters the most: A repertoire. Nothing else will give you the gig.

Learn tunes by Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, America, Don McLean, and many more.

About me

About Me Dan Lundholm T

This article was written by Dan Lundholm, Spytunes guitar guru. Discover more about him and how learning guitar with Spytunes has evolved.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


Share this page