Man of constant sorrow – EASY Banjo lesson

Here is an EASY BANJO LESSON for the old classic “Man of Constant Sorrow.”  Made popular by Ralph Stanley and then later, the movie “Oh Brother Where Art Thou.”

To play Man of Constant Sorrow, you’ll only need to know a few banjo rolls like the Forward Roll.  Aimed at the BEGINNER banjo student.

Man of Constant Sorrow Free Banjo Lesson


If you’d like the Man of Constant Sorrow Banjo TAB, here is the link:

Constant Sorrow Banjo TAB

You can also get it by becoming a PATREON member at:


PATREON members of course get access to lots of other goodies and TABS as well 😛

Man of Constant Sorrow Chord Chart

The chords to this one are quite easy as it only consists of G, C, and D.  So it shouldn’t present any difficulty; it’s easy enough that you could teach it to a guitar player pretty quickly.


Notice that this is a ten bar song.  Usually songs are 8, 12, 16, or 32 bars in length; it’s a bit unusual in that regard.

Lastly, some people throw a chorus “In constant Sorrow, all through his days” in there like they did in the movie.  That’s just two bars of D to two bars of G if you want to add that.

chord chart for man of constant sorrow

Song History and Lyrics:

“Man of Constant Sorrow” is an old folk tune that was first published in the early 1900’s.  Back then, they referred to the song as “Farewell Song.”  There is some doubts about who wrote it and when; it probably dates back to the late 1800’s.  The Stanley Brothers did a version of it in the 50’s.  At this point, It’s been covered by a multitude of folk artists.  Recently, the most popular version was in the Movie “Oh Brother Where Art Thou,” featuring the great Dan Tyminski on vocals.

Here are a few lyrics so you get the idea behind the meaning of this old folk tune:

I am a man of constant sorrow

I’ve seen trouble all my days

I bid farewell to Kentucky

The place where I was born and raised.

If you’d like to learn more about the song, visit Wikipedia


mans hand on banjo with the words banjo journey newsletter
Jody Written by:

Professional Musician of 27 years. I've played Banjo and Acoustic Guitar on the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Grand Ole Opry, and The Ryman Auditorium. I've also played in six different countries.