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Neil Young Guitar Lesson “Needle And The Damage Done” Chords

I remember a time when anyone who claim to play acoustic guitar was expected to know a few standard guitar songs. One of them was “Needle and the Damage Done” by Neil Young. Not only is it a classic but it just sounds good on the acoustic guitar.

Needle And The Damage Done Chords

In this lesson I'm using the Needle and the Damage Done chords to teach you a useful progression with the descending bassline and a few new chords. I have simplified this guitar song slightly to isolate the most important aspects of this lesson.

You can use either your thumb and fingers to strum this or a pick. I show both in the video. If you're using a nylon string guitar it's a good exercise to practice using your thumb for bass notes.

The Infamous F Chord… Again

The most difficult part of this song for the beginning guitar student is the F chord. I'm using a partial bar F chord in the video. If this is new to you you'll want to check out my lesson on how to play the F chord. Also to help you practice the F chord use my F chord 5 Minute Practice Session.

Taking It Further

If you like this song and you want to take it a little further, I've included a video by Justin Sandercoe of In this video, he teaches more of the details that were played by Neil Young in the song as well as how the lyrics fit into the chord progression. It's an excellent lesson.


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  1. Thanks Tomas and Justin. Nice clear lesson. Watching Neil Young do this song on Prairie Wind I tried to see what he was doing. Ha! So thanks for breaking it down. Sad tale-great Neil Young song.


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