Another Robert Johnson tutorial. *Ive got some newer pre-war blues tutorials that Ive put out more recently (springsummer 2012) which are a little more accurate, organized, etc. If youre interested in that stuff, check it out. Remember that this is only ONE of endless ways to play a chorus of Love in Vain. What makes this style enjoyable to play is that you can make it your own by changing it up. Check out my website for more Delta Blues lessons and discussion:

22 thoughts on “How to Play: Love in Vain – Robert Johnson Lesson

  1. @Eric Freeman you’re right! Though this vid is not meant to be the ‘note-for-note’ sort of deal…if that’s what you want, check out my more recent blues tutorials – they might live up to your OCD a bit better haha

  2. @FunzCrue RJ might have played a step or two down, a lot of bluesmen, including him, were known for that.

  3. I think Robert J played this out of standard tuning, G chord & position. This works too.

  4. Nice! breakin it down, yo, everybody plays it full speed so Ill watch them based on what you showed me! thanks

  5. You could look up the record and try figure it out using that.

  6. Oh mate…. Nice video, nice lesson…. But you should play the song slow, without speaking, in the end of the video. Now it makes the job harder.

  7. I think that if someone want to play it in johnson’s tuning, just down the strings one scale i guess it sounds very similar to robert’s tuning, just saying and good lesson

  8. I’m sorry about that! I’ve got a whole series of Delta Blues videos that I’ve been uploading where the lessons are a little bit more organized.
    Thanks for the input!

  9. Great step by step lesson. I followed the lesson but had a hard time putting it all together perhaps next time you could play it all the way through once.

  10. Yeah, johnson also slides some of the treble notes up, while maintaining the rhythm with the thumb, which if doing chords in standard wouldnt be right…

    But as you say, whatever works…

  11. Eric Clapton plays this song in standard tuning somewhat similar to the way you do but Robert Johnson played this in open Ab so obviously the chord shapes and the way he is playing is different from the way you explain…

  12. Hey, Robert Johnson actually played this out of a G chord shape with a capo to bring it to the pitch of the recordings (he probably capoed too).
    The Chords are G-G7-C-C-G-D-G-A7-D-G.
    You can obviously play this a bunch of ways but it really sounds like this is what Johnson was doing anyway.

  13. Thanks so much for this; it is more complex than most versions!  Well done!

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