Dan Zanes

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Pay Me My Money Down

G and C Chords

Dan Zanes Lesson >

Pay Me My Money Down > G and C Chords

Greetings Friends and Neighbors around the world! Welcome to guitar lesson #1.We’ll be exploring the possibilities for what I like to call Social Music - the music that we make when we gather together throughout life’s many festive, solemn, and casual occasions. Today we’ll dig into the song “Pay Me My Money Down.” I learned this from Frankie and Dougie Quimby of the Georgia Sea Island Singers. They said people would sing it while pulling boats out of the water. It’s a classic example of call and response work song which makes it an ideal tune for social music making. We’re going to focus on the chording hand and learn two crucial ones - the G chord and the C chord! These aren’t the easiest guitar chords to learn but I encourage you to stay with me here and work through them and I assure you you’ll be glad you did, the pay-off is huge!

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Pay Me My Money Down

Loop 0:51 What We're Going to Learn Today

Loop 2:02 Fingering and Parts of the Guitar

Loop 4:13 String Names and Numbers

Loop 4:56 C Chord Breakdown

Loop 7:50 G Chord Breakdown

Loop 9:14 Anchor Points When Changing Chords

Loop 10:38 Practice Loop of C and G Chords

Loop 11:18 Breakdown of Pay Me My Money Down

Loop 13:09 Practice Loop of Pay Me My Money Down


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 15:22 What To Practice





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Tominou Feb 13, 2017

Hello Dan,

I like your spirit, last night I listened to your lesson, and I dreamed about becoming a singer and a guitar player. I've never found a lesson for a total beginner on sonic before, but maybe I'm a bad seeker.

This morning I woke up, and reality was not so easy... ;)

Do you really think a guy who never played guitar can learn it with these lessons? I tried to play the G and C chords, but my fingers take 2 or 3 strings at the same time! How much training time is necessary in your opinion to correct this kind of beginner problem?  

Another pb is that I'm lefty, and I have to transform in a miror all what you describe. I'm hesitating to insist as a lefty or to force me to change as "righty".


Tom (I'm french, so excuse me for the langage)

Dan Zanes
Dan Zanes Feb 13, 2017

greetings tom!

thank you for checking out my lessons and for writing in...

the first thing that caught my attention is that you dreamed about being a singer and a guitar player. i think that you have the key right there - the dream!

i had the same dream and it wasn't always easy to get it together, especially at first. i noticed some people could pick up a guitar and play circles around me within weeks! but my dream was strong and i kept at it.

the feeling of fingers crowding the fretboard is very common at first. i'll try to show you something useful in this video.....

but as far as being a lefty in a righty world.... if the dream is strong you'll push on through. and i'll be here to cheer you on!!

i hope this helps, let me know!

your pal,





Tominou Feb 13, 2017

Yes It helps Dan, thank you. So I have to hang on to your lesson with my hook fingers now...

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