Learn to Play the Classic Blues Song “Oh Daddy”

This is a great tune for practicing thumb rolls!

“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-VERSEA 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.

Arranging Folk and Blues Songs

Orville Johnson
Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson is a guitarist, dobro and lap steel player, teacher, recording artist, and writer based in the Pacific Northwest.

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