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Man of Constant Sorrow

Lesson ID: A0120

Man of Constant Sorrow” was first published by Dick Burnett in 1913 and later made popular by the Stanley Brothers in the 1950s. In this guitar lesson, we’ll show you how to play “Man of Constant Sorrow” in the style of The Soggy Bottom Boys. This song will turn some heads at your next jam! First, we’ll break down the song’s intro and guitar solo with tablature. Then, we’ll teach you the rhythm guitar part with lyrics along with some nice rhythm fills. Tablature files are available for download below the video!

Lesson Overview

Song Intro

Part 1 – Slow Playthrough of Intro with Tablature

Part 2 – Fast Playthrough of Intro with Tablature

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Part 3 – Full Breakdown of Intro

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Part 4 – Easier Way to Play the Intro

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Guitar Solo Break

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Rhythm Breakdown

Video Start Time Lesson Topic
00:00 min Chords You Need
03:56 min Chords & Lyrics Download
04:34 min Intro Chord Progression
06:37 min Main Chord Progression
07:56 min Strumming Patterns
09:34 min Progression with Lyrics
11:42 min Rhythm Fill #1
13:26 min Rhythm Fill #2
15:47 min Instrumental Break Chord Progression
17:12 min Song Ending Riff

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Chord Charts

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74 Comments
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James T
James T (@guest_225)
6 years ago

I’ve been wanting to learn this one for a while now. Thanks!!

Tilson
Tilson (@guest_226)
6 years ago

Awesome lesson thanks Devin

BR1250
BR1250 (@guest_227)
6 years ago

I love it! Can’t wait to dig into this one tonight!

Wade H
Wade H (@guest_228)
6 years ago

Sick!!!

Mark
Mark (@guest_239)
6 years ago

Exact version I was wanting to learn. Perfect lesson!

Dan Coffman
Dan Coffman(@dgcoffman)
6 years ago

What are you playing for that G chord?

Edit: Nevermind, explained it at 11 minutes 🙂

Tim Miller
Tim Miller(@tim)
6 years ago

Really like the tabs inserted in the video like you have it. very nice

Cooper Ward
Cooper Ward (@guest_316)
6 years ago

Nice, love it. Thanks Devin

rcolebryan
rcolebryan(@rcolebryangmail-com)
5 years ago

Well folks… at 55 seconds I immediately conceded that Devin’s left pinky finger is stronger than mine will ever be. Good stuff man!

Bo W
Bo W (@guest_521)
5 years ago

Nice job man you got this song down. Thanks for the lesson

buckralston14
buckralston14(@buckralston14icloud-com)
5 years ago

Just watched “O brother where art thou” and heard the song and I’ve played for a number of years and am a big bluegrass and country fan and knew I had to learn this song! Love it thanks!!

Thomas
Thomas(@thomas-c-moore)
2 years ago
Reply to  Devin

I found the lessons great I cant wait to get back to it later there is a lot to learn their

Andy
Andy (@guest_651)
5 years ago

Cool website. I will be signing up soon…

ermine
ermine(@ermineotenet-gr)
5 years ago

Great lesson Devin , finally i nailed it . Thanks a lot .

Kyle
Kyle (@guest_744)
5 years ago

Nice!! I can’t wait to learn this!

nemo
nemo(@nemo)
5 years ago

taking a break from memorizing all them riffs to learn this song, love this song and this lesson

Noah
Noah(@noah)
5 years ago

That guitar sounds awesome. What kind is it?

scottfey
scottfey(@scottfeygmail-com)
5 years ago

Devin, great lesson – love the song, especially this version from Crossroads Festival. Any chance you could add a lesson on the second solo (Ron Block’s)? I’m obsessed with his solo and particularly the lick he does at 1:37 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7I6F4Hnt9k)

scottfey
scottfey(@scottfeygmail-com)
5 years ago
Reply to  Devin

That’s awesome – thanks, Devin. Can’t wait!

washogskinz
washogskinz(@washogskinzyahoo-com)
5 years ago
Reply to  scottfey

Scott, I was going to post the same request but you beat my time.

Devin, thanks for all the hard work you put into “Country Guitar Online”.

