Guitar Songs: 6 Iconic Guitar Riffs | Marc Barnacle | Skillshare

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Guitar Songs: 6 Iconic Guitar Riffs

teacher avatar Marc Barnacle, Music Instructor

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      The Rolling Stones - Satisfaction


    • 4.

      Roy Orbison - Oh, Pretty Woman


    • 5.

      The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army


    • 6.

      Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name


    • 7.

      AC/DC - Back In Black


    • 8.

      The Police - Message In A Bottle


    • 9.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Iconic riffs are often the reason that we reach for a guitar and want to start playing this instrument. They can be the spark that inspires us! 

I've taken 6 riffs from songs that are considered classics and pieced them together in this easy to follow class. I aim to provide everything required to learn these tracks that are enjoyed by so many people. Each riff will add another layer to your playing ability - and you might even discover some new music to love along the way.

This class is suitable for players of all abilities. We start at a beginner level and gradually build the riffs towards an intermediate level of playing. 

If you are completely new to the guitar, then I recommend checking out my beginner class 'Learn Guitar: The Expanded Beginners Guide' - this starts with the absolute basics and then guides you through a range of songs, scales, theory, songwriting and much more. It will take you right up to becoming a confident and creative intermediate player.

I also have the following classes available:

Resources: PDF’s are attached to this class, that contain the tab for all of the riffs that we cover. Check out the 'Projects & Resources' tab to download them.

I am available for any questions or comments you have, so please feel free to email me or write in the classes discussion area. I'm always keen to hear from and help students wherever possible.

I wish you all the best with your guitar journey! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Marc Barnacle

Music Instructor

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Hey! I'm Marc - A full time musician and instructor. I've been playing guitar for 20 years, and teaching for over 15. Alongside tuition, my roles include live & studio session work, music production, songwriting & music therapy. I also co-run the multi-award winning music charity T.I.M.E - Together In Musical Expression. Our aim is to make music inclusive and accessible for everyone.

Sign up to my newsletter for exclusive class discounts & content, regular playing tips, music & gear recommendations, insights - and all round obsession for guitar and the world of music.

