Black Hole Sun Guitar Lesson – Soundgarden

In this video lesson we are going to take an in-depth look at Soundgarden's biggest hit "Black Hole Sun".

This song is full of rarely used guitar chords and some cool techniques as well. In this Black Hole Sun guitar lesson, we are going to learn how to play all of them.

First though, just as I state in the video lesson, you will need to tune your guitar to dropped "D" tuning (DADGBE). Also, the original recording is about a 1/4 step sharp. So if you want to play along with the original recording you will have to adjust for that.

The intro starts with a series of arpeggio picked dropped "D" chord voicings. These chords make a for beautiful and melodic chord sequence and really help set the tone for the rest of the song.

From there the verse is made up of a cool triad based progression played in the high register of the guitar. Here you will need to pay close attention to the phrasing of those arpeggio picked notes. It creates a very atmospheric sound along with the effects. This is also a great exercise due to the awkward chord voicings.

The chorus is similar to the intro but requires you to also play a maj-sus4 barre chord transition that can be a bit tricky.

The rhythm guitar part to the solo uses some cool hammer-ons and slides, but will probably be the easiest section of the song for you to learn.

I would put the level of this song at around an intermediate level due to it's awkward chord voicings and upper register triad usage. But I also think it would be a great exercise for just about any level player. Have Fun!


If these free lessons help you, please donate to keep new ones coming daily. Thanks!! 🙂

Donate to GuitarLessons365
Other Amount:

Black Hole Sun Guitar Lesson - Soundgarden


  1. Laurent Reymond on July 28, 2017 at 2:56 am

    Hi Carl, I get the solo is quite hard to teach as it is chaotic!
    However, what key is used for the solo section do you think ?
    I’d say G major/E minor, but I’m not 100% sure.

    • Carl Brown on July 28, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      Hey Laurent, he is actually basing most of his improv around A minor pentatonic and A natural minor scales. 🙂

  2. Matthew Clements on January 18, 2019 at 7:27 am

    Ok I got it in Drop D and slightly over on each string like you said, but when I added the delay/chorus pedal on my BOSS GT-1, it didn’t sound right. Not even like the recording. I found a youtube video where it was only the guitar and it still didn’t help. Advice?

    …I’m a fan, by the way.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.