Stairway To Heaven Is Being Replaced By Wagon Wheel
Stairway To Heaven Is Being Replaced By Wagon Wheel

Hey what’s up you guys! Marty Schwartz here! We all know at least one song that was great
when we first heard it, but over time, that love evolved into dread — culminating in
the desire to never hear it again. Often times, this evolution isn’t self-inflicted. It’s
the radio, the robots at Spotify, or that guy with dreads sitting on the north lawn
incessantly beating a song into our brains. But there are a few songs out there that go
a step further, becoming so common, a cultural pushback occurs, like Jethro Tull showing
up at Warped Tour. Sure, there are tons of irritating songs out there, but there are
only a handful of tunes that reach this level of omnipresence. There’s Freebird, Bohemian Rhapsody, Don’t
Stop Believing — and more modern hits like Gagnam Style, Somebody That I Used To Know,
and Shape of You. But all those pale in comparison to the original overplayed song: Stairway
to Heaven. On the surface, there’s a stark difference
between Stairway and all the other tunes I just listed. It’s not a traditional single,
it has a pretty loose format, and it’s crazy long. However, the one thing it has going
for it is its intro. This riff is one of several that budding rockers
learn to play, especially if their first axe is acoustic. It’s complicated enough to
challenge a guitar novice, but accessible enough to master, making it the perfect lick
to step up one’s finger picking game. Zeppelin released this song at a time when
guitar stores began to let their patrons play the instruments without the help of a salesperson,
prompting anyone off the street to come in and show off what they’ve recently learned. Hearing the first few bars of Stairway everytime
one would enter a guitar store got especially old, not only for anyone visiting their local
shop, but also the employees of said shop. It became an inside joke in the industry,
culminating in the “No Stairway” sign from Wayne’s World — funny enough, Mike
Myers doesn’t actually play Stairway to Heaven in the film because it would’ve been
too expensive to pay for the rights to use the song in the movie. The “No Stairway” rule persists to this
day, but that hasn’t kept other songs from reaching the same status in the music world.
If your a fan of country music, I’m sure you’re sick of hearing Zac Brown’s “Chicken
Fried,” Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” and “Country Girl” by Luke Bryan, but
none of those songs live up to Led Zeppelin classic quite like Wagon Wheel, or as I now
call it: Country music’s Stairway to Heaven! This tune has a pretty interesting history.
The bulk of the song was written by Old Crow Medicine Show frontman Ketch Secor, but the
iconic chorus of the song was composed by none other than Bob Dylan, who played the
refrain on a radio show in the early 70s. Secor heard a bootleg of Dylan’s performance,
then had the audacity to finish what Bob Dylan started. The result: a catchy, yet accessible
pop country hit, deeply rooted in Dylan’s folky style. Because it can be played with simple open
chords, basically anyone who’s ever looked at a guitar can master this song. Not just
that, it’s also relatively easy to sing. The notes in the chorus don’t run the gamut
of the scale, and the key isn’t too far off from the pitch of one’s normal speaking
voice. Combine that with a fun swinging rhythm, and you’ve got a tune that pretty much anyone
can perform. There’s no doubt that this is why Wagon
Wheel was requested at bars all over the country, and played at countless college parties. But
this song didn’t reach Stairway status until it was covered by Darius Rucker. Country fan’s everywhere looked to Darius
Rucker’s version of this song with the same disdain of every mediocre regurgitation that
came before it. The irritation with hearing Wagon Wheel has caused bar owners across America
to post signs that actually say, “No Wagon Wheel.” Where have we seen that before?? Even though Wagon Wheel and Stairway to Heaven
are two very different songs, they contain many of the same elements that caused them
to elicit identical reactions from people. They’re both different enough from their
main genre to stand out, but not so different they don’t belong. They’re accessible,
but they still defy your expectations. Stairway is still a rock ballad, but it has
distinctly keltic roots that make it sound different from a traditional classic rock
tune, and Wagon Wheel, though clearly a country song, has an incredibly strong connection
to folk. Still, both songs are well within reach of an amateur guitarist. In my view, that’s how these songs became
so ubiquitous. People who are learning guitar gravitate to them. It’s why I have, or have
had lessons for both these tunes on this very channel! I’m not here to discourage you
from learning the intro riff from Stairway or the chords for Wagon Wheel, quite the contrary. These songs are great tools to hone your craft
for the reasons I’ve previously stated. But we should think of them as stepping stones,
not a final destination. Or better yet, learn things from them to write your own music.
And who knows, maybe you’ll compose a song that’ll ultimately be banned from guitar
stores, music venues, and college quads all over the world. I’m sure that’s not as
bad as it sounds. Do you enjoy playing Stairway to Heaven in
the privacy of your home? Would you like to hear my opinions about any other big issues
in music? Let me know in the comments section, and don’t forget to like and subscribe to
Marty Music. Thanks again for watching, and we’ll see you later.

