Black Keys - Lonely Boy (Cover by JK)

I did this one on the last JustinGuitar Community Open Mic. So if you watched that, nothing new to see here! Except perhaps better audio and video quality - but still some imperfect guitar playing.

I’m pretty happy with this one overall. Not the couple of mistakes I make… the accomplishment of playing this one. So I thought I’d document it here. The rhythm is syncopated, and was tricky to get in my fingers while singing. It’s a mix of (simple) lead lines with rhythm, and some pedal action.

I’m also OK with my singing on this one, for probably the first time. This was one of the songs I wanted to learn when I started playing guitar.

Here it is, my cover of Lonely Boy by the Black Keys (click me):



Awesome playing JK. Really enjoyed it when you played it during the open mic too. I said this during the open mic, but I think your vocals really work for the song. Really unique and makes the song your own.

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Sorry - I don’t want a guitar video - I want one of you doing the dance from the original video. :slight_smile:

Sounds wicked. Love how the note drops.
Such a great song.


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I enjoyed your version, and y ou made it your own, indeed.
Very well done.

Daddy sung BASS!

Cool playing JK, this song has a bit of everything and it is harder than it looks/sounds.
Cool job bro, great vibe!

Cool job on that rhythmic part starting at 00:23 btw, it can be disorienting.

The vocal is mayb just a tad too low and you might want to put a capo on 2 for a sweeter ranger? Just thinking out loud.

One fine looking guitar as well, YUM!


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I thought your vocal was great on that one JK. The low tone gave your voice a Lou Reed growl. Super rhythm on the guitar, great tone, nice lead lines too. A good all round package, well done.
I enjoyed your OM version last weekend too. The song suits you.

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Thanks Alex. I’m glad it came across well. I think this would be the first song I changed a bit instead of trying to imitate the original (singing at least).

lol :rofl: I think neither my dancing nor video skills are up for that one :man_dancing: I’ll keep practicing :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Thanks Rene.

A bit of everything but only 3 chords! Thanks Lieven. My talking voice is pretty deep so the bass is natural… I’m still working on getting higher notes (for me) not to sound thin.

Getting the rhythm down took a bit of practice. I usually get strumming patterns pretty easy but not this one. Glad I did it though as I’ve now got another rhythm in my toolbox for other songs.

Thanks Gordon! Being compared to one of the godfathers of alternative rock makes me happy, a nice thing to wake up to on a Sunday morning. I remember getting into the Velvet Underground when I was chasing the influences of the bands I was into. Nirvana/etc were influenced by Pixies, that was how I found them. And the Pixies were influenced by Velvet Underground. So I did a lot of listening to them years ago.

I’m thinking I might experiment a bit more with singing in this range and changing songs a bit to see how it goes.

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Hi Jk,

Man You can communicate with elephants over miles so low that voice :laughing:…but I think it’s fantastic, super played and sung, I enjoyed it very very much :sunglasses: :clap: :man_bowing: :bouquet:
Also good that you give this song a place alone :sunglasses:


Really cool JK, one of the first riffs I learned on electric!
Man the guitar sounds great, both rhytm and lead parts. I’m curious about the pedal situation, if you could explain what you’re using I’d appreciate it.
And the vocals are so unique, and they give it a different taste than the original. You seem very comfortable on the mic.
Cheers, great job

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The elephant whisperer, my alter ego. Thanks for checking it out Rogier.

Thanks Kevin, nice to see you again. The dive bomb is with an expression pedal, it’s set to control pitch, to drop up to 1 octave. Dan Auerbach uses a boss pitch shifter, for me I’ve got a Fender Mustang so it’s a “virtual” pitch shifter in the amp preset. I bought the pedal so i could play this song :rofl:. I’m sure it will have other uses…

So this one is in your repertoire as well? It’s loads of fun to play.


This is awesome JK :exclamation: The playing :exclamation :The singing :exclamation:“couple of mistakes” :question: You manage nobody notice :exclamation: Bravo :exclamation:

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Fantastic JK! Skillful playing as always but I was really impressed by your vocals on this one as I don’t think I have heard you sing before. Loved it!

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I enjoyed this when catching up on the last OM a few days ago, great stuff :v:

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Really enjoyed it during the OM and glad to listen to a studio version as well, really well executed JK and superb idea to introduce exp pedal!

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Thanks for checking it out Luc. I miss a couple of notes in the second lead riff later in the song - those that know the song well would notice :wink: I just don’t want to do lots and lots of takes when recording.

And thank you Lee @Chazzo78 and Adrian @adi_mrok for the comments :grinning:

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Finally catching up with this JK, OM was brilliant and this is a top quality recording, my favourite vocal performance (digging the bass!) and some on-point guitar playing once again, loving your work buddy! :clap: :sunglasses:

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Hi JK,
as you already know, my daughter Laura and I are big fans of your version of this song :star_struck:.
Laura has already converted your studio recording into a mp3 file. Your ‘Lonely Boy’ version is meanwhile part of her playlist of favourite songs, and among the songs she listens to most frequently.

Laura wanted me to show you this :grinning::

To be honest, since we know your version, we can’t listen to the BK original anymore :see_no_evil:. So great :+1::grinning:.


Hey JK, just dropped in to check if you really killed this song like I remembered at the OM.
Carry on :sunglasses:

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Thanks Jeff! I’m glad round 2 was good as well.

Wow, just wow Nicole. Yep I know you and Laura liked it, was great to receive your message after the OM. When I recorded this one I was a bit bummed that the last riff was messy, so I was going to figure out how to copy and paste the earlier riff… like they do in a real studio I guess, to try to fix it. I didn’t though, I hadn’t done it before. It’s really cool that Laura pulled an mp3 and listens to it! That’s a first time for me, makes me really happy.

I find it a bit surreal given my ongoing struggles with singing.

Did you know only 15% of viewers of this channel are subscribed, like and subscribe… what am I kidding, thanks for checking it out again Brian.


Nice one JK!
Really like this, the deep vox and a bit of whammy too! Top notch stuff and nice to hear upon waking this morning!

All the best,

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