Released as the opening track and first single from their 1971 album Sticky Fingers, "Brown Sugar" quickly shot to the top of the charts and has been a staple of the band's live shows ever since.
Before following along with this lesson and playing along with the original recording, you will want to get your guitar into the proper tuning. Guitarist Keith Richards uses open G tuning for this one. In addition to that, he usually removes the low 6th string to avoid unfavorable resonances, but I don't bother doing that in this lesson. If you want to tune you entire guitar to open G tuning it be, strating from the 6th string (D G D G B D). However, we will only be using the four middle strings of the guitar for this lesson so you can pretty much get away with simply lowering your A string down a whole-step to G and be able to play along just fine.
"Brown Sugar" has some great chords and riffs throughout. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine ranked "Brown Sugar" as the 5th greatest guitar song of all-time. 🙂
The intro is instantly recognizable and requires you to play a simple bar chord shape way up at the 12th fret. "Brown Sugar" is an excellent bar chord workout for those players who need a little practice in that area. Pretty much every chord in the song requires you to play a bar. It is important to try and release the tension in your index very finger required to play the bar chords between each chord. This momentary relaxation of the index finger is what will enable you to play bar chords throughout the entire song. Just remember this, the time between the chords (ie. relaxation), is just as important as the chord itself.
As is customary with The Rolling Stones' guitar style, nothing is repeated the exact same way twice. There are always slight variations, but there is also a repeated basic structure that all of those variations are occurring on within all the sections of the song. I will talk about that some more within the video lesson and also give you some tips on some ways to do some of your own variations.
I hope you guys enjoying learning this Stones classic!
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