100 thoughts on “Stairway To Heaven Is Being Replaced By Wagon Wheel”

  1. Marty Music says:

    Thanks for supporting MartyMusic! Also FREE Guitar Lesson Courses when you sign my newsletter at

  2. Off the Court says:

    Hey Marty I’m learning the harmonica to go with my guitar and I was wondering if you could make some more harmonica lessons like you did way back then.

  3. Konish says:

    This channel is being injected with memes

  4. Konish says:

    Like the short ones Marty 👌

  5. 4Bash says:

    Add Sweet Child O Mine to this list. Ironically I love all songs but agree. They have been over done.

  6. Eric Spencer says:

    I didnt even that dude from Hootie did a cover of it. I love the OCMS song now I caint play it anymore?

  7. Richard Granger says:

    Nothing better that talking and talking about a song, and never actually hearing it.

  8. pearl672 says:

    I play guitar for many reasons. I like to play just to play, stress relief, whatever. Stairway and wagon wheel will remain on my own personal playlist. Great video! However remember to always get the Led out every day!

  9. Lord JeSith says:

    Wagon wheel is shit

  10. Sam M. says:

    Marty out here making great videos still

  11. Evil Smile邪惡之笑 says:

    tapping tutorial?

  12. tie oneon says:

    While its true that the older the song and its popularity will make it reach the point of it not being "allowed"

    I can and do separate from the herd mentality of what is cool and what is not

    so come on and fly high freebird!!!

  13. Sushistrudelschnaps says:

    I think one difference between the two is you'd struggle to find anyone who's even heard the tune of Wagon Wheel let alone its name outside of the States

  14. CentaurusRelax314 says:

    I’m only here because I have no idea what “Wagon Wheel” is.

  15. J B's says:

    I like all the new video material marty.. But word of advice "Don't over feed em" that way they dont scroll on by seeing videos too often lol keep em thirsty.

  16. Death Graves says:

    Who really made wagon wheel if you get it wrong you’re a fake fan

  17. Squazzoo68 says:

    Still love Stairway, one of the best songs ever. Even though I’ve been playing 35 + years, I only bothered to learned it a couple of years ago! As far as Wagon Wheel goes? It’s still the most requested & has the best response of any song on my solo acoustic act setlist. My buddy makes fun of my for playing it, but at my last show a bunch of hot young girls requested it, I played it, they went crazy & were dancing & going nuts & I just smirked st my friend who was sitting there in amazement! And I’ve yet to see any live local act do Stairway, maybe I’ll be the first!

  18. Amey 222 says:

    Hello Marty !!! Thank you for your amazing guitar lessons. Could you teach us how to play Arctic Monkey "Do I wanna know " on electric guitar please.

  19. letsJetify says:

    I was hoping you would play the song or at least a clip of it. I don’t remember if I’ve ever heard wagon wheel or not. Should’ve just scrolled past this video

  20. InfinityEnterprises says:

    I recently left my job as an audio engineer at a famous country music bar/venue in Nashville, and I can honestly say I have never seen a video more true in my entire life.

  21. GerardPM says:

    Ha! Truth. But it is at home in the woods. Part of the campfire canon for sure.

  22. AstroG73 says:

    i hate shape of you with a passion

  23. Nich Hardy says:

    No, it's not…

  24. Michael Kidd says:

    I really like Darius Rucker but hate his version of this song. OCMS is so much better I had there version years before Rucker came out with it and it's just not the same

  25. Falcon M4ster says:

    Can you make a lesson for Money for Nothing by Dire Straits please ?

  26. Robert B says:

    Never heard of wagon wheel.

  27. Joan Aguilar says:

    Can you make a video of how to learn “long live the night’ by the rekawls

  28. Damon Harrison says:

    you should do a video about how YouTube‘s DMC copyright strikes are changing the way Guitar teachers teach on the platform.

