Knocking on Heavens Door by Bob Dylan Guitar Lesson

Learn how to playKnocking On Heavens Door by Bob Dylan, with this free  guitar lesson.  This song was written and originally performed by Bob Dylan for the soundtrack of the 1973 film Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid“. This song was also covered and made famous by Eric Clapton and Guns n’ Roses. You can learn more about the history of this song by heading on over to Wikipedia.

This is a  fairly easy  song with only 4 chords: G Major, D Major, Am7, and C Major, although some people leave out the Am7 and just play the C Major in its place, and it still sounds quite good.  So if you have trouble changing from D Major to Am7, just substitute a C Major in those parts.

Video Lessons From YouTube

Big thanks to James who made these video lessons available!  You can see more of his videos by following this link to reach his channel over at YouTube.

As performed by Bob Dylan

Additional Resources:

Click here for more information on this song from Wikipedia

Knocking on Heavens Door Chords and Lyrics

Knockin on Heavens Door Tab

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74 Comments on "Knocking on Heavens Door by Bob Dylan Guitar Lesson"

  1. sammy on Thu, 27th Nov 2008 9:23 pm 

    thanks this was pretty good, more would be great!

  2. John Affleck on Sun, 30th Nov 2008 3:23 am 

    This was super helpful — I am a total beginner (I took lessons when I was 8 — 26 years ago!) and just got a new guitar. I’m going to take lessons soon, but your post let me start playing a great song right away by breaking it down to the simplest parts. So, thanks — though my wife is less happy, she’s been hearing G – D – Am7 – G – D- C over and over and over again.

    John Affleck
    Quincy, MA

  3. Faz E on Thu, 11th Dec 2008 10:26 pm 

    This is the 3rd song I’ve learnt to play (after Wonderwall, and Clocks) and these vidoes were really helpful. Infact normally I don’t even bother commenting on videos but this was just so helpful. Thanks again. My guitar no longer feels a waste of money. What a song!

  4. GC on Mon, 15th Dec 2008 11:50 pm 

    Great video, you’re a good teacher!

  5. kevin on Wed, 24th Dec 2008 5:33 am 

    Great video. Makes the song really easy to learn. I think the counting is usually the hardest part of playing, especially for me, you made it pretty simple by breaking it down.

  6. darmie on Sat, 3rd Jan 2009 4:01 pm 

    First of all, your a great teacher. Your videos were great, not too long, and very informitive. Thanx!!!!

  7. bonnerac on Sat, 3rd Jan 2009 10:40 pm 

    Thanks! This helped out a lot and think other songs would be great for you to add. I only watched the video once, so the only thing that kept confusing me was the mention of the C chord. I took it to imply you could use either one the C chord or A7. The way you taught it worked well for me.

  8. Adam on Sat, 17th Jan 2009 4:00 pm 

    Hey man, this was great! Your videos have helped me to start playing acoustic guitar!!! Thanks so much for your time putting this together. Can you get some more up there???

    Thanks again!

  9. rserpe on Sat, 17th Jan 2009 6:45 pm 

    Hi Everyone!

    Thanks for all of your wonderful comments!

    I am very happy these video lessons are helping….

    Let me know what type of songs you are interested in learning.. Rock, Jazz, Blues, Country? And I will post more lessons…

    Be sure to also sign up for my free newsletter using the subscribe box above, so that you will be notified when I add more lessons….

    – Ralph Serpe

  10. Dave on Thu, 22nd Jan 2009 8:32 pm 

    Thanks for the tips bro! Timing is everything, and I aint got none! Now I do! OK I have something to work with at least.

  11. nate on Tue, 3rd Feb 2009 4:03 am 

    thanks for info very helpfull

  12. Doug on Tue, 10th Feb 2009 11:32 pm 

    This was super helpfull!! I got my guitar almost 2 years ago and have struggled til now. Would love to see more. Thank you.

  13. Doug on Wed, 11th Feb 2009 4:16 am 

    You do a great job!!! Could you show how to play “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison? Or is that a hard one to learn?

