In this guitar lesson, we will be looking at the Jailhouse Rock TAB. Jailhouse Rock is one of the most well known tracks by Elvis Presley and it’s very fun to play on guitar. It’s a nice and easy guitar song too as there’s only three parts to learn and one of those parts is the short guitar solo section. This will be just the second Elvis song I’ve taught here at Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat. The other being Love me Tender wich you can learn via the following link. Elvis Presley Love Me Tender guitar lesson. I’ve been meaning to do another Elvis song for a while to capitalise on the recent bio movie about the king of rock n roll but I got distracted and completely missed the boat on that one. But we’re here now so let’s take a look at the Jailhouse Rock TAB one part at a time.
Jailhouse Rock TAB and Guitar Lesson
Jailhouse Rock was recorded by Elvis Presley for the film of the same name. It was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and was released as a single in the year 1957. It would go on to reach number one in the US and the top ten in several other countries. Not bad for a song that only has three distinct guitar parts. Perhaps there’s a lesson there.
Anyway, let’s take a look at those three guitar parts one by one. This one is appropriate for guitar players from the upper beginner skill level and up but total beginners are more than welcome to tackle this one too.
Jailhouse Rock TAB – Verse sections
Any moment now, I’ll start throwing TAB at you but just a couple of tiny things. Firstly, we have a triplet feel. If you don’t know what that means it’s fine. Just follow the vibe of the recording.
Secondly, this song uses e flat or half step down tuning. To play in this tuning, you simply tune each string down by one semitone. You can play this song in standard but it won’t sound quite right if you play in standard alongside the recording because you’ll obviously be out of key. Here’s the guitar tuner page if you need to tune your guitar down to e flat.
With that out of the way, here is the first part of the verse TAB.
This little piece of TAB isn’t the full verse. It’s very start of the song but it shows you how to play all the verses all the way through because you’d simply loop it.
It looks easy and to be honest, it is but the timing/rhythm isn’t the simplest thing in the world to master but once it clicks you won’t have any issues. It’s all about hitting that lower chord at the right time and not moving to the next one until the right time
The rhythm in the TAB demonstrates exactly where the chords fit but I know there will be quite a few of you that aren’t sure about the instructions so you’ll need to figure out the chord placements by playing with the recording.
The chords themselves are straightforward five string major barre chords only without the high e string. Adding that high e string is detrimental to the sound. I tried it with, but I prefer it without
Likewise, removing the G string doesn’t work either as that three string power chord lacks tonality so keep away from that.
The last thing you need to know about the verses is how they end. It’s simple. You hit that higher chord but cut it off after one beat. Something like this.
Probably didn’t need that TAB. Oh Well. Alternatively instead of cutting it off, let it ring . Either is fine so have a play about and see what works where for you.
Next, we shall take a look at the chorus sections.
So, the chorus is a nice and easy part too but once again, you’ll need to get the hang of it first. Not for timing reasons this time. This part is just slightly more fiddly that’s all.
During the song, the ending of the chorus changes sometimes depending on where you are in the song. The chorus at the very end is different as it blends into the outro, and the chorus that leads into the guitar solo is slightly different but first, here’s the Tab for the main chorus part.
We have a shuffle blues kind of rhythm here which almost follows the standard twelve bar structure only we don’t bother with the first four bars which would have been in E flat in this case. Instead, we dive straight into our two bars of IV which in this case is A flat.
As you can see at the very end, we abruptly change direction and move back into the chords from the verses. This transition can be tricky but you’ll be fine (with practice).
As mentioned earlier, the chorus at the end is different because it merges with a fade out outro. Instead of jumping to those chords, you stay on that E flat riff.
The recording fades out so you’ll need an ending. You could choose to jump back to the chords one more time. Something like this.
Sorry that this isn’t in order but it flows better this way. So as mentioned, we need to tweak the ending of the chorus that comes before the guitar solo so that we can transition to the solo easily. Not much to be said about this so here’s the TAB.
Jailhouse Rock Guitar Solo TAB
We’re coming to the end of the Jailhouse Rock TAB now. There’s just one more thing you need to learn and that’s the guitar solo.
Here’s the TAB. It’s a nice and simple little solo. Enjoy. It’s half basic chords anyway and as you can see at the end, it flows nicely back into a verse.
That concludes this look at the Jailhouse Rock TAB. A cool little retro 50s track that everyone is sure to both recognise and enjoy. That main guitar riff is instantly identifiable and a sure fire way to turn heads. This is definitely a track that all guitar players should learn.
Speaking of tracks that all guitar players should learn, (see what I did there?) You should also check out the following guitar lessons / song tutorials.
Johnny Cash Folsom Prison TAB and guitar lesson
Stevie Ray Vaughan Pride and Joy TAB and guitar lesson
Hello. My name is Ryan J Mellor and I play the guitar. I’m also the creator of Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat. I’ve ben a guitarist for many years and my guitar playing has been described as “above average”. My guitar and music knowledge is somewhat impressive but most importantly, I have a passion for creating great guitar and music related content.