How To Play 3 Fun & Easy Guitar Riffs By Neil Young

Learn to play 3 fun and easy guitar riffs by Neil Young with Guitar Control instructor Darrin Goodman. Be sure to get the free tabs for these easy Neil Young riffs to go along with the step by step instructions and you will be rockin’ these classic Neil Young riffs tonight!

Neil Young Riff

Introduction

How’s it going everybody? This is Darrin with GuitarControl.com bringing you this video lesson and today I’ve got three fun and easy riffs for you from Neil Young.

Right now GuitarControl.com is giving away this free chord chart, there’s a link down in the description where you can get yours. It’s every chord you could ever need all neatly compiled into one sheet. It’s a PDF format so you can print it out and throw it in your guitar case or put wherever you practice so any chord you could ever need at a glance and it’s a free download, just click the link in the description.

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 guitar riffs by Neil Young .

Neil Young Riff-1 – Heart Of Gold

All right so the first Neil Young riff we’re going to look at is a Heart Of Gold so this we start we’ve got an E minor seven (Em7) and for this voicing of Em7 I’m just playing like a regular E minor chord, except I’m using my first and second finger; sometimes I’ll probably do it this way, I switch around a lot, but just a regular Em but we also just need to pick up the third fret of the B string. So you can do that by using your first and second fingers to do the Em and then like this or this way or whatever is more comfortable for you. So I think I typically do it like this though, but I guess we’ll see. So we’ve got that Em7 and we hit this on one, two and, three and, four and… Now we go to a D; one, two, and then on the and of two back to an Em and then we’ve got this little open A string hammer to the second fret, open D string and G string, hammer to the second fret of the D string, actually it’s not a hammer and then the B string and the high string open. Now when I play that too it’s not always exact, sometimes maybe I’ll do the hammer-on, maybe I won’t hit both of the strings, I’ll hit the one and follow with the G string; any kind of little variation there doesn’t matter because all those notes are gonna be in key, and that’s basically the riff… So I guess I favor doing the Em7 this way. So I don’t know how you play E minor and I’m just playing the seven there; so like I said whichever way is more comfortable for you.

Neil Young Riff-2 – Southern Man

All right so the next Neil Young riff we’re gonna look at is the riff from Southern Man. So when you’re playing this just by yourself obviously you can recognize what song it’s from, but it doesn’t really carry the song very well because on the song you got that piano… it’s really kind of carrying it; so this makes it a little bit more difficult playing the song by yourself. I would do it a little differently we’ll talk about that in a second. So for this we’ve got D minor and we’re palm muting and we play it twice as quarter notes; so one two, and then on beat three we hit the high E string which our first finger is on the first fret because we’re playing Dm, so that’s three. And then on the downbeat of four we hit the B string and then the and of four the B string and high E string together; so it’s like one two three four… so that’s the first measure. And then second measure beat number one this is that Dm chord again and now we go to our first finger still here on the first fret of the highest string so we’re going to take our third finger and we’re going to put it on to the third fret of the high E string and we’re going to pick and pull-off to the first fret two and three and, and then for four and we just move down a string so now we’re doing the same thing on the B string three, pull to the first fret for four and that’s your first two measures… Now we’ve got a B flat  (Bb) and this is a just the top end of like the barre chord. So what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna take our first finger and we’re gonna barre at the third fret across the D, G and B string and we hit this as quarter notes one, two, and then on beat three we do a percussive strum; so I just take my other fingers and just lay them on the strings… So one two three and then on the downbeat of four we have G minor (Gm) so all we’re going to do is take our first finger and you could just keep it barred like it is, but you just want to make sure that you only pick up the top three strings. So if you scoot your finger up leaving the D string open if you act if you accidentally hit it it’s not going to sound as bad because that’s part part of the chord. So one two three four and then that is tied to the first quarter note of the fourth measure, so that’s like four one and then on the downbeat of two we’re going to reach up and grab the fifth fret of the D string, two and then on the downbeat of three we come back to the Gm here and then immediately put our third finger down so it’s on the fifth fret of the first string on the high E string; so we’re still on G string third fret on the B string because we’re just barring we’re just going to move and pick that note up… and then open high E string and then it just starts over again… All right so this is a song I was just gonna play it by myself or do like a campfire sing-along kind of a thing. Just to kind of fill it out and disrupt the chords I just use my pinky just do like a suspended chord… something like that.

Neil Young Riff-3 – Rockin’ The Free World

All right so the last Neil Young riff we’ll look at is a riff from Rockin In The Free World. So this one I’m also looking at an alternative way, but just this main riff we’ve got this E power chord. So I’m barring the second fret of the A and the D string with my first finger and then leaving the low E string open and this is eighth notes palm muted. So it just starts off one and two and three and four and then on the second measure starting on beat one we have just a D barre chord so I’m barring the seventh fret of the D, G and B strings having a hard time counting today and then my first finger is picking up the fifth fret of the A, that’s the D… So we hit that and this is a dotted quarter note so it’s one two and then on the and of two we just move it down a whole step so now it’s C. So we got one two and three four and then it just repeats… pretty easy, but again if I was playing around the campfire or backyard barbecue kind of thing then it would just use Em, D and C… just by kind of adding in those little extra strums and stuff just really kind of thickens it up and livens it up a little bit for a solo performance of this Neil Young riff.

Conclusion

All right so there you have it three fun, not too terribly difficult riffs to play by Neil Young. So if you like this Neil Young riff lesson be sure to give me a thumbs up and leave a comment down below if you have any questions about these Neil Young riffs 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 that we upload throughout the week. Well that is all I have for you today. Thanks for watching 3 fun and easy guitar riffs by Neil Young and have a great day.

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