  14. Andy uk on Mon, 16th Mar 2009 9:56 pm 

    Excellent. I am an absolute novice, just learning the chords and have been looking for a tune to keep me enthused. Thanks to these videos I can play a recognised tune, which keeps me going through the chord practise sessions. Any more tunes like this would be greatly received.

  15. jason kincel on Tue, 24th Mar 2009 2:34 am 

    thanks so much for this video series. I’ve only been playing guitar for a couple of weeks now and this helped tremendously.

  16. Rich on Tue, 24th Mar 2009 3:42 pm 

    I thought this lesson was well done. I like the fact that you go out of your way to explain things other than just what chords to play. I would love to learn Hey Hey What Can I Do from Zeppelin. Can you put together a lesson for that?


  17. edwin on Tue, 7th Apr 2009 9:23 am 

    hey i’m from singapore! your videos are real helpful! its my second song with a acoustic guitar! (first was happy birthday!) thanks mate!

  18. Juan Manuel on Thu, 9th Apr 2009 2:06 am 

    Great work. Very helpful, thank you very much. Keep up the good work.

  19. dina aqel on Fri, 10th Apr 2009 12:44 pm 

    great tips helped a lot..can you put up video series for melodies also not only chords..i would be very grateful and thankful to you.You have an easy way of giving the information to others.was great.

  20. rserpe on Sat, 11th Apr 2009 8:03 pm 

    Thank you for visiting my site and for your wonderful comments. Good luck with your playing.

  21. rserpe on Sat, 11th Apr 2009 8:05 pm 

    Keep up the good work. I hope the site continues to teach you.

    keep playing

  22. Eddie Sheridan on Thu, 16th Apr 2009 6:10 am 

    I like your style of teaching a lot and found this video very helpful. Kudos
    PS the wifey was right about the singing though :p

  23. Gillian on Mon, 20th Apr 2009 11:01 pm 

    thank you!

  24. Nick on Sun, 10th May 2009 12:46 am 

    Have been playing for 3-4 weeks and just found this video. Fantastic teaching mate, really enjoyed, Thank You

  25. Raymond Keyter on Fri, 22nd May 2009 6:43 am 

    Your manner in explanation is great and an easy follow for beginners such as myself.
    Thank you

  26. Jessica on Mon, 25th May 2009 7:18 pm 

    Hi, I think your lesson was great! So much better than others that I have found online because you really explain little details that everyone else just doesn’t get into and for a beginner that is so wonderful.

    I hope you do a ton more videos because I would love to watch them!

    Thank you so much!!


  27. Patrick on Tue, 2nd Jun 2009 12:23 am 

    Thanks a million for the help i thought i’d never find videos this useful. Finally on my way :)

  28. jimmy on Mon, 15th Jun 2009 5:51 pm 

    you did a fantastic job in all phases of teaching us that song.I hope there is more to come.I needed a jump start to start playing again and you did just that, thank you so much.

  29. gerry on Sun, 28th Jun 2009 8:57 pm 

    Very easy to understand. Much better than any other guitar video I’ve come across. Well done.

  30. claire on Sun, 26th Jul 2009 8:06 pm 

    Amazingly helpfull thank you so much! Best tutorial video i’ve seen so far. i can now actually sort of play the song and i only started 3 weeks ago!

  31. Martin on Fri, 14th Aug 2009 8:42 pm 

    Nice training, never realised this song only consisted of just 4 chords…
    Any more lessons online?

  32. Emy on Wed, 26th Aug 2009 5:12 pm 

    pretty good but i didn’t get some of it you say index and use yours ring finger and then you say notes you don’t do oO but good song and thanks anyway :(

  33. Tanuka on Sun, 30th Aug 2009 7:11 am 

    I’d always thought this song was really tough to play but your videos were amazing!I got this song on my guitar in no time..thanks a lot!

