How to Play “Play Me” by Neil Diamond – Acoustic Fingerpicking Guitar Lesson

He, how’s it going this is Darrin Goodman with Guitar Control, I want to show you a finger picking song this is actually one of the very first finger picking things that I ever learned when I was a kid taking lessons. The song is called “Play Me” by Neil Diamond. It’s fairly easy and uses a lot of straightforward chords; you will need a capo on the 2nd fret of your guitar to be in the same key.

[ninja-popup ID=715]

Click on the Tabs button to follow the chords and tabs.

The first thing I want you to take a look at is your picking hand, with the finger picking for the pattern for this song is P-I-M-I-A-M, so for those of you who don’t know what that means is that your thumb is referred as P, your index finger is I,your middle finger is M and your third finger is A. So we’re playing on your thumb will be playing the 5th string, your index finger playing the 4th string, your second finger will be playing the 3rd string, and your third finger will be playing the 2nd string.

Now let’s take a look at what we are doing with our fretting hand, this song uses a lot of really simple chords. We have C and then we have C ad 4, which is simply just a C but you take your fourth finger and you set it down, so it goes under the 4th string directly underneath your third finger and we also have F, G over B, which is basically a G chord, but you don’t do the G note in the bass, the bass note is the B.

The Intro in the verse is pretty much the same thing, we start out with the C and we’re doing that picking pattern that we talked about earlier and we do it twice for C. so 5, 4, 3, 4, 2, 3, 5, 4, 3, 4, 2, 3, then you put your 4th finger down to make this C at 4 and do the same thing back to C, back to C at 4.

On the intro you go to C, and then C at 4, and then back to C, and then C add 4, and the second time you’re doing the C ad 4, it has this extra little riff in there so we start off on C add 4, and we do the 5, 4, 3, 4, 2, 3, 5, and then you’re going to take your second finger and raise it up above the 2nd fret of the 3rd string and play the 3rd string open and then you hammer-on to that 2nd fret and then go back to the 4th string.

Back to C again, that little riff is actually in the Intro, so when it goes into after you do that little riff and you go into the verse starting on C, it starts off just the same way. So the first you do C twice, C add 4 twice, back to C, twice C add 4, and then when you go back to C ad 4, it’s a little bit different this time. So you go 5, 4, 3, 4, 2, 3, and then you’re going to remove your second and third finger so that way it’s just the 4th string that is open and you’re going to go 5, 4, and put your second finger back down 5, 4, and put your 4th finger back down 5, 4, so that whole sequence is like this continuing on C ad 4.

And now it does that hammer-on riff from the Intro back to C, back to C ad 4, back to C, back to C ad 4, and from there you’ll see on your tabs that it goes straight into the second verse and it shows that it’s the second and third verses but at this point it’s just the second verse that it will be referred back there shortly alright, so in the second verse it starts off with the C.

It has three measures of that same riff, so you’ve got it and it. You’ve got that on C, the sequence you’ve got is 1, 2, 3, 4, and then it repeats, it’s a total of eight times. On your eighth time through you’re playing the C and it has these little pick up walk up notes to transition into an F so starting with the C and then 4th string open, 2nd fret, 3rd fret and we drop to an F now.

This time the picking pattern remains the same but we transition it from playing on the strings 5, 4, 3, and 2. We just move your right hand up, your thumb is playing the 4th string, your first finger is playing the 3rd string, your 2nd finger is playing the 2nd string, your 3rd finger is playing the 1st string and then that little walk down thing goes the opposite way three to open and then back to C that 4C.

Next comes the chorus, it starts off on an F and we just strum it to a G back to an F and then G over B which is just G again without the G in the base. I mean you can leave your second finger on there, just strum starting on the 5th string and then right back into the C, C ad 4, C, and C ad 4. Now on you’re tabs there you’ll see that it has a “del signo”, telling you to go back to the signal sign which is why you’re going to go back and play that 3rd verse which is the same as the 2nd verse and then you repeat the chorus again.

I hope you enjoyed that and you got something out of it. Make sure to subscribe on our You Tube Channel and we’ll see you in our next video lessons, thanks for watching.


Get 2 hours of FREE Guitar Lesson from Eric Gales today.

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