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Jimmy Brown the Newsboy

Lesson ID: A0154

In this guitar lesson, you’ll learn how to play the traditional country & bluegrass song called “Jimmy Brown the Newsboy”. This song was originally written by William Shakespeare Hays in the late 1800s and it has been recorded by several country & bluegrass artists over the years including Flatt & Scruggs, Mac Wiseman, Roger Miller, Norman Blake, Bill Monroe, A.P. Carter, and several others.

It’s common to see this song played out of the C position with a capo on the 7th fret (Key of G), but in this guitar lesson, we’re going to play it out of the C position with a capo on the 2nd fret (Key of D). The lower pitched melody with a capo on the 2nd fret seems to be a bit easier for singing. We’ll cover two different variations of the instrumental, and then we’ll go over the rhythm guitar part for those of y’all wanting to sing and play this one. Overall, this is a great guitar lesson for all levels of pickers.

Lesson Overview

Instrumental 1

Video 1 – Playthrough with Tablature

Video 2 – Full Breakdown

Instrumental 2

Video 1 – Playthrough with Tablature

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Video 2 – Full Breakdown

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Chord Progression

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Backing Track

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14 Comments
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Cooper
Cooper (@guest_1004776)
4 years ago

Love this lesson, thank you Devin.

jerry
jerry (@guest_1004819)
4 years ago

Awesome!! Perfect teaching pace, I learned it first time through without pausing the video. Really great arrangement and lesson

Phil
Phil(@psmithphilyahoo-com)
4 years ago

I’m really liking these songs that include the melody so that it can be recognized without singing with the song. And the little licks add so much personality to them. And since my hand is not built for playing the guitar, these songs aren’t so difficult that I can’t do them. Thank you for sharing this!

Chris
Chris (@guest_1005327)
4 years ago

Devin … great job .. this is fantasic !

Jocelyn Beauregard
Jocelyn Beauregard(@jocelyn)
4 years ago

Thank you Devin for this song. It’s simple and fun to play. You teach it very well. This kind of music is not teaching where I come from…so I really appreciate.

jimpwk
jimpwk(@jimpwkgmail-com)
4 years ago

Nice one Devin, nailed it in a couple of days.

fransverboom
fransverboom(@fransverboomgmail-com)
4 years ago

Thanks Devin, I like this lesson a lot

cassarta11
cassarta11 (@guest_3012350)
4 years ago

Awesome , classic

John
John(@johnmyhandymangmail-com)
4 years ago

Nice, it does remind me of what Norman Blake would of played, I guess he learned this standard flatpicking from someone before him? I do get a lot out of these lessons Devin. I actually watched a youtube flick of Norman Blake this afternoon prior to logging in here and searching for him,, glad this came up too , it is very close the flatpicking as to what he does in his original “Church Street Blues” I wish to learn that too,, kinda working it out slowly just watching the video.. I know the chords just the little alternating flatpicking… Read more »

Frank
Frank(@frank)
3 years ago

I’m having a lot of fun on this one. Nice little tune. It almost reminds me of Wildwood Flower which is another one of my favorites. Your lessons are the best. Great work all around.

johnny S
johnny S(@jlselfincgmail-com)
2 years ago

Good tune, and great teaching!

jrslovacekhotmail-com
jrslovacekhotmail-com(@jrslovacekhotmail-com)
11 months ago

Question: When learning the chord progression and playing the song is it best to learn the chords by the measure when the chord changes on the words of the song. Hope this makes sense