How to play “Jessica” – a fond farewell To Greg Allman.

Gregg Allman was one of the twentieth centuries stand out composers and guitarists. In this article, you'll learn to play a song that was one of the Allman Brothers trademark sounds. It's a song that most guitarists will know even if they don't know who wrote it. Now you do, and now you can learn it as well.


Learning how to play “Jessica” should be in every guitarists locker!

Every guitarist should learn how to play Jessica! Although it was initially not a huge hit, Jessica went on to be one of the Allman Brothers most well known tracks. Before we look at how to play the song, a few words about the passing of Gregg Allman.

Inline Advert

Gregg Allman Passes Away

It is with great sadness that we’ve heard of the passing of Gregg Allman, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. He passed away Saturday (27 May) at his home in Savannah, Georgia, at the age of 69. His death was announced in a statement on his official website; no direct cause was given, but the statement said he had “struggled with many health issues over the past several years.”

He was the Allman Brothers’ lead singer and keyboard player, and in addition helped create their fusion of blues, jazz, country and rock that inspired countless other Southern Rock bands. Gregg and his brilliant guitar playing older brother, Duane, cut their teeth in Florida and in Macon, Georgia, performing lengthy jam-based rock for biker-orientated crowds who saw themselves mirrored by the group’s anti-style image and rebellious sounds.

After making their debut with a self-titled album in 1969, the Allmans hit paydirt with the monumental live double At Fillmore East (1971), and then faced tragedy when Duane was killed in a motorcycle accident that year. Bassist Berry Oakley perished in similar circumstances a year later. Undaunted, this toughest of American bands survived to find commercial success away from the bars and halls with the splendid Eat A Peach and the groundbreaking Brothers and Sisters, which included the perennial favourite ‘Ramblin’ Man.’ Gregg kept the flame burning throughout the ensuing decades, which saw them inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. The Allman Brothers notched up eleven gold and five platinum albums from 1971 to 2005 and retained a fanatical live following of old and young followers. Like the Grateful Dead, they are viewed as national treasures in the USA and their European fan base is equally loyal.


It seems that never a day goes by without a great musician who made a mark on the music of the twentieth century passes on. In many ways this is no great surprise as the sheer amount of wonderful players and composers were all around the same age. Nonetheless, it does not make things any easier. We have their wonderful music to remember them by and for that we should all be eternally grateful.

No products found.

Learn How To Play Jessica

A hugely popular song for guitarists to learn, it was performed by the Allman Brothers although as mentioned before, it was not composed by Gregg. Enjoy playing this wonderful song with it’s catchy main theme and chord progression.

and here are the guys ripping it up live onstage at the Wanee Festival!

If you liked the old BBC Top Gear programme, here is Slash playing the theme tune to the show out which of course was…Jessica!

Gregg Remembered On Twitter Outpouring

We hope you enjoyed this learn how to play Jessica feature. For more songs that you’ll love to learn to play and learn about click the link below.

Check out all our other learn this song on guitar features by clicking the link.

March Ad


  1. ‘Jessica’ was penned and played by Dickie Betts, the all-too-often overlooked ‘other’ guitarist (besides Duane Allman) in the band. A more skilful, adept and musical player, Betts could excel in a wide range of styles, from blues and rock, to jazz, folk and even traditional musical styles. I believe he played accordion (or was it fiddle) as a child, and knowing that, when listening to ‘Jessica’ you can imagine it being played on those instruments. ‘In Memory of Elizabeth Read’, another tremendous instrumental, is also a Dickie tune. So is the sensational ‘Les Brers in A Minor’ on the ‘Eat a Peach’ album. So with all due respect to Gregg Allman (and much is due), failing to mention Dickie Betts in the above is a rather callous oversight. And showing Allman with a guitar is also a misleading image in this instance. Those with the power to inform and influence perceptions – as is the case here – should curate with caution and consideration that whatever they do, show or say will have a profound influence on those who don’t know any better. One hates to use the term ‘fake news’, but it’s kind of leaning that way… it’s misleading despite mention Gregg did not compose the tune.
    Thank you for hearing me out. Cheers.

  2. No problem Wayne, I’m not above criticism. Thanks for clearing that up, much appreciated and thank you for taking time to add to the forum.

    Best wishes



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here