How To Play The Opening Guitar Riff From Roundabout By YES | Beginner Guitar Lesson

Hey, how’s it going this is Darrin Goodman with Guitar Control, I want to show the very beginning opening little riff from “Roundabout” by Yes. This lesson really aimed for beginners, it’s not the whole song and it’s not even like the whole last part of the Intro. It’s really a basic thing with the natural harmonics and stuff because it sounds really nice and it’s fairly easy to play to all beginners out there.


This has natural harmonics in it, for those of you that do not know what is a natural harmonic, these are pitches that you make just by touching the string you’re not actually fret fretting pressing down on it and they’re just everywhere but they’re really nice and clear ones that you can fire the 5th, the 7th and the 12th fret. Where going to be looking at it today, so when you’re when you’re doing you’re not pressing down on the string you’re just touching it.

So we’re here at the 12th fret, you don’t want to go like you’re fretting the note in between the fret wire. You actually want to be on top of the fret, so you just touch the string and when you pick, you leave your finger there you can hear a muffled kind of sounds like its palm muted a little bit. What you have to do is pluck the string and remove your finger almost simultaneously, it’s like you’re a millisecond behind on lifting it off. So it takes a little bit of practice to be able to get that right timing on it. Don’t be easily discouraged by it, you know it’s a little challenging at first but you’ll be able to get it later.

I did another lesson that you can find in the channel on “Red Barchetta” by Rush, it has lots of natural harmonics on it. So if you want something that’s really going to give you a good practice and a good workout for playing your natural harmonics check out that that lesson.

By the way I’m playing this with my fingers it’s not really a finger picking song per se, but it’s easier to play with your fingers for the lot of the parts. So we’re going to play the natural harmonic on the 12th fret on the 6th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st strings, my thumb will be playing the 6th string, my first finger is playing the 3rd string, second finger 2nd string, and third finger 1st string. You’re going to pluck the 6th string and then followed immediately by the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st. Let’s take a look what the right hand is doing, so you have a better idea on this part. From my right hand, I’m down with my thumb and then pulling, plucking upwardly with my other fingers.

Moving along we start off with the harmonic thing, were going to put your first finger on the 3rd fret of the 1st string, your second finger on the 5th fret and your fourth finger on the 7th fret. For some people they go this way first, third finger and then fourth finger but for me it’s a lot more comfortable to go this way. So whichever way is more comfortable for you it’s fine, and we’re going to play the 7th fret and then we’re going to pluck the seven and then we go to five and do a hammer-on and pull-off back to five and then a pull off to three and follow it with the 7th fret on the 2nd string, back to the 5th fret of the 1st string.

So you start off with the harmonic and now in a sense you just start over with a slight variation. Now we hit that harmonic on the 6th string 1st and then on the 1st three strings and go back to that riff again but this time we don’t go back to the 1st string right starting on seven and then five hammer to seven pull off to five and three to the 7th fret on the 2nd string and then we go to the 4th fret on the 3rd string and we pick and do a hammer-on to the 5th fret and to the 7th fret and the same thing on the 4th string and end on the 3rd fret of the 5th string.

These notes are right in the end of the G Major scale, so that’s the second and then we do the harmonic on the 12th fret, followed by the 1st three strings, seven and a hammer-on from fives, pull off back five and three, seven on the 2nd string, back to five on the 1st string and then back to the 7th fret on the 2nd string and then from there it goes into this like really cool more complicated ending and then it goes into the main meat and potatoes of the song.

Well I hope you enjoyed that and you got something out of it. Make sure to subscribe on our YouTube Channel and we’ll see you in our next video lessons, thanks for watching.

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