How To Play Diamonds & Rust By Joan Baez

Guitar Control presents instructor Darrin Goodman with a lesson on How To Play Diamonds & Rust By Joan Baez. Be sure to click the link for the free tabs to go along with this free Diamonds & Rust acoustic guitar lesson.

Diamonds & Rust
Diamonds & Rust
Diamonds & Rust


Hey everybody how’s it going? This is Darrin with bringing you this video lesson. Today I want to show you how to play an easy fun acoustic song. There are a couple of different variations of this song called Diamonds and Rust by Joan Baez, but I’m taking a lot of this the acoustic version covered by Judas Priest. So it’s pretty simple, just a bunch of straightforward chords and in the Judas Priest version there’s actually two guitars playing together and they’re not playing the same thing; so I tried to make it a simplified version that you can play by yourself. Like I said it’s pretty easy, just a bunch of basic chords and a fun song to play. Anyway be sure to click on the link in the description for the tabs and let’s get close up and take a look at How To Play Diamonds & Rust By Joan Baez.

Diamonds & Rust Chords

All right so first thing let’s just go over some chords we’ve got in Diamonds & Rust here. So we’ve got E minor; so I’m on the second fret of the A string with my second finger and second fret of the D string with my third finger and all the rest of the strings are open… Then we have C major; so I’m on the third fret of the A string with my third finger, second fret of the D string with my second finger, the G string is open, I’m on the first fret of the B string with my first finger and the high E is open… Then we have G; I’m on the third fret of the low E with my second finger, second fret of the A string with my first finger, the D and G strings are open and I’m on the third fret of the B string with my third finger and the third fret of the high E with my fourth finger… Then we have A minor; so a minor is just like the C we did but you’re gonna take your third finger from the third fret of the A and move it so it’s on the second fret of the DS right underneath your second finger… Then we have B minor, the only difficult chord in this if you’re a beginner probably is B minor because it’s a barre chord. So I’m barring across the second fret of the first five strings, my second finger is on the third fret of the B string, my third finger is on the fourth fret of the D string and my fourth finger is on the fourth fret of the G string… I believe that is all the chords, if there’s any more that I forgot we’ll hit them later.

Diamonds & Rust Intro

All right so we start off Diamonds & Rust with this intro and like I said there’s numerous renditions of this so I’m just trying to simplify it so all of the bases are covered by one guitar. So for this intro there’s a couple of ways you could do it. We could arpeggiate it… or we could just do straight up strumming… so the way that I generally do it myself is I’ll arpeggiate the intro and then when it goes into the verse I’ll actually start strumming. So for that intro we have… as far as what I’m picking here I probably don’t play it exactly the same way twice, I’m just kind of winging it. So like this E minor you’re playing all six strings so matter what string you hit it’s going to sound good; so my recommendation with this is just to kind of feel it out and kind of make it your own, so you want you want to start with that low E since it’s you’re root note… So we have a whole measure of E minor and I’m doing this like as eighth notes… Same thing now with C, but now we’re just playing through the first five strings… and then to G and back to all six strings… then A minor five strings, B minor five strings and E minor again. So we have two measures of the E minor, two measures of C, two measures of G, one measure of A minor, one measure B minor and then back to two measures of E minor to end it; so I play the intro like this… and then from there it goes into the verse.


So for the Diamonds & Rust verse I generally just do it as strumming… I’ve performed this song before with groups where I have done it the other way because we’ve had two guitar players, but just when you’re by yourself this just kind of differentiates the intro from the verse and because it’s just the same chords over and over again it just kind of makes it a little bit different and changes up the dynamic a little bit. So for the verse I usually just strum like this… Now obviously with the strum you could kind of change it up to however you want, you just kind of want to feel it out. A really good way to do it is to actually kind of sing the song while you’re playing, the singing will kind of help your strumming arm to kind of get that feel for it. So from then we go there we go into a chorus.


So the chorus starts off here on a C and for that I’m on the C and I’m going down, down, down, up, down, down, up, down, up… now when you’re playing that I’m kind of really breaking that up just you know for demonstration purposes, so if you’re playing it’s more like… Okay and then from the chorus it goes into the bridge section.


So the bridge section we start off with B minor and I’m just doing the same strum I did on the reverse; back to B minor… and then from there just goes into another verse. So I’m just gonna play through the chorus and then the bridge together so you can get a feel of how the whole thing goes together; so starting with the chorus… and now the bridge… And then from there it just goes back into another verse and another chorus. So those are basically the four parts of the song. You have the intro, verse, chorus and the bridge. So when you when you listen to the song it’s easy to kind of tell which part is which and to be able to play along with it. Now another thing I forgot to mention at first is I’m in standard tuning, but like a lot of the versions of this I’ve seen that have been in different keys like Joan Baez’s version that I checked is actually using a capo on the first fret and then there was a unplugged Judas Priest version of it that they were tuned down a half step. So you can adjust it so it fits where you can sing it. It’s a little high for me where I did it so I would definitely tune it down for my voice.


All right so if you enjoyed that Diamonds & Rust lesson be sure to give me a thumbs up and leave a comment down below if there’s something that you’d like to see covered in a future lesson. If you have not already done so please subscribe to the channel and hit that notification bell so that you don’t miss out any of the content that we upload throughout the week. That is all I’ve got for you today. Thanks for watching How To Play Diamonds & Rust By Joan Baez and have a great day.

For more great song lessons like Diamonds & Rust check out the 1980s Guitar Song Collection.

How to play your favorite songs from the 60's & 70's on the guitar


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