How To Play 3 Fun & EASY Beginner Tom Petty Guitar Riffs

Learn to play 3 fun and easy beginner guitar riffs by Tom Petty with Guitar Control instructor Darrin Goodman, aka Uncle D. Be sure to get the free tabs to go along with the video instruction and you will be rockin’ these classic Tom Petty guitar riffs tonight!

Tom Petty Riff


How’s it going everybody? This is Darrin with bringing you this video lesson and today I’ve got three fun and easy beginner riffs from Tom Petty.

Right now Guitar Control is giving away a free chord chart. It’s a free download in PDF format and there’s a link down in the description. Print it off, throw it in your gig bag, put it where you practice; any chord you could ever need at a glance.

Okay so be sure to click on the link in the description for the tabs and let’s get close up and take a look at these 3 fun and easy beginner guitar riffs by Tom Petty .

Tom Petty Riff-1 – Running Down A Dream

All right so the first Tom Petty riff I’m going to look at is the little riff from Running Down a Dream. This is like really simple, it’s all just on the low E string, just single notes. So we start off we’ve got these eighth notes and so we rest on the downbeat of one and then on the and of one is the first note. So we play the open low E string and then on the downbeat of two we go to the seventh fret and we pick that and we pull off to the open string, so two, and then we move down one fret to the sixth fret and do the same thing three, and then to the fifth fret four and, and then the uh the second measure to the third fret, one and, two, three, four… So as I said it’s fairly simple really good Tom Petty riff for a beginner…

Tom Petty Riff-2 – Refugee

All right so next Tom Petty riff we’re going to look at is a riff from Refugee. So this one here it’s a little more challenging if you’re a beginner because it does have a barre chord in it. So we’ve got F sharp minor (F#m), so I’m just taking my first finger and I’m just barring it all the way across the second fret crossed all six strings and then my third finger is going to the fourth fret of the A string and then my fourth finger is going to the fourth fret of the D string. All right so we have this chord and it’s a quarter note and it’s the first two beats, so it’s one two and. So the second beat is tied to the downbeat of three so we’ve got one, two, three and, four and; so for the and of three we go to the second fret of the low E string and this is eighth notes. Then for the downbeat of four we go to the fourth fret and then on the and of four, A5, so for this A5 the A string is open and I’m just using my first finger to pick up the second fret of the D and the G string; so it’s like a regular a major chord, it just doesn’t have the major third in it here on the B string… so one two three and four and. Okay so we hit that A5 on the and of four and then it’s tied to the first beat of the second measure. So we’ve got one, two, three and, four, one and, and then on the downbeat of two we hit the A5 again, two and, and then on the and of two the open low E string and then for the downbeat of three we hit just E major and that’s a half note so it takes care of beats three and four. So for the C major I’ve just got the low E string open, I’m on the second fret of the A string with my second finger and the second fret of the D string with my third finger and then my first finger is here on the first fret of the G string, B and high E strings are open; so we’ve got…

Tom Petty Riff-3 – Free Fallin

All right then the last Tom Petty riff we’re going to look at is a riff from Free Fallen. So for this one you will need a capo and we’ve got it here on the third fret. Now if you do not have a capo you can play this without the capo and it’ll still sound right as far as the melody and everything but you will be lower in pitch so you know it will sound a little bit different.

All right so for this one it’s really simple, we’re gonna do D major and then we’re gonna do some suspended chords. So if you if you’re a beginner and you don’t know what suspended chords are this is like really great for that it’s also kind of a good exercise for just working on it. So we’ve got this D major; D string is open, first finger on the second fret of the G string, third finger on the third fret of the B string and second finger on the second fret of the high E string. And then we’re gonna have D suspended four (Dsus4). So all we do is we just take this chord shape we’re gonna take our pinky and we’re gonna put it down so it’s here on the third fret of the high E string. Now when I’m calling out the frets right now it’s in reference to the capo being on the third fret; so the fourth fret is actually now the first fret. So that’s our Dsus4 and then we go back to D and then we’ve got D suspended two (Dsus2). So for Dsus2 we just take the regular D chord again and now we just remove our second finger so that the high E string is open. So we’ve got D, Dsus4, D and then Dsus2… Now so that’s like the beginning of the song, like the intro, “she’s a good girl”, that part and then when it goes into the the chorus it’s still that same thing but now they just you know… So the doing the suspended chords and which by the way what that means when it’s a suspended chord is that, like in this case you see D and then it says sus4; so when you see the suspended in there what that means and that’s sus is like the abbreviation for suspended it’s you’re omitting the third and replacing it with whatever number, so in the case of D the major third is this F sharp (F#) here and again I’m referring to this without the capo that’s like you know that’s not F# but just to simplify it because it’s going to be the same shape no matter if you’re capoed or not… that’s our major third. So if we put our pinky down here we move that up it’s four because between three and four is only a half step and then if we remove it then that major third goes down a whole step to our major second and that’s what those suspended chords did. So this Dsus2, Dsus4 is really common, it’s in Stairway To Heaven before the guitar solo; so there’s lots of uses for that…


All right so there you have it… three fun and easy beginner riffs from Tom Petty. Now if you like this lesson be sure to give me a thumbs up and leave a comment down below if you have any questions about this or other guitar related topics. If you’ve not already done so please subscribe to the channel and hit that notification bell so you don’t miss any of the content of the upload throughout the week. Well that is all I have for you today. Thanks for watching 3 fun and easy beginner guitar riffs by Tom Petty and have a great day.

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