I'm passionate about creating classes for Skillshare and always aim to make content that is inspiring, fun and has a focus on encouraging your own crea... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Iconic guitar riffs are often the reason that we reach for a guitar and gain that desire to learn an instrument. They can be the spark that inspires us. This series of six riff guitar classes will give you all the tools you need to learn the tracks that are enjoyed by so many people. Each riff will add another layer to your playing ability, and you might even discover some new music to love along the way. Hi, everyone. I hope you're doing good. My name's Marc. I'm a full-time musician and instructor. I co-run a multi-award-winning music charity, and I've been teaching on Skillshare since 2020. I have multiple guitar classes that were already hosted on this platform. If you're completely new to the guitar, then I recommend checking out my complete beginner's guide. This will give you everything you need to begin your journey with this instrument. We start with the absolute basics, like tuning and the anatomy of the guitar, and we quickly move towards learning chords, scales, and a ton of great guitar songs. We also begin exploring how you can start to write your own music. But if you already have some experience with the guitar, then this class is for you. I have handpicked some riffs that are considered classics. They start at the very beginning or end of the spectrum and move towards more of an intermediate level. Learning the range of guitar riffs from a mix of musical styles is a great way of expanding your capabilities on the guitar. Each one will present its own dynamics and challenges which will further push your playing technique. They're usually just great fun to play. Most people picked up a guitar because they heard a riff that they fell in love with. I break each riff down into simple steps. There will be tabs on the screen to help make things easier to follow, and I will also attach PDFs for each one to this class. This class and the series that will come after it are designed to be quick and easy to follow, accessible for all guitar players. You can jump in and out of this class, skip to the songs you're most interested in, brush up on a riff you haven't heard for a while, or treat it as an opportunity to discover something new. As the series progresses, we will move through different styles of music, various eras, and cover categories that are hopefully suggested by some of you. Please feel free to look at my other classes if you feel like you need a bit more knowledge before you jump into this one. But if you do have a bit of guitar experience, then why not check out the first couple of lessons and see how you get on. The other classes are always there if you feel like you need to work on a few other things. I'm available for any questions, so please feel free to get in touch before the class, while you're taking it, once it's done, or anytime you just want to reach out. I'm more than happy to help out and love hearing from students. I hope you join me in the class. Let's get playing some guitar riffs. [MUSIC] 2. Class Project: [MUSIC] The class project. For this, I'd love you to take one of the riffs I've included in this class and record yourself playing them and then upload underneath this class for us all to learn, listen, and be inspired by each other. You could do this through somewhere like YouTube or SoundCloud, upload the video grab a link, and then post that underneath. You could also put that up on the socials. There's some hashtags coming up that you could use so that can be picked up by myself and the Skillshare team. If you're not quite feeling comfortable or confident enough to do that, that's absolutely fine. If you wish, you could send that to me directly. There's an email coming up or you can hit me up on Instagram. I love hearing from students, seeing and listening to what you're creating. I'm more than happy to give feedback or just have a little listen to what you're up to. Recording yourself is a great way to monitor your progress and development. You notice things that you wouldn't otherwise. You could do this just as an audio recording, microphone into some software. There's a great class popping up. There's a beginner's guide to GarageBand if you use any software like that, or you could just be as simple as using your phone. That is more than adequate. It totally does the job. Then either send to myself or post below so you can take part in that community vibe that we're trying to create here, but either way is cool. Let's jump into the next video and start playing some riffs. 3. The Rolling Stones - Satisfaction: [MUSIC] The first riff we're going to look at is Rolling Stones' Satisfaction, an absolutely iconic guitar riff. A big reason that a lot of people have picked up a guitar and started playing. The beauty with a riff like this is it's really simple, very beginner friendly, but also fun to play regardless of what level you're at with your guitar playing. Let's have a quick little play through that and then we'll break it down. [MUSIC] The first thing we want to do is put our first finger on the second fret of the A string. Keep our firm nice and loud, don't bring it out too far because we're going to want to stretch our fingers out and we don't want to cramp our hand up too much. There's just two hits on that second fret. [MUSIC] There's that slight little pause in between the notes so you relax your first finger. [MUSIC] To get that little stop. [MUSIC] Then we want to stretch our third finger across to the full fret. Now, you will see some people, especially at the very beginning of the guitar playing, a tutor might recommend that they play this whole riff with one finger so that they're getting used to sliding and they haven't got to worry about stretching or fanning those fingers out. There's a lot to be taken from that and I can see why that's an angle to go for. I think it's important early on to develop that stretching capability, that flexibility in your hands. We are going to bring our third finger across to the full fret, that's what I'd recommend. After two hits on the second, [MUSIC] we play one more here on the second, and we bring that third finger down to the fore fret. [MUSIC] Then it's a quick fifth fret with the little finger. Again, you might see some people slide that third finger there. I've seen Keith Richards do that as well, so you can't really argue with that, it definitely works. But I think for us, just trying to develop that stretching capability, that independence on each finger, for now, I'm going to suggest putting that little finger down. [MUSIC] After the fourth, that little finger goes onto the fifth. You'll notice my second finger comes down as well. I think that's important to help again with that one finger per fret stretch. It also gives a little bit more stability and strength to that third finger if that second finger is down as well. We're making a nice clamp with our