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

This simple guitar riff 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 opening 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.

Keep in mind that you don't have to finger everything exactly the way I do. I will let you know of a couple options in the lesson that might be a little more comfortable for some people.

That's about it from me. Enjoy! Carl..

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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!

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