  34. Wayne on Mon, 21st Sep 2009 6:15 pm 

    In 1977 I bought a classical guitar in a small shop in Madrid. The Luthier was Paulino Bernabe and I remember him as a kind and gentle man who was rightfully very proud of his workmanship. I’ve had it now for over 30 years and have never learned to play it. I chanced upon your website this morning and within a few hours I was able to play this classic Dylan song that I remember from my youth. My version is not quite as good as Dylan’s was but you have now inspired me to learn to play this fine instrument in honor of Paulino, whom I understand passed away in 2007. Thank you.

  35. Steve on Thu, 8th Oct 2009 11:42 pm 

    Brilliant!! Jammin with Dylan.More please.

  36. rserpe on Mon, 12th Oct 2009 3:24 pm 

    Glad You Like it Steve! More songs are on the way!

  37. Mark on Sat, 24th Oct 2009 10:35 pm 

    Very nice. Thanks for having done the effort!

  38. Bethany on Fri, 13th Nov 2009 3:50 am 

    Thank you for the lessons. They were very helpful and easy to follow. Great job!

  39. brad on Sun, 22nd Nov 2009 10:23 am 

    hello thanxs for the great vid….this video helped me memorise the chords…nw im playing it down the local pub haha thanks keep up the good work mate:)

  40. AK on Tue, 8th Dec 2009 1:14 pm 

    Great Video mate. I am 48 yrs old and this helped me immensely. Found it easy to learn, hope to get more from you..

  41. Alrighty on Sun, 13th Dec 2009 6:37 am 

    Very helpful video. Please do more.

  42. Rob on Tue, 15th Dec 2009 2:53 am 

    I agree! Great video. And I am 58 yrs old. I’ve wanted to play guitar all my life and now with the help of people like you, I’m going to!

  43. lee on Tue, 22nd Dec 2009 6:56 pm 

    fantastic videos you make it so simple to understand, keep these lessons coming, Thanks Lee

  44. Daniel on Tue, 5th Jan 2010 12:17 pm 

    Great lessons and a fun and easy way to learn.
    Bought my first guitar 5 days ago and already playing my first song!

    Keep it up!

  45. julie chadwick on Tue, 5th Jan 2010 8:27 pm 

    Thanks, I’m just learning and can use all the help I can get and you give
    good tips

  46. mark on Mon, 11th Jan 2010 1:52 pm 

    cheers mate very helpful, at least I sound like I can play something now

  47. Jason on Mon, 18th Jan 2010 9:06 pm 

    Great Video…Good details, Thanks!!
    Please do some more. (Montreal, Canada)

  48. Bob C on Fri, 22nd Jan 2010 6:34 pm 

    Awesone!!!!! Thanks for taking the time to help others. Much apperciated….


  49. rserpe on Sat, 23rd Jan 2010 8:36 pm 

    Hi Bob,

    You are most welcome. Thanks for stopping by!

  50. jason25 on Wed, 27th Jan 2010 3:55 am 

    your video of knockin on heavens doors was very helpful…been playin for about 2 weeks and have almost got it down…trying to break myself of getting out of beat and stayin with the 1-2-3-4 beat which really is helping me force proper chord progression…thanks

  51. rserpe on Wed, 27th Jan 2010 3:50 pm 

    Hi Jason…

    Thanks for your comment. I am happy you found this video lesson helpful. Rock On!

  52. PETER Nguyen on Sat, 30th Jan 2010 10:22 pm 

    good vid, if there r any other good songs (rock) plz inform me.

  53. ed on Sat, 13th Feb 2010 4:38 pm 

    thanks man…. great lesson

  54. rserpe on Sun, 14th Feb 2010 9:15 pm 

    You are welcome Ed!

  55. Brett on Thu, 4th Mar 2010 8:22 pm 

    Very helpful. Got to through playing the song and now I’m off to try the vocals. Thanks.

  56. Damian on Sun, 14th Mar 2010 12:32 pm 

    Wow dude, thanks.
    It helped me out a lot.

  57. rserpe on Sun, 14th Mar 2010 4:10 pm 

    Hey Damian,

    You are most welcome, but the big thanks goes to James, the gentleman who created these videos.
    You can see more of his guitar videos by following this link to his YouTube profile.