hand on the neck and really helping us put that pressure on the frets that we need to play. [MUSIC] Two, 4, 5. [MUSIC] Once that little finger is down onto that fifth fret, we're going to play it two more times, but on that second time, we're going to pull the little finger off [MUSIC] to the fourth fret. Again, that's why it's important to have these fingers down behind the highest one we're playing so it's ready for this pull off technique. From the top [MUSIC] and then little finger, two hits and then a pull off. [MUSIC] The second plaque at the string we pull the finger off to the full fret. Now, if you're not familiar with pull-offs, if you haven't worked in them much, I do have a class that's popping up. It's all about guitar practice, improving finger strength, stretch, speed, independence, and we work on pull-offs there if you wanted to have a little look at that. But for the purpose of now, that little finger just pulls across the string, across the A string and our full fret is being fretted by the third finger so that note we'll come through nice and clear. [MUSIC] We've done those two hits on the fifth fret, [MUSIC] pulled off to the fourth, and then [MUSIC] to end, we pull off from the fourth to the second. [MUSIC] There's just one here on that full fret. We pull our third finger across the string and our first finger is down waiting on that second fret for that note to sound lovely. We only need to pluck the string once and our first finger is there so that note comes through nice and clear. [MUSIC] Let's go from the top of that riff. [MUSIC] If you're struggling to get that stretch, don't worry about having to keep everything down. It's something I recommend to work on, but if it's not possible straightaway, don't worry. If you need to relax your fingers to allow you to get to that third fret, if your first and second can't stay on that second and third fret, [MUSIC] it's absolutely fine. You might not have that stretching capability in your fingers yet, but work on it. Try and develop that, try and get that stretch in where possible. The same for if you're in that position and then little finger isn't quite comfortable going on to that fifth, is okay if you bunch these fingers. Now, we mentioned earlier as well about the third finger being used from the fourth to the fifth fret, you will see some people do that. Again, that helps if your fingers aren't quite ready to stretch across four fret yet. [MUSIC] There, you could do a slide back from the fifth to the fourth. [MUSIC] Then you're a little bit closer to when you need to play that second fret. [MUSIC] You could do a pull-off there if your fingers have got that stretching ability. [MUSIC] Lovely, not too much of a complicated start. Hopefully, this get another riff nailed. 4. Roy Orbison - Oh, Pretty Woman: [MUSIC] Next up we've got Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison. It's another one that's good for beginners. It works on our finger independence and it stretches across free frets on free different strings. Let's have a little play that and then look at it in a bit more detail. [MUSIC] Lovely, a nice, simple but really effective riff. Easy to sing, very memorable. It's something I learned when I was younger, when I was first starting to play guitar, and I knew the riff more than I knew the song. It just gets stuck in your head in some ways I think when you write these really simple but effective guitar riffs, they become bigger than the song itself. I can define it because that's the bit that's so easy to obtain and that was definitely the case for me. I'd obviously heard the riff but I hadn't really digested the whole song. It was just that snippet that's stuck in my head and stuck with me for a long time. With this riff, another one that we want to be ready to find our fingers out across a few frets. We're just going to be playing from the second to the fourth fret on the E, A, and D string. The first thing we do is to open hits on the low E string. [MUSIC] We want our third finger waiting across that full fret of the low E. We really want to get on the tip of our finger as it comes down and then have our first finger ready and waiting for the second fret of the A string. Then we go, [MUSIC] open, open four, two. [MUSIC] We want to make sure we got quite a nice curve on that third finger so it doesn't catch the A string underneath, because if we lay too flat and we go to play the A string and our third finger is in other way. [MUSIC] We could get a bit of a dead muted note when that after that, so nice and pronounced on that third finger and then you can remove it slightly if you need to get to that first finger, or you can leave it there on the thread, but release it slowly slightly so the string stops sounding, and we can just focus on that second fret of the A. [MUSIC] Then quite simply it's just an open D string underneath. [MUSIC] Again, a curve in that first finger when we're playing the second fret of the A. [MUSIC] You can remove it slightly if you need to, you can move that first finger away. [MUSIC] They allows that D string to really ring through, or you can leave the first finger down. But release it relaxing enough so that they'd second fret of the a stop sounding and you've given a nice bit of a curve and room for the open D to come through. It plays that twice. [MUSIC] There's a free count in-between each one [MUSIC] 2,3,4. [MUSIC] Then the riff starts to fill that gap that we're counting and it fills that with a four, two open rundown on the D string. [MUSIC] Remembering that stretch across free frets, third finger down on the full fret, first finger waiting to go onto the second fret of D, second finger can be down as well on that third fret, just for a bit more stability. [MUSIC] Let's fill that gap, play the first bit of the riff, the open, open four, two open. [MUSIC] Then a rundown on the D. [MUSIC] That full riff happens four times. [MUSIC] It's pretty fast the original, so don't worry about picking up that speed if you're not quite at that level yet. If you are brilliant, go for it, you know how to play it now, but if not start slow, it's really important that every note comes through nice and clear. There's no point in rushing it. Otherwise you're not going to get that proper feel that we're after. [MUSIC] Cool, a really lovely groove to this track, I think anyway, see if you can challenge yourself for the rest of the song. The codes are pretty easy, so nice open codes in there, some A's, D's, and F-sharp minor. A little bit trickier, but you'll be able to get there, I've got a beginner guitar class if you want to learn a bit more about guitar chords, if not, for now, just take that riff is great fun to play. Let's have a look at another one. 5. The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army: [MUSIC] Next up we have the white stripes, Seven Nation Army. We're going to look at the single note, single string part of the song, but we're also going to bring the power chords in as well as there's not too many parts to get this song