How to play Sweet Home Alabama on guitar

Allen Collins, Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd perform live at The Oakland Coliseum in 1976 in Oakland, California.
(Image credit: Richard McCaffrey/ Michael Ochs Archive/ Getty Images)

Released in 1974, Sweet Home Alabama is one of the most popular classic rock songs ever written, and it made household names of Lynyrd Skynyrd and their Southern rock sound.

Thankfully, learning to play the song's main hook on guitar isn't too challenging – it doesn’t take long to spot that the riff is written around a simple chord progression (D, Cadd9, G).

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Chris Bird

Chris has been the Editor of Total Guitar magazine since 2020. Prior to that, he was at the helm of Total Guitar's world-class tab and tuition section for 12 years. He's a former guitar teacher with 35 years playing experience and he holds a degree in Philosophy & Popular Music. Chris has interviewed Brian May three times, Jimmy Page once, and Mark Knopfler zero times – something he desperately hopes to rectify as soon as possible.