OUT ON THE WEEKEND by Neil Young
This Neil Young classic, “Out on the Weekend,” has many of his trademark Neil Young features, some of which can be a bit challenging to master. That said, this is a great song for intermediate players who are getting into bar chords and alternate chord grips.
This song is deceptively difficult, especially when it comes to the rhythm. For instance, there’s this thing he does where he plays that first A chord of the chorus an eighth note earlier than you’d normally expect it to be played. That sounds easy enough conceptually, but it will likely feel strange to play at first.
One thing he does with the rhythm is this fun little strum with a palm mute. It’s different from a normal palm mute that you’d normally hear in, say, a rock song, so listening to the original recording while you’re practicing will help you get the sound just right.
There are several bar chords throughout the song that you’ll want to spend some time with. One top of that, he often adds hammer-ons and flick-offs here and there to add some flair. Here’s the thing with that, though – Neil Young tends to play some of his chords by using his thumb to play the 5th string over the top of the fret board. If you can pull this off – great! This will help you immensely when it comes to adding in those ornamental notes. Unfortunately for me, and I promise you it's not for lack of trying, I just can’t seem to get my thumb over well enough to pull that move off easily and consistently.
Ah well, I guess we can't all be Neil Young or John Mayer!