Learn To Play: Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'"

Tom Petty captures the American experience in a way all his own. A step to the left of Springsteen and Mellencamp, a step to the right of Dylan, Petty has created lasting heartland rock tunes without falling prey to sentimentality or production trends. His songs are memorable for their relatable lyrics and strong melodies, pleasurable in their textures. If anyone catches you with a guitar in your hand and asks you to play them a tune, strumming some Petty is usually a good bet. Perhaps one of his most accessible tunes (and most fun for groups to sing along with) is "Free Fallin'".

Released in 1989 on Petty's solo debut album Full Moon Fever and co-written by producer Jeff Lynne, "Free Fallin'" remains one of his most famous songs. Knowing the lyrics are almost requisite if you grew up during the 1990s in the United States, so as long as you've got the chords down, chances are your audience will fill in the rest. Get to it!

Tom Petty's Gear

While Petty can be seen playing a Gibson Dove in the music video for "Free Fallin'", the actual recording uses several acoustic guitars dubbed over each other. Getting it to sound exactly like the recording by playing solo won't happen, but any bright, resonant dreadnaught will get the right feel.

This particular track aside, Tom Petty and his band, The Heartbreakers, have long established themselves as vintage gear lovers. From Tom's vintage Rickenbackers to Mike Campbell's Duesenbergs, this is a band with discerning tastes. For a closer look at the how the band gets its sound, check out our Gear Of Tom Petty curated set.

The Gear of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Shop Now

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