pretty much complete. I've worked on both these separate sections in other classes that I have up on Skillshare, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to combine them. It's a modern day and firm and arguably one of the most recognizable risks over the last 20 years. In the first of these series of six guitar riffs, I felt like this one had to be included, especially as I'm trying to look at a mix of errors and include iconic great guitarists. This spelled like a no brainer and a great opportunity to combine both of those paths. Let's have a little look at our main riff is played first. [MUSIC] Now that is the bit that probably stands out most to people is very recognizable. They've absolutely nailed it with that guitar riff and it's infectious. From a playing perspective is another one that's good for stretching out our fingers. You will see some variations of how this is played. Some people will play in the first position. Some people apply a combination of the two of what we're going to do. I'm going to put us a little bit further up the fret board so we can keep working on our stretching abilities and developing that finger independence. We're going to put our first finger behind the seventh fret of the A string. We pluck the string once there, we leave a bit of a gap and then we pluck it again. [MUSIC] On that second here, we get ready to bring our little finger down to the 10th fret of the A string [MUSIC]. You'll notice I've got that stretch going on again, the second and third fingers come down to give me more stability on the guitar neck. After we've played that little finger, we take that off and we're back our first finger. That's why it's important to keep that first finger there because he's lying in wait for when we want apply that next note back to the seventh fret of the a. [MUSIC] We then going to slide back and play the fifth, the third, and the second. [MUSIC] There isn't just relaxing that first fingers slightly to deaden the note and allow me to slide across that string, and back to the frets that I need [MUSIC]. There we go. You have that main riff that occurs for each of those vertices and is a variation of that that's going to happen in the chorus that will work on in a second. Once that verse comes to an end, there's this small little section that brings in a G and an A power chord, G5 and an A5. It has H strums on each of those. If you're not familiar with power chords, I also have a class on those if you want to check them out. But as a quick little run-through. we're putting our first finger onto the third fret of the lowest E string. Our third and little finger come across to the fifth fret of the A and the D string. We can rest our second finger on our first finger, so it doesn't interfere with any of the other strings. If you made this a major chord, you could bring that second finger into play. But for now, we're just going to either protrude it like this in the middle or stick it onto our first finger so it's resting, and not interfere with anything else. Fun, nice and central so it's clamping the guitar neck. First thing has got a nice curve so we can bring out the low E string, third fret, but we're also muted the G, B, and E strings. Give that a little test. Just want that low E, A and D to come through and see what I call pow called sound. The sound great. We've got H drums on that G5. [MUSIC] Study on to frets [MUSIC] we're to A5, and then we go into the course. This resolve that verse or play around at verse riff twice and then bring that G and A [MUSIC] into that chorus. Now, you can play this as a single string, brief if you want to. There's a slight variation in the order of the notes towards the end of the riff. We'll look at that to begin with just quickly, and then we'll add the octave note to it. The chorus starts with the same riff [MUSIC] but every other one does this. [MUSIC] Three, 5, 3, 2, and then I quickly open A, so nice and slow with the variation [MUSIC] 3, 5, 3, 2, quickly open. Back to the beginning. [MUSIC] Same as diverse when that chorus resolves, we get the G and the A5, H strums, [MUSIC] and then it ends on a E5 power chord. Nice and low and chuggy to bring the chorus to an end and then hangover the beginning of that next verse. The A5, we just let our first finger across the A and D string second fret, and we have an open E and we're trying to create that curve from fs knuckle in that first finger, so that we can again mute the G, B, and the E string. [MUSIC] Now, let's make that chorus a little bit trickier by adding the octave note to that riff. When we're adding an octave note, we're playing two of the same notes together, but one is higher in range than the other. For example, we have got an E note being implied there. If we traveled through every note that we have, so E, F, F sharp, G, G sharp, A, all the way through all the notes available to us, we would eventually come to E again. We have another A there. Same note, much higher in pitch. We put them together, we've got an octave code. We're playing two same notes, in different ranges. We can simply add that each of the notes that we play on that chorus. From the seventh fret of the A, we had the ninth fret of the G. To find the octave, you go down two strings, and across two frets, seventh fret of the A, down D, G string from the seventh, eighth, ninth. Play them together, we've got the octave. We really want to rely on our first finger here to have that curve against with mutes to D string. We don't want that coming through for this code. Our second finger can come across and just G A lie on that low E string. It mutes that. A combination of our first finger, or our second finger can help mute that B and E string for myself and I should say, everyone's fingers are going to be slightly different. The length of them, the thickness, the pad on their fingers, so you can utilize them in different ways to mute the strings you don't need. My little finger, the pattern that little fingers actually mute in the B string there, so it doesn't come through. Then my first and second finger, are ensuring that high E doesn't come through. We have the octave. We just slide that through the whole riff. We went from the seventh to the tenth, our little finger, two strings down, two frets across is playing the 12th fret of the A. We went back to our seventh and then we play our fifth, third and second. Making sure we have that two fret difference for the little finger each time. Can be tricky to move this shape if you haven't done it before, but make sure you relax each of those fingers, so it helps you glide across each string to get to where you need to be. [MUSIC] Strumming across all six strings if you need to have more of that attack, or you can just try and pick out that ranged has got the A, down to the G. Then the variation [MUSIC] 3, 5, 3, 2 and a little E5 comes in. Much like the E5 above it, will be at the open A, and then a first finger on the second fret of the A and D, we just move that shape down. Our first finger is now across the D and the G. A fum comes over the top to mute that low A. You have an A5. You could relax and bend that finger even more if you wanted to cut out the G string so then you are just bringing that to note. The A and D. Or you can make them sound a bit more full bodied. Flattening that first finger a bit more. Bring it up the G, but making sure there's still enough of a curve in that first finger so that the B and the E, don't come through [MUSIC]. You've got the whole song cavity. There's some slight variations in the lead work that goes on over to top. But the backbone and the music that really iconic riff that standout, you've got everything available. Good luck with it. Let's have a look at another one. 6. Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name: [MUSIC] Rage Against the Machines, Killing in The Name. This riff was big for me when I was young, and those lyrics tie nicely into those angry teenage years. I'm sure there's some deeper political sentiments to the lyrics, but they do work perfectly with that 13-year-old anx. Now for this riff, we're going to put our guitar into drop D, which means we need to bring our low E string down to the note D. I'm not sure where you are with this knowledge, but for anyone who doesn't know, I'm going to quickly break that down. Now if you have a headstock tuner, that'd be perfect for this because you can just make sure that the E goes down to a D. But there is a little trick that we can use that's really good for working on your ear training and testing whether you can bring those notes down yourself without having to use a tuner. For this, bring your first finger onto the 5th fret of the A, and we want to play that low E and A string together, and we want that low E to sound like the note that's being played on the A string. You have a little test. They obviously sound different. We bring it down, and you can play both strings at the same time so you can start to get used to how it sounds when eventually we do hit that D note. Bring it down to there, have a little test, still don't sound right. That sounds lovely. We have two D notes playing. Our first finger on the 5th fret of the A is playing a D note, our low E is now a D, and if you did want to double-check that, if you've got a headstock tuner, you can then just check that that low E is playing a D note. A handy little trick there for you to work on. Don't stress yourself out about that I just wanted to break that down quickly in case it's something that you wasn't aware of. But one play for that whole intro, but I'll give a little taste of the sections that really stand out. [MUSIC] That's not the whole intro, there's some other little sections that we're going to throw in there, but they tend to be the parts that stand out that might be a little bit more memorable, and I didn't want to just start this lesson with you just having to watch me play that riff pretty pointless. We are trying to learn riffs together here. Let's break that down. The song starts with four strums of this lovely, powerful D code. There is a really nice effect on the guitar that I'm not going to be able to totally emulate, but hopefully, we're getting somewhere. Now, usually, we would, if we're playing a D major chord, mute that low E. But because we've tuned this low E to a D, we can bring it in. Now, to make it a little bit more powerful as well, the high E is taken out. That usually be playing an F-sharp note on that 2nd fret of the high A, but we're going to remove that. We just need our first finger, 2nd fret of the A, third finger, 3rd fret of the D, and our second finger, if you want to just rest it on that high A because you're used to having it in that position and you want to mute the string that way, that's absolutely fine. Then we just strum from the low A string [MUSIC] four times and that opens that track, beautiful, really lovely start to everything. Then everything cuts out apart from the base, and then there's a little note that starts to creep in from the guitar and that's just wobbling, bending the 8th fret of the G. A nice bit of sustain on your guitar. If you're in front of an amp, get nice and close and start to draw that fret back out and we're plugging the 8th fret once and just wobbling the note and let it creep in. Now, it gets a little bit trickier, but really fun to play. We're going to have our first finger waiting on the 11th fret of the D string, but we're going to be playing three open hits of the lowest A. You'll notice there that the note cuts out is dead-end, is not just three constant notes. We want everything to suck out a bit and to do that, we can use our second and third finger, if you need to, to rest gently on to that low A string so that everything is dead-end in-between each pluck of the string. Sorry for interrupting. In this lesson, I'm about to ask you to play from the 11th to the 12th fret on the D and G string with a little hammer on in-between. I meant to explain the two versions. If you want to sound more like the original recording, just remove that hammer on I'm about to advise, so you would just play 11, 12 on the D string and then 11, 12 on the G string without that hammer on that I'm about to explain in-between. Just pluck each fret once. I included the hammer on version because I think it's really good for your technique development. If hammer-ons aren't your strong point, then this is a great opportunity to include them and utilize this riff to practice that hammer-on technique. But to sound more like the original recording, just remove those hammer-ons that I'm about to go back to explain in this lesson. Let's jump back to that lesson. Then our first finger is waiting to pluck the 11th and then our second finger hammers down to the 12th, and you do that on the D and the G string. Hammer from the 11th onto the 12th. Three open notes to the E, and then the hammer-ons. [MUSIC] Really trying to be defined with that hammer-ons, you make sure you pull out that 12th fret. That happens three times and then there's a slight variation on the fourth one. We're still plucking the 11th fret of D, but there's a hammer on and pull-off that occurs on the 12th fret, and then as soon as that's happened, our second finger jumps straight down to the 12th fret of the G, and there's a bend, down and back up again. Notice how there is that slight time indifference there from the first three. I'm going to play the first three, the normal ones, and then I'm going to throw that variation in at the end. The original is quite fast, I'm not going to play it quite as fast as that, but I'm playing a little bit faster than we have been just so you get the feel of that little section. [MUSIC] Notice that slight difference in time in there. Hammer on and pull off. Practice just that little section if you want to. Take that out of the rest of the track for now, just to make sure that hammer on and pull off are nice and defined and you're really pulling those notes out. There is no point glazing over that and missing that definition, we really