How To Play Sweet Emotion
Today we are going to learn how to play Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith! This song is so cool. The vocals are awesome, the guitars are awesome, everything is awesome. It’s super bluesey and super rock and roll. But what else would you expect from Aerosmith! Today we’re going to go over three different parts of the song. The verse, the bridge, and then chorus.
Step 1: The Verse
The first part in learning how to play Sweet Emotion is to instead of doing a full D chord, we lift our middle finger making the chord a D5 so we are only holding down the root ands the 5th degree of the scale. This is very popular in rock music, we eliminated the 3rd which is what defines chords and major or minor. So to play the D5 we place our pointer on the 3rd string 2nd fret and our ring finger on the 2nd fret 3rd string and we strum from the 4th string open, which is a D, so we strum from the 4th string to the 2nd string. The next chord is an A5 where we place our pointer on the 4th string 2nd fret and also holding down the 3rd string 2nd fret with our pointer. Then we play the open 5th string which is an A to the the 3rd string. To transition between these two chords we strum the D5 once and then straight to the A5 twice. To get this upbeat sound and nail this rhythm when we strum the A5 twice, I slap my hand down in between to mute the strings and really make these chords accented and pop out.
Now the fill. We start with a pull off where we have our finger pressed down adding pressure on the 5th string 3rd fret then I just drag my finger off instead of picking to sound out the open 5th string. So a pull off is two notes but one attack. Then we go to the 6th string 3rd fret to play the G note, then back to the open 5th string, and then back to the G. You can do all this while still holding your finger down on the A5. So my pointer really stays in the same place, the biggest movement is when we jump from holding down just the 3rd string 2nd fret with our pointer when we’re playing the D5 to moving our pointer up one string but same fret and now holding down both the 4th and 3rd strings 2nd fret with our pointer for the A5. Using the same finger in the same fret makes a really easy transition from D5 to A5. If you are enjoying this lesson be sure to check out our Groovy Aerosmith rhythm guitar lesson, for a closer look at the groovy rhythm for this song and the main riff from Walk This Way.
Step 2: The Bridge and The Chorus
Now for the bridge. We start with a pull off on the 5th string. Pulling off frets 5 to 3. Keeping the pressure of having our pointer on the 3rd fret that whole time and pulling off from the 5th fret with our ring finger. Then we place our ring finger on the 6th string 5th fret. Then we have this ascending part where we pick the open 6th string, 2nd fret picked twice, the 3rd fret is picked 3 times with a gap between the second and third pick, to the 4th fret which is picked twice to the 5th fret which is picked once. And again all of this is on the 6th string, I used a lot of alternate picking for this part, too! It’s always faster and helpful when needing to move quickly and efficiently. So we do all of that twice and then the last time it’s just slightly different for the ascending part. We do the same pull of lick but every note on the ascending part on the 6th string just gets one hit So pulling off 5th fret to 3rd on the 5th string and then plucking the open 6th string, the 2nd fret, the 3rd, the 4th and the 5th all just once.
Now for the chorus and the very last part we’re gonna go over. The very first time we play the chorus is different from every other time it repeats. The first time it starts with an open 4th string, then a pull off on the 3rd fret 5th string to zero on the 5th string, I used my middle finger. Then we got to the 4th string and pick the 5th fret pulled off to zero using our pinky and pluck the 5th string open once. Then I do a double stop on the 4th and 3rd strings on the 2nd fret with my pointer twice, with that same jumpy rhythm, slightly muting in between each hit. Then I pull off with my pink on the 5th fret 5th string to the 3rd fret 5th string and bend it down. Every other time we play this chorus riff we are going to start with an open A5 power chord. Then to the 5th fret 4th string with our pink pulling off to the open 4th string. Open 5th string to a double stop twice again. Then the same ending as before. Pulling off from the 5th string 5th string with your pinky to the 3rd fret 5th string with our middle finger and bending down. So every time after the first time we start it this way, with the A5.
Recap: How to Play Sweet Emotion
I hope you enjoyed learning how to play Sweet Emotion. This is the perfect song for any Blues Rock fan! Remember to watch you finger placement and make these riffs as easy on yourself as possible and have fun! This song is really fun, so start slow to make sure you include all the details and then bring it up to speed. Check the video for any questions, and again, always most importantly, have fun!