Intro, Riffs & Licks Acoustic Guitar Lesson Pack
The Rock & Roll world is chock full of songs with catchy hooks and grooves, some of which are just a small part of the recording, and others that are the main attraction in the song. This set of lessons, which we call Intros, Riffs & Licks, includes short videos just focused on the fun guitar parts of 16 songs.
Most of these songs would need a whole band, if not just a couple other musicians to perform completely, but that doesn’t mean learning the hook won’t help you advance your playing. Not to mention (or re-mention) that you will have a blast tackling these.
Lesson 1: Whole Lotta Love (IRL)
This is one of the simplest Jimmy Page riffs ever. Whole Lotta Love became one of Led Zeppelin's early signature songs after it was released on Led Zeppelin II.
Lesson 2: Highway To Hell (IRL)
Another second entry from our favorite Scottish-born aussie hard rocker Angus Young. This song presents an opportunity to wrap your left thumb around the neck to fret the 6th string.
Lesson 3: Back In Black (IRL)
Back In Black is another of the most requested intros of all time. Like many AC/DC riffs, it is very basic, but there are a few details that are often overlooked. Neil's lesson will have you playing Back In Black the right way!
Lesson 4: Ramblin' Man (IRL)
This Dicky Betts song, which is pretty much a campfire tune, starts off with a great opening lick. This lesson shows how to play the dual guitar parts at once.
Lesson 5: Paranoid (IRL)
Our second entry from the second Black Sabbath album features a great opening lick followed by a pounding series of power chords. Some might say this song from 1970 single-handedly defined the punk era later in the decade.
Lesson 6: Iron Man (IRL)
Iron Man is one of the most recognized riffs from the early Black Sabbath days. The opening riff consists mostly of moving power chords, including some slightly tricky descending slides.
Lesson 7: Life in The Fast Lane (IRL)
Today we head back into our Intros, Riffs& Licks series with Life In The Fast Lane by the Eagles. This was a song based on a Joe Walsh riff that has a Jimmy Page-like syncopation, where the melodic figure starts on a different beat after a few repetitions. See if you can spot the similarity between this and Black Dog, and even Band On The Run by Paul McCartney.
Lesson 8: Funk 49 (IRL)
Continuing in the riffs series we present Joe Walsh's most recognizable early song, Funk #49. This was released in 1970 on the second James Gang album, James Gang Rides Again and is still covered occasionally by his current band, the Eagles. The opening riff is derived from a standard blues lick and the only other theme is right out of the minor pentatonic scale. The right hand must keep a steady, percussive motion for everything to sound best.
Lesson 9: Black Dog (IRL)
Jimmy Page will go down in the history of rock 'n' roll as one of the greatest writers of riff-based songs. Black Dog features some great elements that are challenging on many different levels. It starts with a simple minor pentatonic scale, adds a trill here and a bend there, and combines rhythmic figures that are best played with the steady alternating technique. He then takes a phrase based on the main one and creates a variation with an unusual beat pattern that turns the picking upside down.
Lesson 10: Sweet Home Alabama (IRL)
Another part of our Classic Intros Series, Neil takes a look at Sweet Home Alabama from Lynyrd Skynyrd's 1974 album Second Helping. The opening riff is really just a simple chord progression with an array of various fills at the end of each.
Lesson 11: Crazy Train (IRL)
Crazy Train was released in 1980 by Ozzy Osbourne on his first solo album Blizzard Of Oz. It is based on a simple riff that uses an alternating picking technique with power chords and a short scale-based run. This lesson is part of our Intros, Riffs and Licks Series, and really addresses only the opening riff.
Lesson 12: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (IRL)
Our last entry in the Rolling Stones Riffs department (for now), Satisfaction is about as basic as you can get. Just a couple of power chords and a variation on a standard blues vamp.
Lesson 13: Brown Sugar (IRL)
This is part of our Intros, Riffs & Licks Series (IRL) available now, another classic Keith Richards' riff, Brown Sugar, done in Open G on the Claxton 5-String Special.
Lesson 14: Start Me Up (IRL)
Another classic Keith Richards lick opens Start Me Up. This quick look is done in Open G tuning like Honky Tonk Women and Brown Sugar.
Lesson 15: Jumpin Jack Flash (IRL)
Another one of the Rolling Stones signature openings, Jumpin' Jack Flash is really just standard barre chords over an independent bass line. This lesson combines the 2 parts and really captures the sound of the original recording. It also shows the main riff and chord progression.
Lesson 16: Roundabout (IRL)
This addition to the Intros, Riffs& Licks Series is one from the 'Instantly Recognizable' category, Roundabout by Yes. The harmonics Steve Howe plays at the beginning almost single-handedly define the era of 70s Progressive Rock. This lesson just looks at the opening runs and the classical descending bass melody leading into the main chord progression. Although, there are some hints as to the accompaniment as well.