Weekend riff: Deep Purple - Smoke On The Water (intro)

Beginner-friendly guitar riffing

TG takes a look at one of the easiest rock guitar riffs of all time

No list of classic guitar riffs can possibly be complete without a mention of Deep Purple's Smoke On The Water. You don't need any great technical ability to play Ritchie Blackmore's riff, so it's ideal for the beginner guitarist looking to get those first songs down.

The riff is based on just four two-note chords (known as 'diads'). We recommend using two fingers to fret the 5th fret diads, but just one finger for the 3rd fret diads. Most important though is finding a comfy position for your fretting hand so you are able to keep those idle strings silent. If the open strings ring out as you play the diads it'll just sound like noise.

Finally, remember that Blackmore fingerpicked this riff. Using thumb and index finger helps generate that all-important 'snap' or, if you prefer, use index and middle fingers. That said, it is perfectly easy to play this riff using your pick so, ultimately, the choice is yours.

Click here to download the 'Smoke On The Water' preset for the Peavey Vypyr VIP-2

'Smoke On The Water'
© 1972 Deep Purple

Tutor: Steve Allsworth
Videographer: Martin Holmes

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