Six String Fingerpicking Courses and Lessons

The Claw Guitar Lesson

Jerry Reed





Standard (originally tuned half step down)


200 BPM


A (originally recorded in A♭)

This is the full guitar lesson for The Claw by Jerry Reed.  Reed wrote The Claw 1967 and it appears on his debut album ‘The Unbelievable Guitar & Voice of Jerry Reed’.

This is a song that’s very popular among fingerpickers and for good reason. It’s an upbeat finger twister that really tests your playing ability and many fingerstyle guitarists love to put their own spin on it and improvise their way through the changes.

The Claw is number 9 on my Top 10 Country Songs for Fingerstyle Guitar List.

Let’s get on with learning The Claw!

Learn To Play The Claw

The Claw (Performance)

As you learn to play The Claw, be sure to frequently return to the performance as a good reference point and guide.


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The Claw Guitar Lesson (Part 1)

In this first lesson we learn how to play the intro and the main progression of The Claw. I prefer to use a thumb pick when playing this song as I find it really helps to dig in and attack the strings. This is, of course, not essential and you certainly don’t have to wear one yourself if you don’t want to.

The Claw (Part 2)

Now we’re going to look at the first bridge. This section is pretty tricky and you really have to move your fingers at quite a speed. Try to add in a little chicken pickin’ here and there to really get a good country sound.

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The Claw (Part 3)

On to the 2nd bridge now and this one may even be slightly harder than the first. The muted triplets on the 3rd string can really be hard to get clean and you may need to practise them on their own for a while before mastering them.

The Claw (Part 4)

Just the outro now and thankfully most of the hard work has been done already. Although, as you’ll quickly see, it’s no walk in the park.

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