Reelin’ In The Years Guitar Lesson – Steely Dan

In this Reelin' In The Years guitar lesson video series, I will show you how to play this guitar driven classic by the great Steely Dan note-for-note!

Written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, it was the second single from their 1972 album Can't Buy a Thrill.

However, the guitar solos that are heard throughout the song were performed by Elliott Randall. In fact, Jimmy Page has reportedly said that Elliott Randall's guitar solo on "Reeling In the Years" is his favorite solo of all time.

The harmony guitar sections were performed by Jeff Baxter. I will be covering all of these solos, harmony guitar sections and all other parts of "Reelin' In The Years" throughout these 3 video lessons.

I will teach each section of the song in the order that it appears and will give you the exact minute and second mark so you will know where I am at in the song.

In the first video, I will demonstrate that instantly recognizable opening guitar solo with the rhythm guitar parts as well. That will be followed by the verse section which uses some challenging fingerings to create a really cool sounding chord progression. After that is the chorus along with the first chorus guitar solo. I will finish out the first video lesson with a look at the guitar solo over the second chorus.

In the second video lesson, I will open with the first harmony guitar section. These sections are probably just as recognizable as the chorus for most people. Both guitar parts make for a great alternate picking workout. I will then tackle the main guitar solo that is performed by Elliott Randall. Once again, this solo has plenty of memorable licks that aren't overly challenging but a ton of fun to play. I will finish out this second video lesson with a look at the guitar solo during the third chorus.

The last video lesson will finish out the song with a look at the second guitar harmony section and outro solo.

I hope you guys are ready for a bunch of notes! Enjoy!


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Reelin' In The Years Guitar Lesson Pt.1 - Steely Dan

Reelin' In The Years Guitar Lesson Pt.2 - Steely Dan

Reelin' In The Years Guitar Lesson Pt.3 - Steely Dan


  1. Cheryl Hall on April 17, 2021 at 2:42 am

    You are so much fun to learn to from, I’m not the lead guitarist in my band, but I do believe I have to do the harmony guitar parts along with my lead guitarist. This song is going to be so much fun to reproduce with the boys..

  2. Christopher Strange on April 10, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    When will you be doing more Steely Dan?
    These are some songs I would like to see.
    -Do It Again
    -Rikki Don’t Lose That Number
    -Hey Nineteen
    -My Old School

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