Song 7 - "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals

Its the damn organ. The timbre itself adds stress/anticipation and then when it starts playing off-beats it makes to want to rush.

I also had a hard time counting this out in 6/8 and instead counted it in 2 so maybe that is why my timing was a little off.

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Yeah, I hated that organ when I did it :grin:

Agree, when I was recording She, the guitar was doing one thing and I was supposed to do another, I kept getting aligned with the guitar and had to ignore it to play the bass right. Same here with the damn organ.

This was definitely a hard “easy” song.

I was the transcriber on this one, and it is - really - a hard ‘easy’ song.
There’s a bass mistake in there on the main recording which makes me happy… but hearing the bass notes and rhythms on this song is very very challenging.
Once you can hear what the part it, playing it gets easier, but placing the notes rhythmically into a very loose and organic live recording (where the bass is mixed in a real strange way) is very challenging.

Bravi tutti to all those who have tackled this one.


Hey all, getting back to it here. Hats off to the many of you who learned the rhythmic nuances in this tune. I did not, but here’s is my approximation


Well done @dlamson13 !!
Ya this one was a big challenge for me too.
You sound great.
And where you might not have followed the score exactly, it doesn’t matter much cause you pretty much stayed in the groove anyway, so I call it a win!
Nice job.

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Thanks a lot @John_E ! Yeah i have more fun when i’m trying to catch the feel and not overthinking things too much

Ye-ahhh. This one. So I’ll be honest here-i never liked this song. I like it even less now. Learning it on the lessons was a drag. Only saving grace is my music guru telling me i could sub the lyrics to star Spangled banner ( it works ). I would have abandoned the song completely otherwise. I played it in the 50 songs, because i wanted the experience. I can say for sure that now that I’m satisfied with it i fully intend to neve play it again. That’s just me, Though. Everyone had their own taste.

My old praise group, Grace On Fire, played the Blind Boys of Alabama version of Amazing Grace set to House of the Rising Sun. Our priest loved our version when he heard it during a rehearsal and gave us the green light to play it during Mass…………with a visiting Bishop! The looks we got from the congregation when we started the intro ranged from disbelief, to confusion, to “WTF”………Once we got the lyrics going, those looks changed to “Ah, OK! This is cool!” The Bishop told us after that he was initially shocked, knowing that the original song was about a whore house and why were we playing it in a Catholic church to “Yes! I love it!” I can’t remember the specific Gospel or the Bishop’s specific Homily, but I do remember the song fit the readings that day. Maybe is was the story when Jesus saved that woman from being stoned when He said, “Let ye without sin cast the first stone.” It was a staple for our band to play whenever we gave praise concerts.

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I tried playing with the recording this morning and was it my imagination or are some of the notes an octave higher than in the transcription? Maybe I’m listening to the wrong instrument? Also, does the bass start right away or is there a delay? Definitely agree it is one of the harder “easy” songs. I’ll listen to it again later and try and figure out why my ears are deceiving me.

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I think there’s a guitar relationship in there that’s just super close? When i did that lesson in the module, it was maddening. Like, i truly hated it. When i was able to hit the fast workout every time i went about immediately never, ever playing it again. So i guess it’s time to play it again.

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Anyone who was around when The Animals released House of the Rising Sun knows it as a classic. And that a British band chose to record this song is entirely remarkable.

So, fine, those who weren’t around when this was a big thing (and it most definitely was) might not care for it. C’est la vie.

Regardless, it has earned its place in rock and roll history. Kudos to Josh for honoring this song and its musical structure.


I’m with you, JT.

I absolutely agree that the band captured lightning in a bottle with this track.
I always like hearing technical mistakes in legendary tracks (plenty out there) because it’s a great reminder of how performance and vibe and magic will always be better than a perfect take.

I do, however, have to link this article about the history of that song.
There’s a very amazing and rich history around the origin of this song and this particular rendition in particular.
It’s a cover of a Bob Dylan recording which itself was a rip off of another folk singers version of this old traditional folk song.

Kudos to The Animals for shredding this killer and immortal version, but they didn’t write it or come up with these chords and this rhythm for the old standard.


I agree, Gio. And I misstated that The Animals wrote this song. They didn’t and I’ve revised my original post to that effect.

I know it was a cover of a Dylan-take folk song. What I meant was they created this rendition that reached millions of people around the world who had most likely never heard an earlier version.

And, as per the article you cited:

The Animals version was played in 6/8 meter, unlike the 4/4 of most earlier versions.

What resulted is a piece of rock history.


I’ve always like this song, the theatrics of it is really cool, I think it’s great, but playing bass to it was hard and lead to saturation from listening to it so many times…. The course lesson with it was easy, no problem but the song not so much, specially when the organ solo kicks in, I personally cannot hear anything but the organ, I got totally lost, the bass part doesn’t feel in sync with everything else, its like being thrown in the middle of the ocean during a storm… so I get flashbacks now when I hear this song
Maybe in a year or two when I’m a better player I could enjoy it, for now, I stay away


So i dig that it’s musical history, and i would certainly never want to disrespect the music. It just wasnt my thing. But that actually means nothing in the grand scheme of learning. I’ve played lots of stuff that i don’t like.
When i was a young man, that was all that was on for music. I lived in the Midwest. We had farm reports, public radio, both kinds of music ( country AND western! ) and classic rock. Deep purple was considered heavy, and they were. My mind was blown the first time i heard meatloaf screaming out bat out of hell…

No disrespect to the musicians, or their ability-they all got me flat smoked for sure.


I hear you and I agree completely that not every person is going to click with every song. There are genres and songs I don’t like even a tiny bit, but learning them is learning, and the more wrinkles I can make in my brain by picking up new techniques, the better.


Woody Guthrie used to play this song, and that’s probably where Dylan picked it up. Woody was a huge influence on that generation of songwriters.

I think it’s brilliant, and the start of Eric Burdons career who did so much later on (low rider, why can’t we be friends)