Ain’t Nobody’s Business – Freddie King

The tune, “Ain’t Nobody’s Business,” as done by Freddie King is one of my favorite songs of all time.

Freddie’s playing and the Gospel infused chord progression are just some of the coolest music there is, in my humble opinion.

So in today’s video I’d like to share the chords and structure of the song with you in hopes that you might enjoy it for yourself.


  • icon
    This Video

    Use this link to download this video (MP4)

  • icon
    The Chord Chart

    Use this link to download a PDF of the chords and chord charts for them. I go over many more options in the video, this is just for reference.



  • Dr. Leo

    Reply Reply July 6, 2018

    I have always wondered how gospel style blues was played because it has so much soul, thanks for bringing me to a new level of playing. Sometimes the one, four, five progression can sound like the same songs only the lyrics are different. I’m Pretty sure this style of blues can be switched up to where you can play it and not sound the same all the time.

  • Bob C

    Reply Reply June 17, 2018

    Am I the only one who heard “Need your love so Bad” (Peter Green/FM) in this chord progression?

    • Erv

      Reply Reply June 25, 2018

      Heard that too, although usually play that in A

  • Cliff Rogers

    Reply Reply June 17, 2018

    I worked out the bridge, instead of the G7+ at the end of the verse, use a C7 to lead to the bridge.
    The Bridge is one bar each of F7, F#°7, C, C7, F7, F#°7, D7, then one strum of G7 Tacit.
    Try playing it with a triplet feel,then mix it up, don’t play triplets on the C.

  • Rob van Loenen

    Reply Reply June 15, 2018

    Hi Griff.
    Great chord progression and easy to play. I listened to a few versions and love the Otis Span sound. Nice and slow and great groove. Will be playing this at a gig next Friday night.
    Thanks for the great lessons although I probably have too many of them if thats possible!!

  • Jake Whicker

    Reply Reply June 14, 2018


    You are the BOMB!! I feel like my whole guitar life has been working up to this particular lesson. If you remember, I asked you to do a lesson on this song back in Arrowhead in April, because it fit one of the solos in 5 more easy blues solos.

    In your usual style, you have given us so much more. Thanks from your dedicated student. I will definitely be adding this to the set list for my band.


  • steven siegel

    Reply Reply June 14, 2018

    As usual a good guitar players lesson. probably over most peoples heads and a bit above mine, but not. a true difference in band playing and music as you covered. I use power cords most of the time and have studied Jazz, along with other modes.They that teach Jazz do the same as you have done, Blame it on the other guy’s cause they say its OK. Your band simple form playing is truly close to how it has been recorded. I put Freddie King on my set up, play along, ahead or behind him, Love his Texas House ripen string bend-en string style. Shire would like to no what stomp boxes he uses and amp.

  • Jumpin Jack Flash

    Reply Reply June 14, 2018


  • Mark

    Reply Reply June 14, 2018

    Absolutely brilliant lesson! What a great song and lesson. So Griff, how about a full course on Blues Classics? The BGU Blues Fakebook.
    I would definitely pay for that. And if it cost a bit more due to royalty/copyright costs I would happily pay it.
    So often my blues playing ends up sound inglike just another 12 bar shuffle but I know there is so much more in there to make it sound great. Yes I guess most of what we need is sprinkled through all the various (great) courses you offer, most of which I have bought, but applying them to the 20 ‘must know’ blues tunes is something that needs guidance from the master.
    Please consider this, it will be the thing that draws together all the great teachings in your courses. Kind of like your jam in a box courses but structured like this lesson. Harmony, groove, options, lead, options. Just perfect. Thank you. I am off to learn this song right now!

  • Rhett

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Hey great lesson!
    Any chance of getting the notes for that lead that you do at the beginning of the video?

  • roy

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    I like. Keep it coming.

  • Peter Bas

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    It is a 1920s blues song that became one of the first blues standards.
    It was first recorded, as “‘Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness if I Do”, in 1922 by Anna Meyers, backed by the Original Memphis Five. In 1947, the song was revived by the jump blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon as “Ain’t Nobody’s Business”. It was the best-selling race record of 1949 rcorded by Billie Holiday.
    So now you know . . .

  • Alan G

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Great tune and so many variations to play it. I persnally like the chord arpeggios and simple rhythm comping. The lead is beyond me for now but I think it could even sound great simplified..for me anyway. Thanks Griff.. You’re a great teacher…love the BGU. (from New Zealand)

  • Benyaw

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Thanks again

  • Frank

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Great content and even greater presentation. You are a pro’s pro Griff, thank you!

  • Bill

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Yeah, this one is nice. Great gospel vibe.

  • Kyle

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Cool lesson. Perfect amount of detail and enough theory to help me understand what is going on.

  • Jere

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Song was written by Everett Robbins and Porter Grainger

  • Jere

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Jimmy Witherspoon did this tune in a jazz mode, check it out

  • Alan Heyes

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Beautiful solo, Griff – I’d love to learn it if there’s a chance you could arrange to tab it.

  • David Douglas

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Hey Griff,

    One of my absolute favorite sounds as well! Yet another great thing to work on AAGGHH!I’ve gotta stop watching this stuff, it’s going to overload the system! Just kidding!😎
    Say that is a 339 isn’t it? Epiphone? I have one of those and totally dig it.

    Hey, thanks again Maestro!
    Dave in the Adirondacks

  • DaveyJoe

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Need a jam track…I love this tune!

  • Mark d.

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Love it Griff! Great bluesy sound.

  • Steve

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Thanks Griff, I like cool chord progressions like this one!

  • Jimmy The Finger

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Originally done by Billie Holiday, it was about domestic violence. “I’d rather my man would hit me… than up and quit me.” “”I swear I won’t call no copper, if I’m beat up by my papa”

    But I agree, the Freddie King version is the best.

  • Dan

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    For those who see this as veering away from standard blues, I get it because the harmonic complexity is different, and harder to follow because of the implied major/minor key changes. As Griff pointed out, it’s using a few basic jazz concepts of sometimes changing the 2, 3 and 6th minor chords to Dom 7 (in C, change Dm to D7, Em to E7, Am to A7), and adding some color chords for transitions. This and similar variations are a staple of many acoustic country blues songs, and even many folk and pop tunes. Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant is based on similar concepts, as well as dozens of traditional acoustic blues that use C E7 A7 D7 G7 progressions.

    Once your ear “gets it”, it’s cool stuff. But playing a lead line against it is not for the faint of heart – it’s more major than minor, and sticking with root pentatonic will only sound “half” right on the changes. It’s hard to absorb in one video for sure.

  • Jeffrey

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    A 18 min cord session! I can never get though’s cords to sound good! Don’t have the fingers! Griff, your a great guitar player! I will never get to that level

    • Chaplain Ed

      Reply Reply June 15, 2018

      Don’t believe it Jeffrey. Keep at it. I have been at it since I was 16. I’m now 75 and because of Griff’s lessons I am better than ever! No progress until I started with him a few years ago, maybe 2 years. You only fail if you quit!

      God bless.

  • Philip Ricossa

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Great video! Really appreciate it!

  • RogerJ

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Nice one!…Similar vibe to Need your Love so Bad (Fleetwood Mac) including the dim chord. Going to suggest this to the guys for our next jam session. Thanks Griff.

  • Ken

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    Way above me, sorry l do not like the composition, too stressful.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field