Guitar lesson for

Sweet Child O' Mine

by Guns N' Roses

Video lesson

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Quick notes about my acoustic arrangement

I’m in standard tuning Slash tunes all strings on his guitar down 1/2 step (Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb). To keep things easy for you, I’m going to keep things in standard tuning (E A D G B E).

I’m using an easier fretboard position Slash plays things up between the 11th & 15th frets (tough!), but I’ll bring the riff down one octave so it uses the familiar D-major chord position (easy!).

I’m simplifying a few of the notes For the sake of practicality, I’m deviating from what Slash plays for just a few of the notes. 99% of listeners won’t notice the difference!

Intro riff (without ending sequence)

Here’s the main intro riff as I’ll be teaching it in my video lesson! These match the opening 8 measures you hear in the album version of this song (after playing them all, repeat it).

E ||––––––––––3–––2––––|––––––––––3–––2––––|––––––––––3–––2––––|––––––––––3–––2––––|–
B ||––––3––––––––––––––|––––3––––––––––––––|––––3––––––––––––––|––––3––––––––––––––|–
G ||––––––2–0–––2–––2––|––––––2–0–––2–––2––|––––––2–0–––0–––0––|––––––2–0–––0–––0––|–
D ||––0––––––––––––––––|––0––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–
A ||–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––3––––––––––––––––|––3––––––––––––––––|–
E ||–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–
      1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

E –|––––––––––3–––2––––|––––––––––3–––2––––|––––––––––3–––2––––|––––––––––3–––2––––||
B –|––––3––––––––––––––|––––3––––––––––––––|––––3––––––––––––––|––––3––––––––––––––||
G –|––––––2–0–––0–––0––|––––––2–0–––0–––0––|––––––2–0–––2–––2––|––––––2–0–––2–––2––||
D –|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––0––––––––––––––––|––0––––––––––––––––||
A –|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––||
E –|––3––––––––––––––––|––3––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––||
      1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

Intro riff (with ending sequence)

If you want to add the final 2-measure ending sequence to the main riff above, use this tab. Note, aside from the final 2 measures, this is 100% the same as the tab above!

E ||––––––––––3–––2––––|––––––––––3–––2––––|––––––––––3–––2––––|––––––––––3–––2––––|–
B ||––––3––––––––––––––|––––3––––––––––––––|––––3––––––––––––––|––––3––––––––––––––|–
G ||––––––2–0–––2–––2––|––––––2–0–––2–––2––|––––––2–0–––0–––0––|––––––2–0–––0–––0––|–
D ||––0––––––––––––––––|––0––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–
A ||–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––3––––––––––––––––|––3––––––––––––––––|–
E ||–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–
      1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

E –|––––––––––3–––2––––|––––––––––3–––2––––|––0–––––––0–––2––––|––3–––2–––0––––––––||
B –|––––3––––––––––––––|––––3––––––––––––––|––––––3––––––––––––|––––––––––––––3––––||
G –|––––––2–0–––0–––0––|––––––2–0–––0–––0––|––––2–––2–––2–––2––|––––2–––2–––2–––2––||
D –|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––0––––––––––––––––|––0––––––––––––––––||
A –|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––||
E –|––3––––––––––––––––|––3––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––||
      1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

The fingerpicking sequences you’ll need

The full intro riff, tabbed above, uses these three sequences. Each pattern is played repeated (played twice in a row), before moving to the next sequence. I share this so you understand: these 3 measures are all you need to learn! Once you’ve mastered them, simply repeat them as needed and you’re good to go.

     Sequence 1             Sequence 2             Sequence 3

E ||––––––––––3–––2––––   ––––––––––3–––2––––    ––––––––––3–––2––––    
B ||––––3––––––––––––––   ––––3––––––––––––––    ––––3––––––––––––––    
G ||––––––2–0–––2–––2––   ––––––2–0–––0–––0––    ––––––2–0–––0–––0––    
D ||––0––––––––––––––––   –––––––––––––––––––    –––––––––––––––––––    
A ||–––––––––––––––––––   ––3––––––––––––––––    –––––––––––––––––––    
E ||–––––––––––––––––––   –––––––––––––––––––    ––3––––––––––––––––    
      1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +       1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +        1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +      

There’s also this optional “ending” sequence that you can use for the final 2 measures of the riff. If you want to use this, here’s the isolated tab:

E ||––0–––––––0–––2––––|––3–––2–––0––––––––
B ||––––––3––––––––––––|––––––––––––––3––––
G ||––––2–––2–––2–––2––|––––2–––2–––2–––2––
D ||––0––––––––––––––––|––0––––––––––––––––
A ||–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––
E ||–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––
      1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

Understanding chord shapes of each fingerpicking sequence

When digging into the fingerpicking patterns used in this song, I recommend starting by learning these positions. Get used to switching to these chord shapes – because all the fingerpicking magic you’ll add later (with your right hand) will require your left hand to be in these positions.

     Sequence 1             Sequence 2             Sequence 3

E ||–(2)–––––––––––––––   –––––––––––––––––––    –––––––––––––––––––
B ||––3––––––––––––––––   ––3––––––––––––––––    ––3––––––––––––––––
G ||––2––––––––––––––––   ––2––––––––––––––––    ––2––––––––––––––––
D ||––0––––––––––––––––   –––––––––––––––––––    –––––––––––––––––––
A ||–––––––––––––––––––   ––3––––––––––––––––    –––––––––––––––––––
E ||–––––––––––––––––––   –––––––––––––––––––    ––3––––––––––––––––
      1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +       1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +        1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

Good luck!

Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you. If you’d like to learn how to play the full song beyond this riff, let me know!

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