Time In A Bottle Guitar Lesson – Jim Croce

For today's guitar lesson we will take a look at "Time In A Bottle" by Jim Croce.

Originally released in 1972 but then re-issued as a single after his tragic death in a plane crash in 1973, "Time In A Bottle" went on to become a No.1 hit.

In this Time In A Bottle guitar lesson I will show you the complete song in it's entirety minus the lead guitar part that is played along with the rhythm guitar parts taught in this lesson.

What I wanted to teach in this lesson is basically Jim Croce's parts, or the ones he would play live.

The entire song is fingerpicked and can be quite intricate. However, if you follow along with the lesson slowly, you will notice fingerpicking patterns start to emerge. I will point them out when we get to them.

Memorizing these patterns will speed up the amount of time it will take you to memorize Time In A Bottle drastically.

As with most songs, I suggest you play everything at a slow to moderate tempo before raising it up to full speed. This will insure that you play all of those intricate fingerpicking passages cleanly.

OK.. Good Luck!!


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Time In A Bottle Guitar Lesson


  1. GEORG P WEYAND on July 1, 2014 at 12:15 am

    thanks, Carl for showing us this timeless song

  2. Anonymous on July 4, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks man you my niga

  3. Kevin A on September 21, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Carl, new premium member here. I’m working on this one and it’s coming along well but I’d like to ask if you happen to have tab available for it? Thanks much!

    • Carl Brown on September 25, 2014 at 11:47 am

      Hey Kevin, unfortunately I can’t provide TAB for any song that isn’t in the public domain due to copyright restrictions. 🙁

  4. Nicholas on August 18, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Hey Carl! Could you teach I Got a Name by Jim Croce? It is such a beautiful song with a great acoustic solo.

  5. russ hennessy on August 28, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Carl….great lesson. I’m thinking about upgrading my subscription but have an issue. In this time in a bottle lesson you don’t play the entire song from start to finish anywhere in the lesson. Does this happen in all your lessons? It makes it extremely difficult, if not near impossible to learn any song without the teacher playing the entire song through, most often done in the beginning of a lesson. It’s such a great tool to have seeing the teacher play the song in its entirety. Thanks!

    • Carl Brown on August 29, 2018 at 9:54 am

      Hey Russ, I did that in the beginning when I first started making the song lessons but ran into a lot of copyright issues so I had to stop.

      Since then I usually play just the one section I am about to teach then I break it down. Then I play the next section and break it down and so on.

      Some of the early lessons will have a full performance video, including my more recent instrumental arrangements of popular songs. But those are the only full performances you will usually see on the site unless the music is in the public domain, like the classical pieces I perform on the site.

      Upgrading your account to Premium gives you full access to my guitar courses in the GL365 Academy but the song lessons section remains the same.

  6. russ hennessy on August 29, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Carl….thanks for your quick response. I understand now. Thanks!

  7. Angelo on December 22, 2023 at 8:56 pm

    Can you send me the tab? I will pay you for it. Name your price.

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