Norwegian Wood by The Beatles

Guitar 1

How To Play It

Alright, this is the first of three guitar parts that we’ll be looking at, from Norwegian wood. It’s really only three different parts. One of those parts is a Sitar, adapted for the guitar. We have the main riff, and then we have the bridge, and the main riff and the guitar part we’re gonna use a Capo on the second fret. That’s to sound like the original recording the Beatles did.

So, all the notes are going to be relative to the capo, and that means that the second fret is actually the fourth fret because we have the capo on the second fret. So the capo, in effect, makes that fret zero.
Don’t look at your hands while you’re doing it, you’ll get confused. Just remember that’s zero. It’s open strings, and therefore our second fret’s right there on the fourth fret. We’re forming an open D chord. You can finger pick this if you want. It’s actually performed with a pick.

Now, this song is a 6/8 time, so that’s important to understand how to play this main riff. To count 6/8 time, is how you get through to this. Instead of 1, 2, 3, 4, like a regular song, it’s got a little bit of a swing to it we have to count. That 6/8 timing we’ll have six-eighth notes, per measure. We’re going to count it as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. And those are all the eighth notes. It’s kind of got a swing. It seems like in the middle the notes kind of breathe and stretch out a little bit.

You see here we’ve got the eighth notes, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, six-eight time, so six eighth notes. That doesn’t mean they all have to be eighth notes. That’s how you count. Right here we’ve got a ghost note, that is just a quick hammer on there, so we’re not even counting it. Really its as if it’s one note. We’re starting the note on the second fret, and ending up on the fourth with that hammer on. So this first measure is counted out 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

On the second measure, we’re going to have to change our fretting for our D chord, and barre there on the second fret with our 1st finger, in order to use our third fret finger on that fourth fret on the D.

Alright, the third measure we’re gonna jump, skip a string, which is sometimes difficult. You might accidentally hit that D but try not to.

In this last measure we have some sixteenth notes, so that’s kind of confusing. Or is it? Not really. We have an open A and we’re forming an open D chord. We’ve been doing all downstrokes. Here we’re going to do a quick upstroke on the second beat. So, right there on the 2. On the and we’re gonna go on the upswing. Like I said, this is pretty much the bulk of the song, this riff. And it just repeats over and over.

Watch The Video

Guitar 2

Jam Tracks For The Main Riff

Guitar 1 & 2:

Just guitar 1:

Riff Resources

Complete Transcription To ”Norwegian Wood ” (PDF)

Complete Transcription To ”Norwegian Wood ” (Power Tab)