How To Play 2-4-6-8 Motorway

Video tutorial on how to play the Tom Robinson Band song 2-4-6-8 Motorway on one acoustic guitar. It comes from Anyone Can Play Guitar – part of BBC Radio 6 Music‘s The Axe Factor series – which also features Bernard Butler and Huey Morgan

You can hear the above technique in action on this live acoustic duo version recorded at a gig in Flanders circa 1997. It comes from the album Home From Home and the immaculate live recording and mixing is by Paul Phippin.

You can also see the Tom Robinson Band performing a full band version of this song at Glastonbury 2016 here.

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More...


  1. excellent stuff tom.Need to set my idle thumb to work

  2. Nice one Tom! I’m with Johnno on the ‘idle thumb’ – am also loving the golden sunbeam spangley-ness of guitar 😉

  3. barrie frost

    Dear Tom, Is your thumb on the E A & D strings playing those strings percussively only ? Best Wishes. Barrie.

  4. Tom

    Hey Barrie – thumb is only holding down the bottom E string, to thunk out the bassline underneath the chords…

  5. Göran Eriksson

    Wonderful Tom! I really love this song and I hear it nearly everyday in Sweden, where I live. I have grown up with this song, I’m 54 years old today, but when you did this song back in the 70’s or maybe the 80’s, it was a smash hit in Sweden and I guess in whole EuropĂ©. Today I’m a Music-hobby player, and yesterday I went out and listening to a real good and cool cover band playing in VĂ€sterĂ„s (Sweden) were I live. The first song was “Born to be wild” with Stepenwolf”, but the second song was your song, “2-4-6-8 Motorway” and then I went home to pick it out.

    It would be wonderful if you could come to Sweden and make a gig. I Know Lasse in VĂ€sterĂ„s, and he got a nice Little rock-clubb, where all kind of artist like to play; Next week Tony Carey – former player in Rainbow and Planet P will come. If you still doing gig’s and are interested to come to sweden and VĂ€sterĂ„s to play, just give me a sign and I talk with Lasse. My phone number is; 070 – 643 02 15 and my e-mail is;

    Cinserely / Göran

  6. Tomas

    I love this song. Unfortunately little difficult for me to play . But I practice quite a lot.

  7. Retired Swedish

    I love this song. Unfortunately little difficult for me to play as a beginner . But I practice quite a lot…

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