Six String Fingerpicking Courses and Lessons

Streets of London by Ralph McTell Guitar Lesson & TABS

Ralph McTell







4th fret


E major with capo (C major without)

Streets of London is a beautiful folk song written by English singer-songwriter Ralph McTell. The song was first recorded in 1969 but wasn’t actually released in the UK until 1974.

Originally McTell had thought the song was too depressing and so it didn’t make it onto his debut album ‘Eight Frames a Second’. Thankfully, after some persuasion from his producer, it finally made its way on to his second studio album ‘Spiral Staircase’ and went on to become his most commercially successful song.

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The intro to Streets of London moves quickly through a basic folk chord progression. The tricky part isn’t the chords, it’s the picking hand.

There’s a lot going on and you really have to go slow when you first start out. Really make sure you’ve got all the notes lined up correctly before you bring it up to tempo.


Thankfully the verse to Streets of London is very similar to the intro. I’d go as far as to say it’s actually a little easier.

Bear in mind that every time I’ve watch McTell play this song he plays it slightly differently, so don’t feel as though you have to play it all note-for-note.

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The only other section of Streets of London is the chorus. Here we have a typical, but beautiful, descending bass line over open chords.

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