Weekend riff: Van Halen - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love

Eddie Van Halen is known for some wild guitar playing but this riff is more finger friendly

It's easiest to think of this riff as a sequence of arpeggios based on Am, F, G and C open position chords. This will help you to hear how the riff progresses harmonically as you change from note to note.

The main challenge is the string skipping, which requires careful picking to ensure you always strike the right string. There are several changes of pick direction and a big jump from the second string to the sixth on the G chord. We've suggested pick directions in the video lesson, but you could also try all downpicking; it's less efficient, but there is a certain rhythm to this approach and you may find it easier to target the strings.

As ever, slow diligent practice will yield the best results so resist the urge to play the riff at speed until you've got those string skips nailed.

Click here to download the 'Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love' preset for the Peavey Vypyr VIP-2

'Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love'
© 1978 Van Halen

Tutor: Jamie Hunt
Videographer: Martin Holmes

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