Easy Johnny B. Goode Tabs and Chords

Updated on January 10, 2018

Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry

Remember Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry? Those of us old enough to remember him playing—and the duck walk that was his trademark—were glad of the privilege. Younger generations know the song from that amazing guitar solo from Back to the Future! A whole new generation of kids who missed the Chuck Berry hit first time around picked up on that solo!

This is the ideal song to play at weddings and parties. We all know it and it's a wild and exciting tune. Can you play Johnny B, Goode chords or maybe even the solo? Would you like me to show you how to play it perhaps? It's easy to play and possibly the "most played" song in rock and roll, after "Stairway to Heaven" and "Smoke on the Water."

Johnny B. Good is an "evergreen" in the annals of rock and roll, and of course Chuck Berry remains a musical legend!

Here I will show you how to play an easy version of Johnny B Goode and lead you to tabs and sheet music for harder versions. You can also compare versions by different artists. It has been recorded by so many great artists and groups.

If this is your first attempt at rock and roll guitar, do not despair. My version is very easy, even for beginners!

Simple Rock and Roll Intro

I put this together for my country cousins to play. I would like to say my Uncle taught me the right way to play rock and roll, but he didn't! I had to find that out for myself. It has been printed and exported from Sibelius software. This intro is in Chuck Berry style and will fit nicely with the easy version in A.

Easy Johnny B. Goode Chords in A

Johnny B. Goode is a 12-bar blues song. Here is the chord progression you need. If you don't know any chords, just click on the letter to be taken to see photos of the chord. I have set this up so it will serve as a lesson in guitar chords. You will see it follows the 12-bar blues pattern, which is not surprising as Chuck Berry was a genuine R n' B musician (in the real meaning of R n' B, not the modern pop definition!)

A / / / / / / / A / / / / / / /

D / / / / / / / A / / / / / / /

E / / / / / / / A / / / / / / /

Now that was easy wasn't it? Perhaps you would like to try this free simple rock and roll style 12 Bar blues in notename noteheads instead?

Johnny B Goode Tablature

In as much as tabs can ever be accurate, these are not too bad. I have the sheet music for Johnny B. Goode, which gives a little more insight into how to play the song properly than a tab can. The original key for the song was B flat, not A. This is not a good beginner guitar key to say the least! My simple version is in A helps avoid the huge stretches you see in Chuck Berry's playing, but more experienced players like myself could easily play these tabs. There are many different tabs out there, remember. I simply chose these because they are featured high on Google.

Easy Rock and Roll 12-Bar Chords

This is the easy version and is not the same as Chuck berry plays!

Click here for an easy guitar and bass version in music and tab.

Here you are playing only two notes:

(These simple power chords are called diads)

  • A5 and A6 pick only string 5 and 4
  • D5 and D6 pick only strings 4 and 3
  • E5 and E6 pick only strings6 and 5

Use firm downstrokes with your pick

A5 / A6 / A5 / A6 / A5 / A6 / A5 / A6 /

A5 / A6 / A5 / A6 / A5 / A6 / A5 / A6 /

D5 / D6 / D5 / D6 / D5 / D6 / D5 / D6 /

A5 / A6 / A5 / A6 / A5 / A6 / A5 / A6 /

E5 / E6 / E5 / E6 / E5 / E6 / E5 / E6 /

A5 / A6 / A5 / A6 / A5 / A6 / A5 / A6 /

Now that probably looks worse than it is? Perhaps you would like to try this simple rock and roll style 12-bar blues tab instead?

Jerry Lee Lewis and Friends Play Johnny B. Goode

Jerry Lee Lewis was never especially popular in Britain for cultural reasons. The public was judgmental about his marriage at the time, but there is absolutely no doubt that he was a very exciting performer. Performers like Jerry Lee Lewis set an entire generation alight with their stage antics and exciting songs.

Chuck Berry Style Tab

As Johnny B. Goode follows this simple and traditional 12-bar blues pattern, this makes a good band version. Try out this 12-bar blues in Bb for guitar and bass.

The videos went through from the classic rock n' roll, to the hard rock, the modern and even the reggae version of Johnny B Goode. Which did you like best? Can you play the song? Thanks for visiting!

Questions & Answers

    Which Version Do You Like Best?

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      • E Andrew Brandon profile image

        Ean Brandon 

        4 years ago from United States

        I have a few videos of Jimi Hendrix, AcDc, and queen playing this song, so much power was born from this one man!

      • LisaMarieGabriel profile imageAUTHOR

        Lisa Marie Gabriel 

        5 years ago from United Kingdom

        @greenspirit: Absolutely, and if you can play it you can play many more rock and roll classics!

      • greenspirit profile image

        poppy mercer 

        5 years ago from London

        What a great song. It's part of the roots of all good rock music.

      • desa999 lm profile image

        desa999 lm 

        6 years ago

        Fantastic lens, well done!

      • Alana-r profile image

        Alana-r 

        6 years ago

        Great Lens, such a classic song!

      • profile image

        dream1983 

        6 years ago

        Great article, nice job!

      • alexbricker profile image

        alexbricker 

        6 years ago

        I play guitar and this is a good step in learning something new from my other stuff I normally practice. Thanks for the tips! I like Chuck Berry a lot.

      • profile image

        Edutopia 

        6 years ago

        Great song for every one to know. And most importantly, you're kids are going to love it.

      • profile image

        termit_bronx 

        7 years ago

        I don't know how to play a guitar, but I would really like to! ...Chuck Berry rocks! He is one of the best guitar players and I really enjoy listening to his songs!

      • profile image

        Oosquid 

        7 years ago

        Nope can't play a note. I'm tempted to say the Hendrix version which is out of this world. But the vote has got to go to Mr Rock 'n Roll himself. Chuck Berry. After all he is the master and without him where would rock be?

      • sorana lm profile image

        sorana lm 

        7 years ago

        I don't play the guitar at all but I have really enjoyed the videos. Go Johnny go! Or should I say Go Photahsiamirabel go! :)

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