  29. Kevin O'Rourke says:

    I did a cover of Wagon Wheel (like 7 billion other people). I got so sick of the song that I deleted from you tube and have never played it again and I never will. Great vid Marty!

  30. David Vinson says:

    Hilarious, I never heard of wagon wheel. I guess it has a way to go to overcome stairway to heaven.

  31. Grape Surgeon says:

    Can you do more Bob Dylan Song like: blowing in the wind, positively 4th street, don’t think twice (it’s alright)

  32. Dylan Pruden says:

    Led Zep taught me everything I know about the guitar( especially ripping solos in the E and A minor pentatonic). Marty Schwartz helps me perfect it. Btw. The solo in Stairway was the first solo I learned. I play itfrom time to time. Why not? Its the benchmark by which all solos are measured. Simple, but oh so expressive!! Jimmy Page in a nutshell.

  33. indigo wendigo says:

    What's funny is that as I progress to intermediate skill with guitar I've actually stopped playing common guitar songs and I've been playing crazy songs for that weren't played on acoustic like Hey Ya or Kids by MGMT and Run by Vampire Weekend etc etc. It's hilarious and fun. Try out Take On Me by Aha. I kinda try to put my own spin on it. I've always enjoyed covers by bands like Cake that really change it up from the original.
    Still can't play an F chord smoothly but that's not stopping me lol

  34. Dylan Pruden says:

    Marty. No trollo, but ur not that skinny. The thumb nail is misleading. Lol!-

  35. Asking Peter Caine if he likes dick and balls says:

    Can you teach Only Wanna Be With You by Hootie and the Blowfish

  36. Tricky Dicky says:

    I like the funny memes

  37. Jarrett Thomas says:

    Wagon wheel will never beat stairway to heaven, much less anything zep created

  38. Charles Davis says:

    Trolling you tube hard with no music in the video. I love it ! Keep it going . This is what all the music youtubers should be doing.

  39. James Lee says:

    No way im hell, I am still not sick of Stairway to Heaven, Stairway is way more diverse than all the other simple songs, even Freebird…and lord forgive me, Bohemian Rhapsody…are more monotonous than Stairway to Heaven. Wagon Wheel is a campfire strum song, it is absolutely nowhere are epic as Stairway to Heaven.

  40. War Monger says:

    I won't listen to, Luke Bryan, and hate how over played, his music is. Wagon Wheel, by OCMS, is still playable. That version, will always rock and always gets played. It's hard to admit but sometimes, our love for a song, kills the playability. Luckily, there are bands like, Social Distortion, who never get overplayed and always rock.

  41. D Waggs says:

    Funny, I've never heard of Wagon Wheel until this video. Not particularly a fan of country music.
    Also of the country I did hear I always thought the song that people were tired of hearing was Friends in Low Places. Like I said, not a fan of country, but even I heard that song enough to want smash whatever device I heard playing it.

  42. Ray says:

    I've never heard wagon wheel, perhaps you have to be American to know that song.

  43. sev Saarilahti says:

    Can someone tell me the name of the video at 1:30

  44. gabriela says:

    hello marty! could you please upload a tutorial on ever since new york by harry styles? i really want to learn it and you make the best tutorials! it would be so cool

  45. Robin Fawcett says:

    Bohemian Rhapsody… Aaaarrgh!

  46. Anthony Gonzalez says:

    uhhhh….stairway is great….whoever talks bad about it…are dickheads…


    Wagonwheel is a banger and Hootie's version is the best one 🤙

  48. Randall P. McMurphy says:

    I'm playing Stairway right now, well as soon as I put my phone down🎸😎

  49. Dale Stevenson says:

    This must be an American thing, I've never even heard of wagon wheel!

  50. kitano0 says:

    Nice shout-out to ol' Norm!!!

  51. Kwijiboz says:


  52. Real Heel Ryan says:

    Would love to see your take on how rock could make a come back to mainstream success

  53. lazarbro says:

    It's a major disservice that you didn't mention wonderwall.

