Oh Pretty Woman Guitar Lesson – Roy Orbison

We are coming at you today from 1964 with a lesson on how to play the legendary "Oh, Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison.

Besides being a huge international hit "Oh Pretty Woman" contains some of the most recognizable guitar work of the early 60's.

In this Oh Pretty Woman guitar lesson you will learn how to play all of those catchy riffs and chord progressions step-by-step.

"Oh  Pretty Woman" starts with a catchy single note riff that produces sort of a revolving effect. It is also a nice exercise on crossing strings. Bet you didn't know that!

Speaking about chords, most of them are pretty basic through the song. We do have a few barre chords to contend with though, especially in the bridge section, but nothing that requires a big stretch or anything like that.

In fact, if you have trouble playing barre chords I highly suggest learning the bridge section like I teach it in the video. These barre chords are working their way up the fretboard and as they do you will notice that they become easier and easier to play do to how the string tension lessens as you move to the middle of the fretboard. Plus there isn't any strum pattern to play in the bridge, so you can really concentrate on the fret-hand. 🙂

So I hope you not only enjoy learning this great Roy Orbison classic, but that it will also help your playing out a little bit as well! Carl..

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Oh Pretty Woman Guitar Lesson


  1. GEORG P WEYAND on August 5, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Thanks for this great song, Carl! I love it.
    when will you do Separate worlds from Journey? I would make an extra donation for the entire song. The internet shows several different ways to play it but none seem right to me.
    Also, what are the chords for “horse with no name” from America? Is really all played on the second fret? I have seen versions that start on the fifth and seventh fret. Unfortunately, I am not blessed with a musical ( or absolute) hearing like you and so it is hard for me to tell which version is right. Please help.

    • Carl Brown on August 5, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      Hey Georg, gonna do at least part of Separate Way very soon. Just trying to figure which part would be best for now, main riff or solo.

      The chords to horse with no name are completely wacked because it is actually a bunch of guitars playing slightly different versions of the chord progression.

      I just recently taught this song for Fretlight guitars on one of their new DVDS and the owner of Fretlight has played with America a few times. They showed him a way to play it while on stage with them. It didn’t sound much like the recording but was dead simple to play.

      My guess is it was just one of the many guitars on that recording and when they are all put together they sound correct. The way they taught him was these four chords below.

      200200 a few times then

      Like I said on it’s own I don’t think it sounds right but it does sound pretty close if you change that last chord to 202002

      Hope this helps!


  2. GEORG P WEYAND on August 6, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Thanks, Carl for your quick reply and for clarifying the chords of Horse with no name.Also, the main riff (beginning of) Separate ways would be great. I think that the solo does not have different versions floating around on the Internet.
    Lastly, check out on youtube the songs “Waves” and “Veitstanz” by the German guitar duo Kolbe und Illenberger. Great instrumental songs from the seventies.
    Will you someday tackle the song Every Day by Steve Hackett?

    • Carl Brown on August 6, 2014 at 10:23 am

      I am sure at the rate we are going we will eventually tackle everything here. 🙂

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