want it to sound nice and clear. [MUSIC] Lovely. Once you've got that, we're going to move to a slightly simpler bit. We're now going to play the open A string, but this time three hits on the 6th fret of the A. Three open notes and then three hits at a 6th fret of the A. [MUSIC] The last one, the 4th one, we can play an octave and just slide that back up the neck. You could just do it as a single note, that 6th fret of the A, or bring in that octave. Remember from the other lesson, we go two strings down, two frets across, we have the octave of that note we are already playing, pick out that code, and slide back. [MUSIC] Now we're onto a really fun part to play arguably the most iconic part of the song that guitar players look at and think, yeah, I want to be able to play that one day and it is a great review, something I was really looking forward to learning when I was young. Let's break that down. We start in a way which seems to be the theme with this tune, with a nice open E string, but I should say an open D string now because we've detuned that low E down to a D note. Once you've played that open string once, we hammer from the 3rd to the 5th fret of the A string. First finger down onto the 3rd fret, third finger hammers to the 5th. Then two percussive notes come through. Percussive is when we relax the note, but we still rest a finger on there, we still pluck the string, we're not here in the note coming from that string, but we were just getting that rhythmic feel because we're still plucking that dead sound. All happens quite quick. We really want to get into the groove of what everything is doing. We've cut that low E string dead as well, so we can really hear the definition and the feel of the percussive notes that come afterwards. After that, we throw in a hammer-on this time on the 3rd to the 4th fret of the D string. As always, making sure that definition is there, so we really hear that note from the 3rd to the 4th fret. Once that's been played, our third finger, comes onto the 5th of the A, and then an open E, but if you catch the open E with this as well, it's all cool. They work well together, they resonate, and it does actually sound a lot deeper and shaggier. You can just get the open E, but if catch both, that's fine. From that hammer-on on the D string. [MUSIC] Once we've played the open E, we then put our first finger down onto the 2nd fret of the E and A string, after that it's going to come to the 3rd fret of the E and A string, and then back to the 2nd fret. From that hammer on. [MUSIC] Now you notice a slip between that 2nd and 3rd fret there. You'll see guitarists do that, but you will also see guitarists hammer that technique as well, from the second to the third. I think, try both, whatever works for you. I find myself slipping between the two. I think I really like the slide. There's something cool about that groove, but equally, the hammer on is great fun to play and it helps build that technique rather than hammering on single strings, single notes, you're having to do it with two strings, which is a good do technique development. If your hammer-ons are a bit weak, you haven't quite perfected them, try that. Utilize these riff to develop that technique. If you find the slide more fun and your hammer-ons are cool, do that. From the top. [MUSIC] Really got to make sure that 2nd fret when the first finger comes down is plucked nice and strong because it allows you to go to the third and back to the second, keeping that finger nice and strong so the notes are really pronounced. The same with the hammer on. Now after that's played around a few times with the strings more open and pronounced, it brings it down to some palm muting and for that, we just want to bring our wrist down on to the bridge of your guitar. Everyone's guitar, everyone's bridge will be slightly different if you have different models, different makes, but we want to make sure we're not too far over the strings, so we don't want to lose the definition of our notes, and we don't want to be too far back, therefore it still comes very clear, so just find that sweet spot where you put the top part of your wrist and running up the side of your hand down onto your bridge, you get that nice and shaggy palm muting sound. Again, all these little techniques and codes and exercises I've worked on in other classes. Depending where you are on your guitar, learning, and playing journey, we'll get deeper into those other classes if you need to. [MUSIC] Play nice and slow so you make sure that you're bringing that all the notes that are needed. [MUSIC] There we go. You've tackled a big chunk of that song. There are other riffs that occur throughout, obviously, but we've taken an element that really stands out and is usually regarded as a riff that's reasonably easy to digest and pick up. Not straightaway for beginners, but once you've got a bit of play and experience behind you, then this is definitely a good one to tackle, and hopefully the journey of the three riffs that we've looked at before these are preparing you for this one that involves a few more techniques and a little bit of a more advanced requirement. But that doesn't mean you have to stop there, challenge yourself and look at the rest of the song because it really is a good one to gain your lockout. Good luck with that and when you're ready, let's jump to the next one. 7. AC/DC - Back In Black: [MUSIC] Next up is AC, DC is back in black, a real head bopping rear for straight 44-B. We're going to take that intro riff, and it appears again throughout the track. Much like the rage song, there are other reefs going on throughout the track, but we're going to take what is arguably the most recognizable part of this song. Have a little playthrough and then work on it together. [MUSIC] Great fun to play that one. Got be honest, it's not the sort of music that I listened to a lot when I was younger. I didn't really go to old metal all that much, maybe a bit of metallica Machine Head Pantera here, and there. I can totally understand why these riffs grabbed people's attention and pull them towards playing the guitar. Because regardless of what your fingers the different styles, different genres of music that is good fun to play. There's lucky and a bit more detail. You could see the chord structure stay to same there for each bar an E, D and A, but there was a very different way that each bar ended. We had that more fiddly work on the highest strings for the first one. Then on the second one, we work our way up the neck using the lowest strings. The chords first. We're playing a nice powerful E5. [MUSIC] You will see some people play this as the [MUSIC] open chord. I think that's sounds to jangly too nice and clean for what we're after. We're bringing out that power in this track. E5, just one strum down, remembering to mute that G, B and E string, putting out the E, B and D string. We then go up to a D5. Now here I've seen some people play this with the F sharp, the second fret A, but we're going to remove that as well