How to Play Jesus Just Left Chicago by ZZ Top (Guitar Lesson)

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Dennis Hodges

Jesus Just Left Chicago

Here is a lesson on a very popular song from ZZ Top's Tres Hombres, which was released in 1973. Dennis Hodges teaches you all the parts, so get ready for some good ol' fashioned blues rock!

Taught by Dennis Hodges in Rock Songs With Dennis Hodges seriesLength: 33:00Difficulty: 3.0 of 5

Video Subtitles / Captions

Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

RickypolRickypol replied on May 30th, 2015

I think the rhythm part can be played with a little more enthusiasm then what is demonstrated here. I sense that Dennis doesn't like this song nor teaching it.

bendithardbendithard replied on January 18th, 2015

I can load this lesson I don't know why so please don't count this as one of my lessons

pjfan007pjfan007 replied on October 30th, 2014

this guy went so fast I couldn't keep up. way to fast. guess I am not advanced enough to keep up, but man.

MaadDaawgMaadDaawg replied on September 16th, 2014

Dennis definitely knows how to play the song, but his rushing through the rythems was not at all helpful. Also, he didn't touch the main solo, just the little bends. Where is the backing track?

mickey8mickey8 replied on July 4th, 2014

the video is upside down am I doing something wrong or is there something to inverted the right way I a newbie so man I'm doing something wrong?

cnixoncnixon replied on November 10th, 2013

Just drooped in to find my level of play. just back with Jam play and will be getting a good teacher on a weekly basis. you did a great job with this song i will touch back with this song once i get to this level of play . Pray for me LOL thanks

top bananaatop bananaa replied on August 24th, 2013

My first time at JamPlay. Love this song, think Dennis nailed this song/lesson. More ZZ Top.

johnnyrockitjohnnyrockit replied on July 12th, 2013

Rev Hodges you are one sic dude! In a good way thanks for this!

lp69lp69 replied on July 5th, 2013

On the same album there is 'Precious & Grace' with two nice little slide solos. Would be great to see it covered here at Jamplay.

gadinegadine replied on June 24th, 2013

this is to simple for Dennis , used to hearing him and Allen learning the difficult stuff

AaronMillerAaronMiller replied on June 25th, 2013

Allen actually has a lesson on "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers" from ZZ Top! I get what you are saying but I think there are different kinds of "difficult". The nuance in Billy Gibbons playing is very hard to replicate and figure out and I think Dennis and Allen did an amazing job with these songs figuring out all the parts!

jburdjburd replied on June 27th, 2013

Agreed w/ Aaron. Like Jack White, Dan Auerbach, SRV, Jimi...the notes are not complex, but playing with the feel and riffing is really challenging.

marshall laneymarshall laney replied on June 24th, 2013

Man, this is a fantastic lesson - Brad did a great job too for one guitar but your presentation here is just great Rev Hodges !

dan7711dan7711 replied on June 24th, 2013

Love me some Dennis Hodges.

lp69lp69 replied on June 24th, 2013

I love this song. I learned to play (Brad Linsey lesson)

SodaPopSodaPop replied on June 25th, 2013

i like the newer camera angles myself

Rock Songs With Dennis Hodges

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Dennis Hodges is known on JamPlay as a "Metal" guitar instructor but in this series he'll teach you classic songs from bands such as ZZ Top.

Lesson 1

Jesus Just Left Chicago

Here is a lesson on a very popular song from ZZ Top's Tres Hombres, which was released in 1973. Dennis Hodges teaches you all the parts, so get ready for some good ol' fashioned blues rock!

Length: 33:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

Blue Jean Blues

Dennis Hodges teaches you how to play this classic song from ZZ Top. If you are a Billy Gibbons fan or just a fan of tasty, slow blues playing in general, check out this lesson!

Length: 60:04 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Corrine, Corrina

Learn this early rock 'n' roll classic from Big Joe Turner. Dennis Hodges teaches all of the guitar parts as well as the saxophone solo adapted for guitar.

Length: 31:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Locomotive Breath

Learn the guitar parts to Jethro Tull's "Locomotive Breath" as well as a guitar arrangement of the flute solo.

Length: 56:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 5


Dennis Hodges covers the acoustic Beatles classic "Yesterday."

Length: 20:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only

About Dennis Hodges View Full Biography For better or worse, Dennis Hodges cannot stop playing music, and (he hopes) will never stop playing music.

Growing up in Flint, Michigan, Dennis had a tremendous passion for drawing. He couldn't stop copying moves from bands he saw on MTV, though, and it didn't help that his parents filled the house with Santana, Stevie Ray, and Allman Bros. (on real records, no less!) so it wasn't long till he got his first guitar. It was junk. Within a few weeks his parents traded in a poor acoustic for a less junky 3/4-size electric.

Dennis started lessons right away at the age of 8. He still remembers hating it for awhile, and not taking it seriously until he was 12. He is thankful his parents forced him to practice early on and kept paying for lessons, even though rational thinking should have stopped them after a year.

Around this time drawing became less important, and guitar consumed all his attention. After 6 years of lessons he parted ways with his teacher and, after trying out two others with no results, decided to continue alone. His nerdistic tendencies paid off, as he put in hours working on picking and left hand exercises and learned as many Randy Rhoads and Kirk Hammett solos as he could.

Luckily, there were playing opportunities at school talent shows and church. Dennis was playing bass at his church when he was 13, helping to hone his performance skills in a group setting.

In high school, Dennis joined the marching band on sousaphone for all 4 years. It was as awesome as you could expect. He was also fortunate enough to be in several different metal bands, still play at church, and get the incredible opportunity to play guitar for many local community theaters. This kept his sight-reading in shape and gave him an appreciation for different styles of music (and paid pretty well, from a high schooler's perspective).

In 2001, Dennis came to Bexley, Ohio to study guitar at Capital University with Stan Smith. His studies emphasized jazz and classical guitar. Here his metal past merged with a deeper understanding of the instrument and music in general, and the basis for most of his teaching style was set in motion.

Dennis now plays guitar for Upper Arlington Lutheran Church every Sunday, for St. Christopher in Grandview, Ohio, with the youth group, and also plays for touring Broadway shows that stop in Columbus. Occasionally, he plays weddings and private parties, and he is starting a new cover band with some friends, called Dr. Awkward. He is blessed to have his understanding and supportive wife Kate, and is glad to be at JamPlay!

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