He wrote this song because his producer encouraged him to write a hit song that is like “My Sharona” which was a big hit at the time. “My Sharona” is from the band The Knacks.
How to play “Beat It”
Anyway, from the video above you will learn how to play the main intro riff as well as the funky strumming in the midway of the intro. The last part of the of guitar riff is the verse part of the song. It is mostly power chords and is very simple.
Let’s get into it. I suggest you watch the video to actually see the fingering of the chords and riffs. Please excuse my voice and my English. *grin*
How to Play Beat It
The intro starts of with 2 open E (low) followed by the 3rd fret on the E string, 2nd on the A string, 2nd on D string and then an open D.
This will be followed by the 4th on D, 2nd on D and the open D again (twice) as the final note of that part. You may need to immediately mute the first D note before playing the final note – D note/Open D string.
You repeat this four times and that’s the intro
While doing the intro, the 3rd time you play the pattern, a second guitar can be heard playing that funky rhythm part.
That rhythm part is played on the 12th and 14th fret. On the 12th fret, the strings that are in play are strings 3 and 4 while in the 14th fret it is the 4th and 5th strings.
I highly suggest and recommend that you watch the video on how to properly play this part of the song.