Learn to Play the Classic Blues Song "Oh Daddy"

Posted by Orville Johnson

“Oh Daddy” is a classic blues recorded for the Black Swan label in 1921 by Ethel Waters. The original orchestral arrangement has a Broadway feel, and the song is written in a typical Tin Pan Alley form, with a verse that sets up the story, but never repeats, and a chorus that is really the main body of the song.

Oh Daddy VERSE
Click to enlarge.

A couple of techniques I use to fatten up the sound of the solo guitar are thumb rolls and melody matching with voice and guitar. Thumb rolls are easiest to play with a bare thumb and consist of letting your thumb roll off the string you’re picking to hit one or two additional strings on the way down. It should feel more like a little strum than picking an individual note.

Excerpted from Arranging Folk and Blues Songs

Receive lessons, songs, advice, and news like this straight to your inbox

Join the Learn to Play the Classic Blues Song "Oh Daddy" discussion

Get all things acoustic guitar in your inbox with our free newsletters. Your E-mail: