Barracuda Guitar Lesson – Heart

Released in 1977 as the first single off their Little Queen album, "Barracuda" quickly became Heart's signature song that is still heard frequently on the radio today.

It's hard rocking gallop rhythm along with liberal use of harmonics made "Barracuda" one of the standout songs of the seventies.

In this Barracuda guitar lesson video, I will show you note-for-note how to play all the classic guitar chords and riffs found in this hard rock classic. And for good measure, I will show you how to play the guitar solo as well.

The song starts with a signature riff using a gallop rhythm interspersed with natural harmonics. It is a great picking exercise that needs to be played correctly in order to be able to get it up to speed. In this video lesson I will show you exactly how to pick it.

As the verse starts, we continue with this same rhythm with the addition of some quick power chord slides. Try to follow along with the original recording to get the timing of those slides just right.

The chorus moves around quite a bit. There is a harmonized guitar line that sounds very unique. In the lesson I will show you the main guitar part here that sounds great on it's own without the additional harmony guitar part. Playing double-stops this fast can give lots of players fits, so if you are one of those be sure to take your time and get the fingerings down slowly.

The bridge introduces some arpeggio picking patterns that also require you to move around a lot with the chords ala Jimi hendrix. I decided to show this picking note-for-note since it occurs the exact same way both times.

After the bridge arrives the killer guitar solo. There are lots of cool pre-bends, slides and double-stops to contend with. For the fast closing lick I suggest using hybrid picking which I will demonstrate how to play during the video lesson.

So have fun breaking down this really killer guitar track from the incredible Heart!


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Barracuda Guitar Lesson - Heart


  1. Ian Gillies on December 3, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Great job, Carl. I love this song.

    • Josue Alfaro on April 15, 2023 at 9:48 am

      REALLY LOVE this song! Lots of fun to play on the electric. Great job Carl.

  2. Suefry on February 13, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Thank you, that was really great! Would you be willing to teach a lesson on “Even it Up?”

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