  58. Sarah on Mon, 29th Mar 2010 10:31 pm 

    Thanks a Bunch! I have found many guitar lessons online and this is by far the best I have found, you are an awesome teacher. Thanks to James as well for creating the videos as well.
    I was just wondering if you have other videos posted and if so where can they be found ?

    Thanks again!!!

  59. rserpe on Tue, 30th Mar 2010 2:30 pm 

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your generous comment!

    Yes, James has more videos over at his YouTube Page. Follow this link to see all of his videos.


  60. Joey on Sat, 10th Apr 2010 2:03 pm 

    I am 29 and never played an instrument… I just bought a new Martin two days ago and, with your videos, can already play a song! Thank you! Very helpful!

  61. tara on Sun, 2nd May 2010 1:53 am 

    First song I learnt to play! Incredibly helpful. Thanks so much.

  62. Dee on Thu, 17th Jun 2010 5:16 pm 

    Bought my first guitar on Tuesday in Dublin!!!! Today is Thursday and because of your super videos I can play my first tune.

  63. colm on Thu, 12th Aug 2010 7:21 pm 

    nice one,this was great help,very laid back way to learn a great tune.cheers

  64. gwarejko on Tue, 21st Sep 2010 10:38 pm 

    This cord progression is definitely G – D – Am7, no question about it…the folks saying Am/C are either not hearing the softness of the Am7 or making it easier for people to play. Don’t be fooled, play the Am7 and hear the true tone of the song!

  65. Eddie Curran on Sat, 8th Jan 2011 10:01 pm 

    Very helpful … gonna find all i can by this teacher. one thing i like is he’s in, basically saying, if don’t practice, your a weenie

  66. Ankur on Mon, 28th Mar 2011 3:46 pm 

    I am learning guitar by my own and have been able to learn through various video lesson and books.
    I like the way you teach.
    Really helped a lot…Please bring some more tips on strumming coz I am struggling with that.
    Thanks a lot.

  67. doug on Thu, 28th Apr 2011 3:04 am 

    really great lessons i have learned alot from them. thanks a whole lot

  68. WildWildWez on Sun, 22nd May 2011 12:27 am 

    Excellent lessons. I am a (40 year old) beginner with a bad musical ear n possibly bad timing. I totally get your teaching style, which has givin me new hope & results in learning to play songs on the guitar. Thank you very much.

  69. rserpe on Mon, 23rd May 2011 2:22 pm 

    You are most welcome! Thank you for visiting and for taking the time to leave this comment. I appreciate it. I am happy to hear that you are enjoying the Website.

  70. Hank on Wed, 26th Oct 2011 10:39 am 

    Great lesson as always. I never had the patience for lessons but I like being able to come here and learn a bit when ever I want. Thank you.

  71. Denise on Thu, 24th Nov 2011 5:57 am 

    This was exactly what I needed! I’ve been a novice guitar player for five years now. I loved the way that you broke down each part. The part that helped me the most was probably where you talked about strumming “in time.” All the little tips were very helpful. You definitely spoke to my learning style and I would like to see more video lessons! I think I can actually play a whole song. Thanks!

  72. Melanie on Fri, 25th Nov 2011 7:20 pm 

    Thanks, this is just amazing and so helpful, I have been dreaming of playing this song on guitar for 20 years!!! (since my teenage years, so calculate ;-)…) Please do more videos!

  73. Maria on Sat, 31st Dec 2011 6:00 am 

    Oh man! you are great… thank you so much for sharing.
    I love how you split the videos in four sessions, almost giving you more time to practice in between. THANKS! That def worked for me… on the other hand I would have liked for you to do a bit more on how to properly use your right hand… It is def not sounding as cool as yours. Anyway… overall great! thank you so much.

  74. Alex on Sat, 28th Jan 2012 5:07 am 

    Dude those lessons were great. I’ve been playing guitar for a couple of months now but don’t know many full songs because I’ve been practicing my leads. But those vids were super helpful I’ll deffinately look at more of your them. Keep splitting them up how you did here. Chords and timing in the first vid strumming patterns in the second etc. That was really helpful

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