Don’t Fear The Reaper Guitar Lesson – Blue Oyster Cult

Well let's see if I can get through this without making a cowbell joke. 🙂

The opening guitar riff  to "Don't Fear the Reaper" is instantly recognizable by just about any person who has ever turned on a radio. In this "Don't Fear The Reaper" guitar lesson video, I will show you how to play the entire song note-for-note.

For the intro/main riff, we will be using a simple picking pattern that repeats quite a few times so it shouldn't take very long to get every thing together with this one.

For those of you just starting out and trying to find cool guitar riffs to practice arpeggiated picking or in other words, picking the strings one at a time while holding down a chord, I think this intro riff to "Don't Fear The Reaper" will be a great little exercise for you.

The fact that the riff just repeats over and over with the same picking pattern is what makes it such a good exercise. Take advantage of this because most songs don't fall into place quite so easily. This intro/main riff is also used throughout the verse and chorus.

I will tackle each riff in the order that each appears on the original recording. In various sections you will hear some very cool guitar fills. I will be covering those in-depth as well.

However, the star of the show here is the musical interlude section that contains the solo. It starts off with some ominous arpeggios followed by a crushing rhythm guitar riff under a very exotic sounding solo. Very very cool indeed.

Have fun with this massive rock classic. Cowbell lesson coming soon! 🙂 Carl...

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

Donate to GuitarLessons365
Other Amount:

Don't Fear The Reaper Guitar Lesson


  1. Anonymous on November 5, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    That Great I love your lessons. Thank you for putting this together.

  2. alvin sears on February 13, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    yes please…thanks

  3. ronnie sampson on August 30, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    whole song carl please!

  4. Frank Montalti on September 27, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    I got a fever….and the only prescription is more cowbell

  5. FCS on May 18, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Yes Carl, please can you put the solo lesson video too.

  6. Chris Laughter on August 11, 2017 at 1:42 am

    +1 on more BOC .

  7. Mason Carter on September 8, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Hey Carl, I love your guitar lessons, I would love to be able to learn more of Don’t Fear The Reaper. Thanks.

  8. michael whitley on November 9, 2019 at 6:17 am

    Be great to learn the entire song so if you can get to it one day it would be great. Thanks Carl

  9. George Kerr on January 7, 2020 at 8:10 am

    Do the whole song please. Also Godzilla.

  10. Matthew Ratliffe on January 17, 2020 at 11:33 am

    YES Carl! More cowbell! More of the song please. Thanks again for all the great lessons!

  11. Shane J. on March 13, 2021 at 9:18 am

    Favorite song analysis ever….”this is not -verse- -pre-chorus- -chorus- -Yay!-“

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.