Sixteen Tons

Produced in 1947 by Merle Travis, Sixteen Tons tells the story of the plight of coal miners. This lesson will show the student how to easily play this popular song. The three chords, Dm, Gm, and A7 are the only chords needed. Included here is the unique picking pattern of Sixteen Tons that makes the song special. Since most of the song is done on a single chord (Dm), the picking pattern (easily learned) becomes very important to making Sixteen Tons sound awesome. The identifiable “lick” of Sixteen Tons is also shown.

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