The Black Keys – I’ll Be Your Man

The Black Keys - The Big Come Up

I think I’m going to start a new feature here where Monday’s will be the day I post video of songs I’m learning.  Twitter has Music Mondays so why shouldn’t I.  I’m not sure I can commit to EVERY Monday, but I’ll try to at least make it every other Monday.

I’ve had a bit of a Black Keys obsession since I first heard them about a year ago. The moment I heard the opening to Thickfreakness I knew this was going to be a band I liked. Well, since then I’d say The Black Keys have accounted for about 80% of my music rotation. One of my favorite songs by them is I’ll Be Your Man off of The Big Come Up… and it just so happens it’s pretty easy to play. When I say it’s easy to play, I mean I can play it for the most part (my apologies in advance to The Black Keys).

The only part I can’t quite figure out is a little part in the opening and the solo.. it’s right after the slide down to the 12th fret and just before the chords come in.

For the most part the song alternates between A and F# bar chords and then switches to D and E bar chords for the verse. The solo is:

The opening section is the same as the solo, just without the slide down to the 12th fret and it has some muting on the 5th string in between each note.

Here’s the video and as usual, I ask you be kind when making your opinions:

Guitar: Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Goldtop
Amp: Vox AC15CC
Effects: Keeley Fuzz Head

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13 Responses to “The Black Keys – I’ll Be Your Man”


  1. […] version to the recording (or even try to sing a long) you’d see the rhythm is pretty wonky.  Last week I did I’ll Be Your Man and that song has a pretty straight forward rhythm that’s hard to miss.  Trouble Weighs A […]


  1. Dennis says:

    Nice work! I actually learned this tune this morning myself after catching up on a couple episodes of Hung.
    Great track!

    .-= Dennis´s last blog ..Taming high gain distortion noise THE MOVIE =-.

    • nevertoolateguitar says:


      Yeah, when I saw the premier of Hung I thought I was a perfect song for that show. TBK’s seem to be showing up in a lot of TV shows lately.

  2. Petroguy says:

    From a fellow late-to-the-party guitar player and HUGE fan of the Black Keys, nice job. I am trying to learn a few of their songs myself.
    Nice thing about the Keys, all you need is a drummer at some point and you have all you need.

    • nevertoolateguitar says:


      That’s what I love about TBK, two guys and they kick ass with just those two guys. They’re amazing in concert. I saw them three times this year (and Dan Auerbach once on his solo tour).

      Thanks for the comment. Good luck with the guitar.

  3. P Phillips says:

    I enjoyed your site. I have this album and like the Keys, as well.

    I tabbed out that opening lick for you (in your vid you are a little off the mark). I put my email address in this “Leave a Reply” thing so if you send me your email address I’ll frwd you a .pdf of it. It’s actually pretty simple, but it has a full bend from the B with an A (on the high E string) right in the middle. Very Howlin Wolf. One other thing you might want to try out is when you do that A/F# chord sequence, try using a power chord instead of that E major chord form. It seems to fit the song pretty good when you leave that chord a little more unresolved, like you can’t tell if it is a M or m. Either way works, it just seems to ring a little truer to my ear. On the other hand, I spent 15 minutes on it so I might be way off on that one!


    • nevertoolateguitar says:

      Thanks… I’ll shoot you an email.

      I actually never felt the opening and solo were right, but it was as close as I could get.

      As for the power cord, I know what you mean about it sounding more accurate. I actually try to just hit the top two strings even though I’m holding the E shape.

      Thanks again!

  4. Tom H says:

    Hey, could I get a copy of that PDF please? Would be very grateful.

  5. Jim says:

    Wow totally stumbled on this, love the 335 in the video background (I think that’s what it is) It never is too late. I started on Piano and I’m doing my best at the ripe old age of 39 to become a “legend of guitar” LOL there’s so many guitar hero’s out there I’ve even started building my own site by means of educating myself and passing on the wealth.

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