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!
Part 1 – Slow Playthrough of Intro with Tablature
Part 2 – Fast Playthrough of Intro with Tablature
Part 3 – Full Breakdown of Intro
Part 4 – Easier Way to Play the Intro
|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|
I’ve been wanting to learn this one for a while now. Thanks!!
Awesome lesson thanks Devin
I love it! Can’t wait to dig into this one tonight!
Exact version I was wanting to learn. Perfect lesson!
What are you playing for that G chord?
Edit: Nevermind, explained it at 11 minutes 🙂
Cool, good deal. Thanks for checking out the video!
Really like the tabs inserted in the video like you have it. very nice
Nice, love it. Thanks Devin
Well folks… at 55 seconds I immediately conceded that Devin’s left pinky finger is stronger than mine will ever be. Good stuff man!
Nice job man you got this song down. Thanks for the lesson
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!!
Nice!..yeah, such a great movie and one of my all-time favorite songs. This one’s been a really popular lesson. I’ve had a bunch of requests to do a full breakdown on every chord progression in this song…sometime in the next few weeks I’ll add a couple extra tabs to this post with some more chord progression detail and a jam track like i’ve got in the latest “Wayfaring Stranger” lesson, so stay tuned. Thanks for watching and checking out my site! Have a good rest of your week. – Devin
For anybody interested, I just added some new videos to this Man of Constant Sorrow lesson with a bunch of extra detail on the rhythm. Hope y’all like it! – Devin
I found the lessons great I cant wait to get back to it later there is a lot to learn their
Cool website. I will be signing up soon…
Great lesson Devin , finally i nailed it . Thanks a lot .
Awesome, nice work…this is a tough one. Always a huge hit when you play it for other people. They love it. Thanks for watching the lesson! – Devin
Nice!! I can’t wait to learn this!
taking a break from memorizing all them riffs to learn this song, love this song and this lesson
Awesome, thanks Nemo. Yeah man this song is amazing. I think I originally posted this lesson May 2016…it’s been my most popular lesson for attracting new members and kept getting requests for more detail on the rhythm so spent a good deal of time last week re-recording most of the videos here. Glad you like the new version of the lesson!
That guitar sounds awesome. What kind is it?
Thanks! It’s a 1999 Martin D-15. It was one of my first legit acoustic guitars and still play it a lot today. The wood’s opened up a bit and it’s sounding pretty great on the mic. If you ever try to find one to buy, the slightly older D-15s are the way to go…Martin used to make them with solid mahogany and now they’re cutting cost by building them with sapele wood. Still nice with the sapele wood, but I think the Mahogany has a slightly richer tone.
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)
Thanks Scott! Sure, I can tab that out sometime in the next few days…I’ll post the download link to a comment here in this thread.
That’s awesome – thanks, Devin. Can’t wait!
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”.
Still planning to tab that out. I’ll try to get it posted this week sometime and let you know…
EDIT: I put together the tablature for the second guitar solo in the style of Ron Block…testing out a new tablature software (Guitar Pro) so the format looks a little different. You can download the tablature by clicking the “Bonus Guitar Solo” button right below the video player.
I’ll try to put together a video at some point for this, but hope the tab helps in the meantime!
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.
For sure, and thanks for the extra donation! I’ll get a video up for that solo as soon as I can. Thanks Scott
These links aren’t working Devin, any chance you can update them?
Oh yeah! I added those before we updated to a new tablature download system. I’ll find the original tablature file sometime this week and add them back to the site. I’ll keep you posted…
I just added the tablature for the second Man of Constant Sorrow guitar solo. You can check it out by clicking the “Bonus Guitar Tablature” button below the video player…
Nice job. Love the tutorial!!!!
Can anyone tell me how to set up a password to login!
Hey Mario! You can head to the login page and click the forgot your password link below the login form. That will send you a password reset email. If you need me to manually reset your password for you just shoot me a message through the chat and I’ll get you all setup. Thanks for joining!
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
Thanks for affirming that we can change it up to accommodate creativity! Great song to play around the house.
This is the best guitar lesson for Man of Constant Sorrow that I have found anywhere. Just awesome!
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.
Thanks for joining! It’s great to hear from somebody over in Germany. Seems like we’ve had a lot of people from Germany joining us here in the member area lately. Pretty cool. Hope you like the lesson!
Wow, I’m just lovin’ this today. Thank you Devin!
What is the tuning?
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
That’s some fine pickin’ !!
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!
Great lesson Devin.
joined this site just for this lesson. Thank you!
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.
The strumming patterns are broken down in detail here https://countryguitaronline.com/man-of-constant-sorrow/#fvp_212657364,7m56s and these are strumming patterns you might play when you’re singing. This is a more difficult song, but if you slow it down, it’s doable. You could even do a basic “boom chick boom chick” pattern…pick strum pick strum when you’re singing. When you hear me playing in the beginning of the lesson, you’re hearing me play the intro and the guitar solo break and those two things are tabbed out note for note in the “Song Intro” and “Guitar Solo Break” videos. Good luck! This is a challenging one.… Read more »
Great guitar playing and a wonderful tune that I haven’t heard before.I can hardly wait to learn it!
WOW. That intro is perfect.
Thanks a lot Devin! That’s what i’ve been looking for!
Love it, thank you!
what does DsusD stand for- isnt it D najor?
Without getting into a bunch of theory, Dsus2 can be used a lot of times instead of a D major chord. It’s the D major chord but you let the high E string ring out open like you see in the chord chart in this lesson post. Dsus2 doesn’t sound as bright and “happy” as the D major chord but it still works instead of D major depending on the song — especially in drop D tuning. Here’s some theory: Sus is short for suspended. In a sus chord, you’re “suspending” the third of the chord, so a sus2 or… Read more »
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
d tuning duh!!
first lesson was awesome actually feel like I got somewhere man of constant sorrow great tune thanks devin