Dream On Guitar Lesson – Aerosmith

In this video guitar lesson series we get to take a look at how to play "Dream On" by Aerosmith in it's entirety.

This main riff is probably best played using hybrid picking. If you have never really used hybrid picking before this Dream On guitar lesson could be a good starting point for you. The hybrid picking is actually very consistent and I think the easiest way to play this riff.

The chord forms used in the intro riff can be a little bit awkward. They include some pretty large stretches at one point, and it is best to just take your time with this section of the riff.

Besides the intro riff, I also teach you the little guitar fill that happens right before the first verse in the first video lesson. This little guitar lick is quite fun to play and moves around quite a bit. However, this short guitar fill does have a lot of consistent techniques in it that are used over and over. It it has two main licks that are sequenced up and down the scale repeatedly.

So I would put this lesson at an intermediate level due to the fact that we use hybrid picking and have some pretty decent chord stretches with some bigger jumps as well as the guitar fill at the end.

Take your time with all this stuff and try to break it down into little parts. These chord voicings that Joe Perry and Brad Whitford are using could also perhaps inspire your own chord work that uses those voicings.

Whenever I learn a riff I like to take some of the more unique elements about it and expand upon them and try to create my own thing in that style. You will learn a lot more from the riff that way and eventually be able to take things like this and make them your own.

In the second video lesson we will pick up from the very first verse in the song and learn all the guitar parts throughout the rest of the song (including the guitar solo) note-for-note.

I open this video lesson with a full performance of the guitar solo then go back and break down all the verses, chorus and fills found throughout the song. At the end of the lesson, I will show you how to play Joe Perry's killer guitar solo phrase-by-phrase.

This solo isn't too much of a challenge. Joe Perry keeps everything pretty musical and accessible so once again I think an intermediate level player would do well with it. 🙂

Okay, on to the videos! Carl...

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Dream On Guitar Lesson Pt.1

Dream On Guitar Lesson Pt.2


  1. gary on June 27, 2014 at 2:08 am

    Wow, Thanks for that one. I learned it from tab, and incorrect tab at that. still recovering from carpal tunnel surgery, but I can’t wait to re-learn that one the right way.
    You Rock Carl !!

  2. kperry on February 1, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you! I’ve been wanting to learn this one for a long time.

  3. robertokirsten on September 12, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Hey Carl, love this song and as always your teaching style is fantastic. Thanks for that. I have a question. That last part of the intro that is pretty fast, i’ve been practicing but my progress has been very slow (i’ve been working on it for 2 weeks now almost every day for 15-20 minutes/day). Is there any technique lesson from your site that you can recommend to help in that particular section of the intro or I should just keep practicing the song itself? Thanks in advance for responding . have a great weekend.

    • Carl Brown on September 12, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Hey Roberto, my main suggestion would be to make sure you isolate just that fast part when you are practicing. You don’t need to practice the whole intro if most of it is easy for you.

      As for the technical aspects. I believe speed bursts are the greatest tools we have as musicians to develop faster technique no matter what the instrument.

      I have a lesson on those here: https://guitarlessons365.com/guitar-speed-bursts-breaking-your-own-speed-barrier/

      You can apply those concepts to this lick and it should really help you. 🙂


      • robertokirsten on September 12, 2015 at 9:30 pm

        that makes sense. Thanks a lot for the quick response and for link of the lesson.
        Have a great one

  4. Daniel Schram on November 18, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Thanks for these great lessons Carl. Could you do a few more Aerosmith lessons in the near future? Something off the “Get your wings” album would be great.

  5. Tommy Radcliffe on February 19, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Hey Carl:
    I am trying to help my 23 year old nephew as he is starting his own band. He is an incredible singer, but he has playing Bass Guitar for only a year. He is good, but I was wondering if you knew of a site like yours for Bass Guitar instruction? I am helping him as best as I can, but I am
    a guitarist, and handling all the guitar parts in songs like this on; Dream On, and a lot of others that require a professional guitarist. So, thanks for refreshening me on Dream On, and if so please let me know about the Bass G. lessons.
    Thanks again,
    Tommy Rad

    • Carl Brown on February 20, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Hey Tommy, can’t say that I really know much about bass guitar lessons around the web.

      I am sure they exist, but I don’t know if the level of free song lessons would be as much as mine since I don’t know of any other resource like that for any instrument on the web.

      Wish I could be of more help!


  6. Eric H on February 3, 2017 at 5:14 am

    Mr. Brown,
    I’m trying to figure out the strumming pattern for the power chords at about the 3 minute point in the video lesson. Is it down-down-down then slide up to the next chord and repeat.

  7. Mike Kidwell on September 15, 2019 at 9:18 am

    Hi Mr. Brown,

    Did your website provide access to tabs or chord charts for this (Dream On) or other lessons?


    • Carl Brown on September 15, 2019 at 10:01 am

      Hey Mike, unfortunately I can’t provide TABS to any songs not in the public domain due to international copyright restrictions. 🙁

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