How to Play Godzilla On Guitar
In this Guitar Control lesson, Instructor, Robert Baker, is going to show you how to play Godzilla on guitar by the Blue Oyster Cult. There aren’t a ton of parts to this song but all the parts are so fun. Robert remembers when he learned it made him feel like the cool kid in school. So again, this is a really, really fun song to learn. In this lesson we will cover the solo and what is going on there, like I was saying before there isn’t a whole lot going on in this song, the whole song is basically a solo.
Step 1: The Godzilla Riff
Step one in learning how to play Godzilla on guitar, is learning the Godzilla riff. It starts out with a simple power chord. The whole thing is just power chords actually. The riff is going to be an F# power chords so pointer on the 2nd fret 6th string and ring finger on the 5th string 4th fret. Strum only these two strings, the 6th and the 5th strings. Then move each of your fingers down a string to the next chord, a B5. Now your pointer is on the 5th string 2nd fret and your ring finger is on the 4th string 4th fret. Then move up two frets to the C#5 power chord rooted on the 6th string 4th fret. So now your pointer is on the 5th string 4th fret and your ring finger is on the 4th string 6th fret. Then move each of your fingers up a string, so now your pointer is on the 6th string 4th fret holding down an G#5 and your ring finger is on the 5th string 6th fret. Then move over one fret to the to the A5 on the 6th string, placing your pointer on the 5th fret and your ring finger on the 5th string 7th fret. All of these power chords are only played once and a lot of what makes this riff so cool is the rhythm and groove they put behind this chord progression. It makes it really cool but also makes it a little difficult.
The final part here is just simply going 5th string 6th fret with your pointer and the 4th string 8th fret with your ring finger, then move up to the E5, pointer on the 5th string 7th fret and ring finger on the 4th string 9th fret. Then move each of your fingers up one string to the 6th string 7th fret with your pointer and the 5th string 9th fret and this is a B5. Then straight back to the beginning to repeat. The the little lead part they add comes in. There are two guitars in this section. So you either wanna be bending the 9th fret 3rd string up a full step with really wide vibrato, up and down a bunch of times. Or you can be bending the 12th fret on the 1st string up a full step with lots of vibrato. You can’t do both at the same time, but that’s what is happening right there, there are two guitars and each one playing one of those bends. If you are enjoying learning this riff be sure to check out our lesson on how to play No Quarter by Led Zeppelin for another awesome power chord riff.
Step 2: The Chorus
The chorus is really cool cause it goes to this E5 and move back and forth between the E5 and the F#5. This part is kind of like a free for all, they’re just kind of grooving on those chords. So to play the E5, you have an open 6th string and then then put your pointer down on the 5th string 2nd fret and your middle finger down on the 4th string 2nd fret and strum strings 6 through 4. Robert kind of strums, down down down up up down down. The you switch to the F# 5 and you play that by placing your pointer finger down on the 2nd fret 6th string and your ring finger down on the 4th fret 5th string, with your pinky right under on the 4th fret 4th string, strumming only strings 6, 5, and 4. This is basically the whole section and behind this rhythm there are a ton of fills. We aren’t going to cover all the little fills today though so feel free to make your own. We aren’t going to focus on these fills, today we will just be focusing on the main solo.
Step 3: The Solo
So after you do all of those parts, then it goes into the solo. Robert is going to give you the general idea of what the solo is doing. You have to listen closely to hear all the percussive notes that Blue Oyster Cult does. This solo is all out of the F#minor pentatonic scale then there is going to be a really cool descending kind of Jimmy Page style lick. But to start go to the F#minor pentatonic box 1. Playing the 14th fret to 17th on the 6th string using your pointer to pinky fingers, then on the 5th, 4th, and 3rd strings you play the 14th fret to the 16th fret with your pointer to ring finger, and on the 2nd and 1st string you play the 14th fret to the 17th fret with your pointer to pinky. So within this box shape, he starts with a big bend on the 17th fret 1st string, bending with his pinky finger and supporting his bend with his third, second, and first fingers. He bends it one full step up and then brings it back down, pulling off to the 1st string 12th fret, so pulling off the 17th fret to the 14th fret twice on the high E string, the 1st string. Then picking the 2nd string 17th fret with your pinky finger and then back to the 14h fret 1st string with your pointer finger. Then you are going to repeat this pattern but change what strings you use. So this time instead of playing it on the 1st and 2nd strings, he now plays it on the 2nd and 3rd strings, changing the frets according to the scale. This is all played within that F# minor pentatonic scale. So now playing 2nd string 17th fret pull off to the 14th fret twice, and then 3rd string pick the 16th fret and then pick the 1st string 14th fret. Then do the same pattern on the 3rd and 4th strings, pulling off from the 16th fret to the 14th fret twice on the 3rd string, then picking the 16th fret 4th string and then picking the 14th fret 3rd string. Then move it up again to the 4th and 5th strings, pulling off from the 16th fret to the 14th twice on the 4th string, then picking the 16th fret 5th string once, and then picking the 14th fret 4th string once. Then again on the 5th and 6th strings, pulling off from the 16th fret to the 14th fret twice on the 5th string, then slide your pointer finger down to the 5th string 12th fret and then pick the 14th fret 6th string with your ring finger and lots of vibrato. So 16th fret pull of twice on the 5th string, slide to the 12th fret and then pick the 6th string 12th fret with your ring finger, putting you back on the root.
Then there is a little walk up on the low E, picking the 4th fret with your ring finger and the 5th fret with your pinky, then on the 5th string pick the 2nd, 3rd and 4th frets using your pointer finger, middle and ring. By adding the 3rd fret 5th string we are playing the flat 5 of the scale and incorporating the blues scale. Same thing on the 4th string, frets 2, 3, and 4, using our pointer, middle and ring fingers, and the 4th string 3rd fret is a passing tone. A passing tone is a note that’s not really part of the scale, but we just kind of pass over it.
This next part is a little tricky, we bend the 4th fret 3rd string, then you play the 2nd fret on both the 1st and 2nd strings at the same time, then bend the 4th fret 3rd string again, this time both up and release, then pull off to the 2nd fret 3rd string. Then pick the 4th fret 4th string to the 3rd string 2nd fret, then end with two picks on the 4th string 4th fret.
Then pick the 4th fret 4th string four more times, then slide up to the 11th fret 3rd string and pick it four times, then pick the 3rd string 9th fret. Then bend the 12th fret 2nd string one full step, bend and release. Then head back to the open position for a double stop lick. Holding down the 2nd fret on the 3rd and 2nd strings, and the 4th fret on the 4th string, then pick the double stop again twice, then back to the 4th fret 4th string, and then back to the double stop twice, then one more time on the 4th fret 4th string. Ending with a bend on the 4th fret 3rd string, bend and release, pull off to the 2nd fret 3rd string, and end on the 4th fret 4th string. Then go all the way up the fretboard towards your picking hand and pick the 16th fret to the 14th fret on the 4th string using your ring finger to pointer, do this 3 times in a row and then pick the 16th fret 4th string one more time with lots of vibrato. Then go straight to the 2nd string picking the 17th fret to the 14th fret back to the 17th fret. The second time you play the 17th fret it is a full step bend with tons of wide vibrato like we did earlier in the song. The same thing the two different guitars did in the beginning.
Recap: How to Play Godzilla On Guitar
I hope you enjoyed learning how to play Godzilla on guitar. This song is super cool and basically one progression and one big solo. Feel free to have fun with the chorus adding in your own fills and use the licks and runs in the solo to inspire licks and runs in your own solos and improving repertoire. And of course, as always, have fun!