243-deck6_jl15.jpg
scottfey
scottfey(@scottfeygmail-com)
5 years ago
Reply to  Devin

Thanks so much, Devin. I can’t wait to learn this. I made a donation to thank you for taking the time to do this.

Ed
Ed(@tankedcomcast-net)
3 years ago
Reply to  Devin

These links aren’t working Devin, any chance you can update them?

Ed
Ed(@tankedcomcast-net)
3 years ago
Reply to  Devin

Thanks Devin!

Dan A
Dan A (@guest_901)
5 years ago

Nice job. Love the tutorial!!!!

Jocelyn Beauregard
Jocelyn Beauregard(@jocelyn)
5 years ago

So beautiful!

Mario
Mario (@guest_1223)
4 years ago

Can anyone tell me how to set up a password to login!

douglasrbutler
douglasrbutler(@douglasrbutlergmail-com)
4 years ago

Awesome. Reminds me of” Little GTO” –Ronnie and the Daytonas. But, then, I’m old as dirt. 😉 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c-bGVt3Pp8

matt.jolley
matt.jolley(@matt-jolleygmail-com)
4 years ago

Thanks for affirming that we can change it up to accommodate creativity! Great song to play around the house.

Geoff
Geoff(@geoff)
4 years ago

This is the best guitar lesson for Man of Constant Sorrow that I have found anywhere. Just awesome!

graphics
graphics(@graphicscarlson-net-de)
4 years ago

I agree to all preposters – great lesson, Devin! Always loved this version since I saw ‘O Brother…’ Actually I’m more into fingerpicking, but this one made me sign up here. Greetings from Berlin/Germany from an expat.

frankdevincenzo
frankdevincenzo(@frankdevincenzogmail-com)
4 years ago

Wow, I’m just lovin’ this today. Thank you Devin!

Tell
Tell (@guest_1358)
4 years ago

What is the tuning?

Devin
Devin (@guest_1359)
4 years ago
Reply to  Tell

Got it in Drop D. I’ll go over everything in the Gold Pick member area. Hope to see you there whenever you’re ready! – Devin

Glenn
Glenn (@guest_1002814)
4 years ago

That’s some fine pickin’ !!

icloudsignup
icloudsignup(@icloudsignupicloud-com)
4 years ago

I consider myself to be intermediate at best and have the whole song down except the solo. I can play the solo slowly but damn its gonna be a while before I can play it like that!

chrisbramblett25
chrisbramblett25(@chrisbramblett25gmail-com)
4 years ago

Love it

naskorhan
naskorhan(@naskorhanlive-com)
4 years ago

Great lesson Devin.

Jocelyn Beauregard
Jocelyn Beauregard(@jocelyn)
4 years ago

Tough one….

sono23
sono23(@sono23live-com)
3 years ago

joined this site just for this lesson. Thank you!

barrett68
barrett68(@barrett68gmail-com)
3 years ago

 Devin in strumming patterns section, there are two strumming patterns. one of them which you teach first is “up down” and goes like that. and the other one is a little hard one that you teach after. which one are you using when playing the song? because when i listen the song and watch your right hand, i can’t hear those two styles. it is similar to one that you teach first but not the same. so i am confused. i need your help.

robjamorrison
robjamorrison(@robjamorrisongmail-com)
3 years ago

Great guitar playing and a wonderful tune that I haven’t heard before.I can hardly wait to learn it!

Brandon
Brandon (@guest_4015758)
3 years ago

WOW. That intro is perfect.

info
info(@infomost-tech-com)
3 years ago

Thanks a lot Devin! That’s what i’ve been looking for!

graham.martin.au
graham.martin.au(@graham-martin-augmail-com)
3 years ago

Love it, thank you!

mkane40
mkane40(@mkane40gmail-com)
2 years ago

what does DsusD stand for- isnt it D najor?

cpaberg
cpaberg(@cpabergaol-com)
2 years ago

How do you get the overtones on the intro. Your fingers seem haphazardly placed but the tone comes out even though you are deadening the strings

cpaberg
cpaberg(@cpabergaol-com)
2 years ago
Reply to  cpaberg

d tuning duh!!

Thomas
Thomas(@thomas-c-moore)
2 years ago

first lesson was awesome actually feel like I got somewhere man of constant sorrow great tune thanks devin