’39 Guitar Lesson – Queen

In this '39 guitar lesson video, we will learn a very nice live version performed solo by Brian May of this great Queen track off of their 1975 album A Night At The Opera.

In recent years, when playing live, this track is usually played as sort of a solo piece for Brain May. So it is this live version here that I am referencing for this lesson instead of the original studio version.

Brain May uses a 12-string acoustic in standard tuning. I will be using a standard tuned 6-string acoustic for the lesson but, if you have access to a 12-string, it will sound a lot fuller if you use it for this song.

The intro has some fast moving bass lines and guitar licks around basic open position chords. As I mention in the video lesson, the upper octave strings on a 12-string guitar can be very apparent during these licks and a standard 6-string will sound a bit different without that higher octave.

I will go through each section of the song in the order that each appears. My favorite chord progression being the pre-chorus. Once again, the chords move by pretty fast so this is a great workout to get those chord changes up to speed.

Have fun with this great song from the incomparable Brian May and Queen!

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'39 Guitar Lesson - Queen


  1. Kathleen Lanik on May 13, 2021 at 8:45 am

    Is there a printed version of the guitar score (that includes the intro) available? I’m classically trained and relate to this way of learning.

  2. ben on August 23, 2023 at 11:00 pm

    Car can you please do keep yourself alive by queen greatly appreciated thanks

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