and make this a D5. That's got that same power chord element, and we do a down up, down on that chord. From the single strum A. Stop that note dead so everything sucks out. Down up, down on that D5, and then we do down up, down on the A5. Same thing as we do with the E5. We make sure we get a nice curve in the first finger, put out the open eye so that our D and G come through, but our B and A are muted from over the top to mute the low E open A can move through nice and clear down, up, down, [MUSIC] so altogether. [MUSIC] Now it's time for our first fiddly resolve to that bar. We are going free open on the E string, free open on the base. Pretty quick. [MUSIC] Then we go into the second fret of the G. [MUSIC] We bend it down, [MUSIC] and we pull the note off. [MUSIC] This all happens very quick in that riff. [MUSIC] You're going to want to bring that bend down, back up and then pull the note off all very quickly. [MUSIC] You will see some people bend the note up instead [MUSIC]. Might make it a little bit easier to pull the string off once you come back down. [MUSIC] My ear goes towards that bend down. [MUSIC] But I got either way, whatever works best for you. [MUSIC] In case you wanted to know we are basically playing the E minor pentatonic scale here. [MUSIC] Cool. Once that bend and that put off has happened, we quickly go back to that E. [MUSIC] Now this time, the second time there's a very different resolve. We are playing the second fret of the A string, and then we stretch our third finger over to the fourth fret of the low E. Bring that second finger off slightly, so the note goes dead, or use the pad of the third finger to mute it. Then we keep going back to that second fret, but keep working our way up the fret board on the low E string. We got 4, 5, 6, and 7. Now this is going to be a big out stretch, I'll just quickly show you. [MUSIC] That last note slides back. [MUSIC] That might be a bit too tricky. Your hands might not have that flexibility, that dexterity yet. If that's the case, you can keep alternating between the first and the third finger that work in that third finger up those frets that we need to play. Let's try it like that. [MUSIC] Then that last slide back. [MUSIC] To make it a little bit simpler, if that's still a bit tricky, especially to get to that last one, that seventh fret. We can just play the last two notes [MUSIC] on the second fret of the A string, because they are the same note. We play a B note there, and this is also a B note. [MUSIC] We'll stay on that second fret. [MUSIC] I would encourage you to try and build towards that stretch if you can. [MUSIC] It's going to do you wonders for your playing further down the line. If you're able to get your fingers to stretch that far and still bring the notes out nice and clearly, that's going to be amazing for your overall playing ability. It's a great little technique in itself, a great little exercise to help develop your playing. [MUSIC] Same as when the first one resolves as soon as that slide back occurs, [MUSIC] were back into our E, D, A progression, and we repeat that pattern. [MUSIC] You'll also notice that when you do the first bar, that's got a high leak, there's quite a gap between chords before that comes in. [MUSIC] Then when the other riff comes in for the second resolve, [MUSIC] that happens very quick. Be on your toes for that, there's not much of a gap. Just as you've done that first one and you feel like you've got a nice moment to breathe and get ready for that little lead lick, the second one, you're pretty much on it straightaway. Be prepared for that. Listen to the drums, get that timing, fill that gap that happens for each one. Separate them, and make sure you've got the timing and awareness to play each one correctly. [MUSIC] Five riffs in now, a real good head banging riff there for you to complement the others. We've been on a good journey, slowly advancing that techniques, bringing in hammer ons, pull offs, run downs, really stretching our fingers. This time for one more riff that he's going to take that finger stretch in a little bit of another level. Catch you in the next video. 8. The Police - Message In A Bottle: [MUSIC] One more riff and I'd say it's the most complicated, a big stretch in this one and some quiet fast changes, but we've been on a bit of a journey here, we said from more simpler riffs. It's a more complicated riffs. Hopefully, that's helped you get ready for this one. The track is Message In A Bottle by The Police. Before I talk any more about it, let's have a little run through just so we can familiarize ourselves with how it sounds. [MUSIC] Very different to the other riffs we've been playing a different style of music and also a different demand on our fingers. We've been stretching over a maximum of four frets, I believe on these riffs we've done before. This time we are going one, two, three, four, five fingers. Initially are going to go from the full fret all the way up to the eighth fret and as daunting as that sounds and maybe looks to some of you, depending on where you are in your guitar-playing journey, once you've got this shape, and then if you notice from me playing through, but it just shifts that shape with the same amount of distance, the same amount of stretch into four different positions, but the amount of frets covered stay the same. It's just about nailing that shape. Let's get that shape in place first. Then we're going to put our first finger onto the fourth fret of the A string, our third finger is going to go to the sixth fret of the D, and our little finger is going to cross over to the seventh fret of the G, and we just work our way down playing each of those strings. [MUSIC] There's an equal amount of time between each note, [MUSIC] so we don't hang on one for any longer than the other. [MUSIC] To get that shape in place first get that stretch feeling comfortable or as comfortable as a stretch like this can feel if you've never done it before, but at least get it in place. Make sure you have tucked nicely behind each fret and those notes are coming through nice and clear. [MUSIC] If it's really hurting, relax, don't overdo it. We don't want to put too much strain on our hands. It might take you a little while to get to this ability if you're not at this standard already. My guitar practice class that I've mentioned works a lot on stretching so that might be worth a little dip into if you need to. But if you're happy to crack on that and work with this at the moment, let's keep moving. [MUSIC] Once we've played those three nodes, we move everything along one fret and up one string. [MUSIC] We are now on the fifth of the E, the seventh of the A, and then ninth of the D, the same distance between the frets that we had before and spread across three strings. [MUSIC] You might also notice there, there's a little bit of a longer gap between the first and the second note than there was on the first code. First one, [MUSIC] second one. [MUSIC] The first note just hangs on it slightly longer and then brings