  54. Elsa Wahlstrom says:

    Wagon Wheel is my guilty pleasure song when nobody is home to listen to me play…

  55. Steve Sobel says:

    OMG I somehow just discovered Wagon Wheel this year and have really enjoyed playing it. Now I know why

  56. Camden Hublou says:

    When I first got my guitar I wanted to learn how to play stairway to heaven so badly cuz I thought it would be so cool and then I started practicing and got good and once I started to get decent I started seeing people hating on it and shit and now I have mixed emotions

  57. marina le dean says:

    hahaha. dammit

  58. Owen Dearlove says:

    Love the use of memes Marty

  59. Veggie Lord says:

    I play the stairway solo quite a bit when I'm by myself

  60. DurdyClaude says:

    Led zep stole parts of a Spirit song and made Stairway to Heaven….true story…check out Joe Rogans video….

  61. SeadartVSG says:

    When you brought up Wagon Wheel being overplayed, I wonder if you have advice on good cover songs for the anchor songs of a set list to begin and end with when the audience at a party / summer festival gig is say ~30 and under.

  62. Early Cuyler says:

    Wagon wheel is an awesome song! Not even darius rucker could ruin it up, even though he tried. The against me cover is great. Its a shame that the industry has decided to over play the crap out of a 3rd rate version of such a good song.

  63. EET FUK says:

    Came for Marty
    Stayed for Music is win

  64. Andrew Coe says:

    Is Darius Rucker hootie?

  65. Jim Morrison's beard and Robert Smith's hair says:

    0:54 No no Marty… Stairway isn't long. 10 minutes, come on. It's isn't that long! But Dazed and Confused (the ''How the west won'' version… The 29 minutes version) is actually a long song

  66. Thanks Obama says:

    For me its Steeley Dans “Do It Again”…makes me want to scream whenever I hear it..

  67. Thanks Obama says:

    Im soo out of touch with modern music(thankfully)..Ive never heard of Wagon Wheel…sounds like Pop Pablum…

  68. Mattias Edberg Valle says:

    Kiss black diamond guitar lesson please 🙏🏼🙏🏼

  69. MrWubbles says:

    If you want to step up your Wagon Wheel game then learn the fiddle part.

  70. Craig Fussell says:

    Hahaha! Too funny man! Love the song satire! Keep em coming! Maybe one about songs with the same chord progressions? Or… maybe producers who put their tonal stamp on the artists they produce? Thinking Mutt Lange (Def Leppard/AC DC), Nile Rodgers (Pick ‘em), Prince, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, etc. etc. 🤙🏻🎸

  71. Kyle Broon says:

    Stick to your strengths with guitar lessons Marty, these uploads are embarrassing ….or as we would say in Fife…. fucking wank!

  72. Cameron Bortle says:

    Marty how about a lesson for Bees of Spring by The Sword?

  73. Kevin Cardany says:

    Wayne actually did play the first few notes of Stairway in the theater release but I guess they got busted and it was changed for the home video release.

  74. Steve Jeffryes says:

    Curiously, I have never heard "Wagon Wheel", I have not yet heard Stairway enough, and if I never run across an opinion from you again, that would be great.

  75. im seth says:

    So I could listen to this song everyday and I just about do , it's a good song…. so it's allowed to be "over played" it's good like really good the vocals everything the cord progressions everything… the Lyrics butttt Led Zeppelin does have more good Songs than this one… and that's the only annoying part posers playing it over I mean can't be that over played I was playing it at a get together and this guy said " so cool you know that it's such a good Metallica toon" I smiled and said absolutely nothing…

  76. jgeraci1 says:

    Stairway is the best song ever!
    It’s a shame that it is widely mocked because of the reasons you stated . But to me the way it moves and changes and evolves into a rocking crescendo then back to the beginning line in a seemingly perfect way it’s just genius and so beautiful. I don’t think I could ever not love to listen to the whole song, maybe the intro being butchered by kids like me back in the day was super annoying but man what an absolute masterpiece of music!!!!!!!

  77. godwantsplastic says:

    You’re like one of those singers that holds a guitar to look cool.

  78. Richard Miller says:

    Just no

  79. Dave Rice says:

    Actually, that's not such a big number in the UK but now that you've mentioned it, I'm gonna add it to my set. But I won't play it in Guitar Guitar.

  80. Furious Sherman says:

    Funnily enough, my parents' radio has been perpetually tuned to the local country station since I was little and I haven't heard Wagon Wheel in a really long time.

