All Apologies Guitar Lesson – MTV Unplugged – Nirvana

In this quick and easy video guitar lesson, I will show you how to play the acoustic MTV Unplugged version of "All Apologies" by Nirvana.

Before we get started, you will need to tune your guitar starting from the 6th string C# G# C# F# A# D#. Or if the tuner you are using only reads notes as flats that same tuning with all the notes spelled with flats would be Db Ab Db Gb Bb Eb.

There is only a basic guitar riff and a couple of chords to learn for this one. The opening guitar riff is played slightly differently during the instrumental opening than it is during the verse sections of the song.

Kurt Cobain incorporates slides into the riff at the opening of the song. After that though, the riff is played in a more straightforward fashion during the verses by both him and guitarist Pat Smear. I will show you how to perform both versions of the riff.

That riff moves into a strummed power chord that can be played with just one finger due to the dropped tuning used in the song. After that comes a simple A major chord and that is it.

It just goes to show how a great song doesn't need to have a million chords with intricate riffs all over the place. A catchy melody and a couple chords to support it will work just fine as well. And if you are lucky, it can also be a massive hit just like this Nirvana gem.

Have fun with this one guys!


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All Apologies Guitar Lesson - MTV Unplugged - Nirvana


  1. Ronan O'Brien on October 4, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Hey Carl you’re the best. I’ve looked all over youtube for great lessons and you are by far the best. You are so professional and to a great job of teaching everything. I recently started playing and Stairway to heave was first song I learned. Thanks to you I learned the entire thing in only two months. I have one request: can you do some more GN’R like Welcome to the Jungle, Estranged, and Coma especially. Otherwise you’ve got every lesson I want Please keep these awesome lessons coming.

  2. ERIC ADELMAN on July 19, 2016 at 10:40 pm


    thanks again for all you do. i have progressed more, with you in a few months than in the many years since i started.

    where you years ago. i could be melting the fret board by now of if i had you teaching me than haha.

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