out the second and third notes. [MUSIC] We then slide this shape up to the seventh of the E, the ninth of the A, and the 11th of the D. [MUSIC] We keep that same distance between the first and the second note we did on the previous code. [MUSIC] Notice there's that gap between the first and the second note. [MUSIC] Really getting used to move in that shape now. A second finger, if you want to have more stability and keep coming down behind that third finger to help everything stay nice and tight. [MUSIC] Then for the last code, we slide to the second of the E, the fourth of the A, and the sixth of the D. [MUSIC] The only difference here is that after we played that D string, [MUSIC] we slide it to the seventh of the D. [MUSIC] That lovely little movement, [MUSIC] the transitions the end of the bar into the next bar. The riff has ended and it's about to start again. [MUSIC] There's one here on that sixth fret and slide into the seventh. This go from the top nice and slow. [MUSIC] Practice each section individually. You don't need to tackle this as a whole straight away. Makes sure that initial shape that you're using is comfortable in that first position. [MUSIC] You've got that stretch. [MUSIC] Then move into the second. [MUSIC] Nice and clear, [MUSIC] that slide, [MUSIC] and the last one. [MUSIC] Keep, resolving [MUSIC] on that slide and then back into that shape. [MUSIC] Another very important thing to remember where this track as you start to pick up the pace and link each position, each code, don't rush it, don't miss those notes. A lot of time when people start to play things faster, the clarity is gone, the definition disappears. We want to make sure, even though we're playing at a faster speed, that every note is required, is there and it's sounding how it should be. It's singing, it's coming through beautifully. We don't want to sacrifice quality for speed. [MUSIC] Really challenging that one, but have faith in that shape. Once you've mastered those first three notes, that first position, you are just shifting that distance around the fretboard. Have belief in that, master those foundations, and then begin to shift it around the fretboard. Don't be too rigid in what you're doing. Try to maintain the foundation of that shape. You still want that flexibility, that nice fluid movement going between the shapes. As much as it's a solid stretch across those five frets, we don't want that to sound too blocky to individual. We want to make sure they link nicely together and having the confidence in that shape, especially the first note that lays the building blocks for it will help you maintain that. [MUSIC] You notice my little finger is sometimes in waiting. It's the last one to come down and that allows me to get those first two fingers in place, and as they're being played, my little finger can come down in time. You don't have to be too rigid and move it solidly and everything come down at the same time. It adds a little bit more of a free-flowing feel I think if you allow that little finger to come down and the shape build as you arrive at the first fret that you need. [MUSIC] Lovely. Another one done. 9. Final Thoughts: [MUSIC] There we go. Six reves covered. Hopefully, there was something good there for you. You might have brushed up on some technique. You might have discovered a new tune or band that you've never heard before. You might have heard something you were like, "Oh, yeah I've heard that tune loads before but never knew who did it." Wherever the situation, take the techniques from each of those songs, everyone will present something different. All styles of music, all tracks will add something different to your plan ability. I think it's really important to be diverse in your approach to listening, learning, and digest in the music especially if you want to be a well-rounded guitarist. Practicing, and performing all sorts of music across a big mix of styles really help that. But if you just want to listen to, and play grunge or metal, then that's totally cool as well. As I've mentioned throughout the class, there are plenty of other classes on the Skillshare platform for you to check out if you want to. I do have a full beginner journey that takes you from the very basics of looking at the anatomy of the guitar, tuning, how to read chord boxes, and tab, but quickly moves towards learning in loads of different briefs, and songs. We look at scales, and we'll look at how to write your own music, and start to delve into writing code structures, and lead guitar parts. That's a good place to go if you want a full package of a beginner guitar journey. If made it to the end of this, and you've played all those other reves, then you've already started that journey, and you've probably got a good bit of experience. But if you want to look at other things like power chords, I have a class on that. I have a beginner's guide to finger-picking. I have the guitar practice class that I've mentioned that is suitable for all levels, I believe, and there are different techniques, and exercises that will really help your finger stretch, shrimp, independence, and speed that you are able to play out. Have a little look at that if you want to. There's also a beginner bass guitar class if that interests you. Let me know if there are any particular songs you want me to look at. This is a series of classes I want to revisit. We're going to look at different decades. We're going to look at different styles of music. We might focus on certain bands. We might look at categories of music that inspired me or inspire a lot of a guitarist. This has been a nice starting point with just those great iconic guitarists, but I want to go off in all different directions. Please let me know if there's anything you'd like me to look at. I've had students get in touch previously, and asked me about certain topics or certain songs they want me to cover, and we've put those into the classes. So yeah, please feel free to give me a share, and also reviews a huge for helping me learn how these classes are being received and to help them spread, and for other students to gain access to them, to become aware of them. If you could please leave a review that would be greatly appreciated. You've also got the class project. We had a bit of a chat about that earlier on. It'd be excellent if you get involved. I love hearing where students are creating, so please feel free to stick that into discussions with those links we spoke about or send that to me privately. You're more than welcome to do it either way. Discussions are also another great way of getting in touch with me. I'm available for any questions, any comments you have, celebrate you at any time. I'll be more than happy to have a chat with you about guitar, about anything on your musical journey that you need help with, about these classes wherever your at. Feel free to get in touch with me through Skillshare or any other contact details that are coming up, and I'll hopefully catch you in another video one day soon. Take care. [MUSIC]