Learn to play three killer riffs by Tesla with Guitar Control instructor Darrin Goodman. Be sure to get the free tabs to go along with the video instruction and you will be rockin’ these sweet riffs tonight.
Hey everybody how’s it going? This is Darrin with GuitarControl.com bringing you this video lesson. Today I want to show you how to play three cool riffs from Tesla and Tesla is one of my favorite bands from that 80s era. I kind of liked them because they were a little bit different than you know the kind of the cookie cutter thing that was going on at that time and lots of cool guitar riffs and really fun to play. So be sure to click on the link in the description for the tabs let’s get close up and take a look at these.
Tesla Riff-1 Little Suzi
All right so the first one I’m going to look at is the riff from Little Suzi. So this one we’re going to have a clean tone, on the album I actually think they play this on an acoustic guitar, but we’re going to do it on the electric today. So we’re going to start off we’re going to play the D and the G strings open and then do a hammer-on to the second fret of the G string with our first finger, so that’s like one and, and then on the downbeat of two we’re going to take our third finger we’re going to go to the fourth fret of the D string and then follow that with the G string open, and that’s like one and two and, and then that’s tied to the downbeat of three one and two and three and then on the and of three we hit the open D string and then we’re playing a D chord; so we’re on the second fret of the G string with my first finger and typically you’d use your third finger to play the third fret of the B string, but I’m going to use my second finger just because it makes it just a little bit easier in this situation and that’s like the first measure… So when we hit that that’s on the downbeat of four and then that’s tied to another eighth note so it like gets the whole beat and then starting on the downbeat of the second measure we’re going to go to the second fret of the D string and we’re going to pick that and do a hammer-on to the fourth fret; so that’s one and, and then the down beat of two is the open A string and then the and of two is the open D string and then that’s tied to beats three and four and that’s like the first two measures… And then on the third measure it’s the same thing as the first one… and then the fourth measure is similar to the second measure as we do that on the D string second fret hammer to the fourth fret and then we follow that and that’s one and, and then on the downbeat of two we hit the open D string and then we put our fingers on like for that D chord again so second fret of the G string with my first finger and third fret of the B string with my second finger and that’s on the and of two and it takes up the rest of the time. So that’s the first four measures which is like this whole riff we’re doing is eight measures long. Okay and then moving on to measure five it’s actually the same as uh measure one and measure six is the same as measure two so we just like play the f it’s like the first two measures again… Okay and then on the seventh measure we start with the open B string, open G string, open D string and then hammer to the second fret; so that’s one and two, and then you’re just going to take that first finger and lay it down flat so we’re barring the second fret of the B, G and D strings three and four, and then a hammer-on the and of four to the fourth fret… Then we’re gonna do that same like kind of D chord thing again and then the second fret of the D string hammer to the fourth fret and then just back to that chord again and that’s the whole the whole riff…
Tesla Riff-2 Modern Day Cowboy
All right so now we’re going to look at Modern Day Cowboy and this is definitely the hardest one of these three that we’re going to be looking at; so if you’re a beginner this one might be really tough but it’s really going to kind of you know help you to get your legato chops on. So we’re going to have a overdrive tone for this and we’re going to start off the timing on this is really kind of weird; so we’ve got the first fret of the low E string and this is an eighth note and then we go to the first fret of the A string and we’re gonna pick and then hammer to the third fret and then the fifth fret and this is a sixteenth note triplet and then you just move that shape up a whole step so now you’re at the third fifth and seventh fret and you pick hammer again… then you move to the D string frets three five and seven pick hammer, hammer and that’s the first measure… So that definitely takes some practice to get that down really smooth. I remember when I learned how to play this song back when it when it came out and this first part of it completely kicked my butt and I was played it wrong for a long time because I just didn’t realize that i was playing it wrong and the way I was playing it was much easier actually, but it wasn’t correct, so that’s our first measure… Then on the second measure we’re just going to go to a regular old A5 chord; so I just use my first finger and just barre the second fret of the D and the G string and strum it three times like that… And then we have the open A string pedaled five times and it’s two sixteenth notes then an eighth note and then two sixteenth notes, so it’s kind of weird timing, it’s one two three four five, so too quick short too quick, then moving on to measure three we’ve got an F5; so you’re just going to take where your first finger is now you’re just going to scoot it up a half step so your first finger is on the third fret of the D string and then I’m going to use my pinky here you could use your third finger but I use my pinky and I’ll show you why. So we’ve got that F5, but then we’re going to do F5 over E (F5/E); so what we’re going to do is that then our first finger is going to move down a half step from the third fret to the second fret but we’re going to keep this finger here and then back up again and then that same pedaled A string and then you just move that shape up a whole step so we’re at the fifth and seventh fret and do the same thing, so five and seven four and seven, back to five and seven and then that’s basically the whole riff and it repeats…
Tesla Riff-3 Love Me
All right then the last one we’re going to look at is the riff from Love Me and this one we start off on the first measure we rest on the first three beats and then on the on beat four we’re going to start here at the 17th fret and we’re going to slide out of that. So again you want to you want to try to have it be there and this first one is easy because you can you’re starting there, but it does it again later where you don’t have as much time to be ready for it; so if you end up starting on a different fret it’s not a huge deal i mean you really want to try to make it you know land on 17 but if it doesn’t happen it’s not the end of the world. So one two three four then we’re going to do a regular A chord so you’re going to want to barre your finger and on the downbeat of one we’ve got that A… and then we’ve got a D over A (D/A); so keep your first finger there and then you’re gonna take your second finger and it’ll go on to the third fret of the B string and your third finger will go onto the fourth fret of the D string, so it’s kind of like you’re doing an uh a B minor seven chord… and then back to the A… and that’s the second measure and it’s like one two and three and, and then you rest on the and of three and four. Then the next measure we’re back with the A again and the difference between these two is that on the first one it’s one A and one D/A back to two A’s and then on the third measure it’s two A’s to the D/A and then three A’s with the rest again and that’s the first three measures… Then for the fourth measure of this we’re gonna take our first finger and we’re gonna move it all the way up to the ninth fret so now we’re barring the D, G and B strings at the ninth fret and we’re gonna do that same thing, same shape, and now our first finger second finger will be on the 10th fret of the B string and our third finger will be on the 11th fret of the D string, same timing, except now on the downbeat of four we come up to 17 and slide out of that again… And then there’s a little lick thing that we have to do so now we’re going to come down play the open low E string to the second fret to the open to the second fret and a bend and release and then it just and then it just repeats…
All right so there you have it, three cool riffs from Tesla. The first and the third one aren’t too terribly bad if you’re a little green at the guitar, but that second one, Modern Day Cowboy is kind of challenging. Even when I was getting prepared to do this and as you can see I wasn’t playing it perfectly, it takes a little bit of practice to get that down, but it’s worth it you know so if you are a beginner and you haven’t really done a lot of stuff with hammer-ons and you know legato playing and stuff this is a great one for you know for practice just don’t worry about trying to play it you know really fast right now just you know play the right notes get the clarity on the notes and the speed will come with time. So 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 that we upload throughout the week. Well that is all i have for you today. Thanks for watching and have a great day.