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Too Difficult to Play? Click Here!

How to Play Johnny B. Goode Guitar Riff by Parts Guitar Riff 71

johnny-b-goode-guitar-tabsThis is the classic guitar riff of all time, rock and roll man! Every guitarist should know at least the intro for this song. At least, that is what I believe.

How to Play Johnny B. Goode Riff

CLICK HERE to learn Johnny B. Goode note by note

Ahhh Johnny B. Goode! Tell me a guitar player or an aspiring one who does not know this Chuck Berry’s classic song? Certainly at one point in their guitar learning adventure, every guitarist wanted to learn this song… and this is the time you learn the intro guitar riff too!

Chuck Berry and many of his contemporaries are the ones who started Rock ‘n Roll and the grand father of rock. The song Johnny B. Good is undoubtedly considered to be one of the most recognizable songs in music history and recognizable guitar riff intro of all time!

The inspiration in writing this song was actually based on his life, the life of Chuck Berry. There are of course some little facts changed or ‘twisted’. For example, Chuck Berry is actually is from St. Louis and not Louisiana. Also in terms of lyrics – The line, “That little country boy could play” was originally, “That little colored boy can play.” Berry knew he had to change it if he wanted the song played on the radio.

Learn to Play Johnny B. Goode

This riff is arguably one of the most influential and most important riffs in the history of rock.

So much so that it is in fact referred to by guitar players as ‘the chuck berry riff’, and variations of it have been used by tons of bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Eagles of Death Metal, ACDC, The Sex Pistols and the list goes on and on and on.

We’ve also included the tab to the intro solo that starts off the song, which is admittedly a bit on the complicated side (see the video), but it’s the riff that we care most about.

So how do you play the classic “Chuck Berry Riff”? First, you make a power chord: you play the root note with your index finger, and then play two frets up on the next string with your ring finger. Strum this power chord twice with two strong down-strokes.

Now, keep your hand in the power chord shape, but place your pinky finger 2 frets up above where your ring finger is on the same string (this is going to feel like a bit of a stretch at first but you’ll get used to it).

Again, strum this new shape with two strong down-strokes. Now repeat the process: two down-strokes on the power chord followed by two down-stokes with you pinky finger down two frets up.

Eventually it’ll just feel like you’re alternating between dropping your pinky finger on for two down-strokes, and lifting it off for another two.

Chuck Berry Johnny B. Goode Chords

The song is in the key of  Bb Major so all of the chords played in this song is related to the Bb major chord:


A Asus4 A
Deep down Louisiana close to New Orleans
Asus4 A
Way back up in the woods among the ever greens
D
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
A Asus4 A
Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode
E E7* E
Who never ever learned to read or write so well
A Asus4 A
But he could play the guitar just like a ringing a bell

A
Go go
Go Johnny go
Go
Go Johnny go
D
Go
Go Johnny go
A
Go
Go Johnny go
E E7
Go
A
Johnny B. Goode
[ Tab from: http://www.guitaretab.com/c/chuck-berry/272708.html ]
A Asus4 A
He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack
Asus4 A
Go sit beneath the tree by the railroad track
D
Oh, the engineers would see him sitting in the shade
A Asus4 A
Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made
E E7 E
People passing by they would stop and say
A Asus4 A
Oh my that little country boy could play

A
Go go
Go Johnny go
Go
Go Johnny go
D
Go
Go Johnny go
A
Go
Go Johnny go
E E7
Go
A
Johnny B. Goode
A Asus4 A
His mother told him “Someday you will be a man,
Asus4 A
And you will be the leader of a big old band.
D
Many people coming from miles around
A Asus4 A
To hear you play your music when the sun go down
E E7 E
Maybe someday your name will be in lights
A Asus4 A
Saying Johnny B. Goode tonight.”

A
Go go
Go Johnny go
Go
Go Johnny go
D
Go
Go Johnny go
A
Go
Go Johnny go
E E7
Go
A
Johnny B. Goode

* Asus4 & E7 optional for effect only

 

 

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