Corey Harris

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Guitar Rag

Chords and Main Section

Corey Harris Lesson >

Guitar Rag > Chords and Main Section

In this lesson we will start learning "Guitar Rag" in the key of C. This is a nice rag-timey type of groove that I'm sure the old folk liked to dance to. Take your time with the different parts and play them slowly until you get the hang of it. I try to slow down the main parts so you can get an idea of what is going on. I will go more in depth in the next lesson.

Until then, enjoy.






Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Corey Harris
Acoustic Blues
Guitar Rag
Ragtime Guitar

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:20 Run-Through of Guitar Rag


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 2:00 Breakdown of First Section

Loop 4:45 Slow Run-Through of First Section

Loop 6:11 Turnaround Breakdown

Loop 7:10 Second Section Breakdown

Loop 13:02 Review At Tempo

Loop 13:53 Closing Thoughts





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Jay Oct 17, 2016

hey I'm curious - any suggestions on how to play this tune up to your speed? I'm getting the tune, just not getting it up to your speed yet.


And if i could make a suggestion - could you do Dust My Broom sometime? I remember Taj Mahal doing a great live version years ago. great tune.

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Oct 18, 2016

Greetings Jay.  All you need to do is just learn it slow and then gradually, over time speed it up to tempo.  If you know it slow then you really know it.  So just take your time.  


Thank you for the suggestion...yes I can do Dust My Broom sometime no problem.  Honor.

steve shields
steve shields Mar 28, 2016

Hi folks  -

i'm brand new to this site and on gonna give it a months trial - 


Greetings Corey - I hope this mail finds you welll. 

Is there any chance tab for the full piece can be located in the site for this, as well as all of the other material i may wish to learn?  The videos are great but i also find tab a very halpful aid when learning something, especially intricate pieces like this. - Incidentally the tab above doesnt appear correct in the first full bar - There are open stings incicated, when to me it looks and sounds like  they should be fretted at the 3rd fret producing a g rather than open e for the firts two open e notes - If I am wrong i apologise in advance.


Corey Harris
Corey Harris Apr 06, 2016

Greetings Steve I will forward your question on to admin (Mike Caren) who may be able to fix it, since I didn't do the tab for this one.  Looking at the video I think you are right...looks like the tab is not quite correct here and yes the G should be fretted.  The only time the open is is played in that C position is right before the hord change, before going to the C 7 chord.  Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Apr 12, 2016

Hi Steve --- Mike here --- we have a full transcription in the works.  

dave lemont
dave lemont Feb 09, 2015

are you saying that it is one measure and they are 16th notes

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Feb 10, 2015

Hi Dave --- yes.  

That said, I think it's better to think of it (and practice it) as base rhythm with a melody over it.  I would suggest starting with just the base and sing the melody.  Corey suggests this method in several lessons on the site and it's very effective.   Jerry also teaches this way.

I hope that helps.

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Feb 20, 2015

Greetings Dave...yes.  Try focusing on the bass line first and listen to where the chord changes are.  Before I learn a tune I usually listen to it several times before I start to learn it.  The tune MUST be in your mind first, so try not to think about 8th or 16th notes since when you know the tune inside and out and can sing all the parts in your head this becomes irrelevant.  Also pay attention to the alternating bass.  Thanks for your question an I look forward to you posting a video.

dave lemont
dave lemont Feb 08, 2015

the second measure seems to have 8 i missing something


Mike Caren
Mike Caren Feb 09, 2015

Hi Dave --- we've updated the tab and chord chart.  We decided to keep it as 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and for the beats.  

The best way to learn it is to sing the tune / melody as Corey does in the video.  Eventually your fingers will start instinctively going to the melody when you sing or even think of the notes.  It's really cool (and powerful) if you can stick with it.

daddyray (robbie)
daddyray (robbie) May 13, 2012

the so called Fdim seems more like aninversion of D to D7 since there is not a flatted fifth...It is easier for me to play that lick as a thumb over chord so I just move my thumb up a fret.....


daddyray (robbie)
daddyray (robbie) May 13, 2012

hey hey...thanks so much for the chord chart!!!!!

much appreaciated 

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Apr 30, 2012

Hi DaddyRay .. thanks for the feedback.  For the chord chart, would you like to see fingerings or just the chord names.  Also, if you can tell me a bit about how you would like to learn a song like this ... starting to end ... that would be great!

daddyray (robbie)
daddyray (robbie) Apr 28, 2012

again this lesson like many others here is calling out for a simple chord chart so that one could grasp the basics on the progression and not be forced to start with the  hot filigree......I do not need the whole thing tabbed out but having a chord chart gives one a chance to address wehat the progression is. prettyplease! Duke's lessons also suffer from this lacking. Start simple and slow and build up to it. dial it back for great comprehension. 

I mean I can hear the what is what but with all that playing it gets hard to keep it straight.


thanks for hearing me out.....

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