Guitar lesson for

Sweet Child O' Mine

by Guns N' Roses

Video lesson

Quick note about tuning!

Guns N’ Roses plays with everything tuned down 1/2 step (E becomes Eb, A becomes Ab, etc). In my video lesson, I’m staying in standard tuning to keep things simple.

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!

Enjoy this lesson? Buy me a beer!

If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider donating to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it). Thanks!


Subscribe to my YouTube channel

Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!


Recent video lessons:


Monthly email updates

If you want to keep posted of new lessons over email, sign up for my newsletter. I'll email once a month with a digest of all my new videos. I promise: no spam.


← back to lesson list