  81. That one guy from that one place says:

    I will never not love stairway

  82. William Dodge says:

    Before Stairway, in the mid 60s, when every teenage boy in America wanted to play the Guitar, in was House of The Rising Sun. Before that….. it was Louie, Louie and Little Black Egg 😂😂😂😂. Oh, Oh, almost forgot “Gloria”. Ask ANYONE that played in the 60s if they know these 😂😂😂

  83. msspi764 says:

    Damn! It took you this long to get to Wagon Wheel? I played in a public jam in Kentucky 5 (!) years ago and when someone would call for Wagon Wheel it got the same groans from the otherwise polite audience that Stairway gets from guitar store associates. This was an open jam, we played everything from Blackberry Blossom to White Rabbit, but Wagon Wheel…..well what can I say.

  84. will burchill says:

    This is why I am glad I am younger so I didn’t have to listen to these in bulk

  85. James Canney says:

    An Australian comedy/talk-show from the late 80's 'The Money or the Gun' required all guest artists to play a cover version of Stairway to Heaven.
    It was freaking awsome.
    Never heard of the Wagon wheel song before, so I just listened to it.

    I don't think Stairway to heaven has much to worry about.

  86. Ian Gonzalez says:

    Marty I got an idea for a gear Thursday… maybe you could visit Norman’s rare guitars and try out a guitar there and record you demoing it?

  87. Arkham Playlist says:

    I hate Darius Rucker, I go blind, wagon wheel is there nothing this Hootie-ist won’t wreck???

  88. CurtisAlfeld says:

    You Just mentioning "Chicken Fried" made me feel physically ill. I hate that song on so many levels. It epitomizes everything I hate about Country music.

  89. Ian Pierce says:

    This is so true! I remember in 2012, I was at this little bar in West Virginia called the "Purple Fiddle" and they had a sign that said "No Wagon Wheel". I was so confused because it's such a good song. 7 years later, I can't really stand it anymore and neither can the general population of bar-goers. It all makes sense now.

  90. Ryan Goshorn says:

    Hey Marty I love your channel and must thank you for helping me, more than anything or anyone, as I slowly yet surely learn to play guitar. I often turn to your channel when I want to learn a particular song, but i find it most helpful when I feel like I have hit a wall or I’m not learning and haven’t been learning and have sort of plateaued. That’s when I watch a few lessons and learn the guitar as opposed to learning a song…. anyways thanks again, I appreciate all the time and effort you have put into this and without it, chances are I probably would have given up… but I didn’t and I’ve been playing 2 years now and have reached the point that I feel comfortable and no longer feel like a phony when i say “yeah I play the guitar”. Anyways that being said I’d like to request a lesson, is there anyway you could do a how to video for the song “making me look good again” by Drake White? I’m sure it’s a relatively simple song, but I love his music and i can’t find an instructional video for this song anywhere… he’s very underrated, under appreciated and under played, I’ve been to close to 500 concerts in my life and have seen everyone from 2pac to Johnny Cash, the Greatful Dead(with Jerry Garcia) to Metallica (5times), from Cypress Hill to Page and Plant and no one was born to play and perform more than Drake White

  91. Levi Minton says:

    Anyways here’s wonderwall

  92. Col Wars Studio Brickfilm and more! says:

    stairway is still a good song

  93. Timothy Khawlhring says:

    Haha…They are not my parents ..I would still love stairway Forever …Excactly nowadays people are some kinda mad in what they do i.e who doesn't really know about how we feel about music…
    Anyway we've got to have no problem in all of this …hehe ✌✌

  94. Operation Lactation says:

    *cough *cough Wondereall

  95. Tiny Samurai says:

    Because of you my friend copy’s the song I learned from you e.g smells like teen spirit lol

  96. baumfr says:

    Marty, you keep using words like "ubiquitous" and you'll be required to go back to the goatee, slather on some Grecian Formula and drink craft beer (IPAs only).

  97. The Rayven says:

    I love stairway… Though yeah, it is a little overplayed…

    However another song that fits what you were talking about, though I love the song, and the group, is free bird by Lynard Skynard…

  98. justchico75 says:

    I couldn't DISAGREE more, Marty. Stairway is a classic. Wagon Wheel just sucks regardless of who is singing it or who wrote it or why. But, it's all good. We can disagree and still be friends. Millennials…take notes XD

  99. Samantha Abernathy says:

    Wonderful tonight by Clapton is also "one of them songs". It makes me want to rip my ears off every time someone tries to play it.

  100. Rodger Perrin says:

    What if someone writes a song called Stairway to Wagon Wheel? Then what are we gonna do?

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