How To Play “Paint It Black” By The Rolling Stones

Check out this Acoustic Guitar Lesson On Paint it Black By The Rolling Stones. Sean Daniel gives step by step video instruction to make this one easy to pickup. Click the link for the included free song chart and you will be rockin’ this classic in record time.

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What’s going on everybody? Sean Daniel with Guitar Control here and today we’re gonna learn a classic song Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones. Make sure you click the link below because it’s gonna have the tab and the chords we’re gonna go over because this is gonna be like an acoustic representation of everything that the band is doing. We’re gonna take into account different parts of the different instruments going on how the drum is playing it etc… Its four parts; we’ve got an intro kind of riff, we have the verse chords, the chorus chords and the outro. The strumming, which is a great lesson in triplets, so a lot of stuff is gonna be covered in this lesson and let’s get right to it.

Paint It Black Riff

Alright one of the most iconic riffs ever on guitar, it sounds like this…  Okay so it’s actually a lot easier than maybe it seems if you never tried it before. It’s using something called a pedal point, all that means is every other note is gonna be the open B string. Okay so the way we’re actually gonna learn it, first is just half of the riff, so even if it ends up sounding like this, we’re gonna learn like this and then we’re gonna add that B string in between every other note, so let’s memorize this. Starts off on the high E string; open 2, 3, 5, 3, 2, open, almost kind of like a scale going forward and backwards right.

Now as soon as we throw that open B string in between every one of the notes sounds like this… all right so awesome sounding riff, love this riff. Okay so just try to memorize this, use your ears, and then as soon as you get that down, throw that open B string in between every single one of those notes.  If you notice with my right hand was going alternate picking back and forth with high in the B strings, really great exercise in picking or if you’re using your fingers, same difference it’s gonna sound great. okay slow one more time for the intro and then you can just jump into the E minor from there if you want, it’s a minor chord there’s only a few chords that you need which are all gonna be on that chord chart, but really to kind of get that sound, what I kind of associate with that sound, I’m just doing this upstroke kind of rake type thing; if you want to kind of actually make it last a little bit longer, just cuz it’s not a quick thing.

All right and then once we get there we’re going to the verse of the song, which conceptually is very easy, but you want to kind of capture the vibe of what’s happening here.

The Chords

All right so it’s just two chords; it’s E minor to B major. Okay so the verse is the way we’re gonna play the verse it’s going like this…  So we’re gonna kind of add some of that pulsing, driving Samba, it’s kind of signature to the song into the chords.

Getting The Vibe

Now the way we’re gonna get the sound, it’s gonna be by breaking out the chord to its root note open E and then the rest of the chord; but I want to do it pretty heavily palm-muted. So we can to get that sound that is trying to capture the vibe of what the band is doing.

Alright so really just taking with side your palm, karate chop near the bridge and then you get this dead kind of sound and then when you hit the root note and the chord you get like a 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &. So if we’re counting like that it would be 2 bars of four and do the same thing on a B major chord; 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &. Okay the way I’m playing a B major barre chord is I’m rooting on the 2nd fret of the A string and using my pinky or my ring finger to bar the 4th fret on the D, G and B strings and then we can go from E minor, you can actually keep your middle finger right where it is to make that B7; it kind of adds a little bit of a different flavor to it, but it’s still definitely Painted Black and it’s a lot easier. You might want to switch it up, maybe one time you can do on the regular E minor to B7 and then the second time the other way. But that’s it, the whole verse really, just those two chords. All right then when we get into what I think of is the chorus and then back into the verse.


Okay so really kind of a simple collection of chords, but played in a cool way so we’re gonna do two strums on most of these chords. Okay great song awesome song a lot that you can learn from the song for parts conceptually very easy, but a lot of techniques use you can employ it to kind of make it sound pretty rockin’, pretty groovy, like a super dark drug trip.

Anyways if you have any questions or comments leave them below and we’ll get back to you. If you have any feedback please let us know. Make sure to check out the other videos that I have around here by other guitar instructors, myself included, bound to be something you want; other songs you want to hear. Any requests? Let us know and we’ll get at you soon, thanks a lot.

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