Kickstart My Heart Guitar Lesson – Motley Crue

This Kickstart My Heart guitar lesson video will show you how to play this classic hit by Motley Crue in it's entirety.

First things first, the tuning for "Kickstart My Heart" guitar is tuned down a whole step. The song just doesn't sound right without it. From low to high that would mean you need to tune you guitar D G C F A D.

The main riff/chorus riff for "Kickstart My Heart" is probably one of the most fun you will ever play.

One thing you will notice from the get go is that this riff moves around a lot and is quite fast. Guitarist Mick Mars does an excellent job of creating an exciting riff by using a multitude of techniques including palm muting, rapid downstrokes, alternate picking, fast shifts, pull-offs, barring and muting.

To get all of these elements under control, I seriously suggest learning the riff in sections (like I break it up in the lesson video) and playing the parts very slowly until the notes fall under the fingers without you having to think about them very much. More like muscle memory I would say.

After that, I will cover every riff in the song in the order that each appears.

I will also cover Mick Mars' guitar solo and fills. The solo uses a talk box throughout. Since I don't personally own a talk box, I will just try and recreate the sound via a standard wah pedal, which is what I think most players will do as well.

Have fun with this one, it is a blast to play!


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Kickstart My Heart Guitar Lesson


  1. Jonathan G on January 4, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Hi Carl,

    Thanks for what you do. I learn most of my rock repetoire from online video lessons. I get excited/relieved when my search results show up with you as the instructor. Anyway, is there a possibility you could post the solo for this one?

  2. Tony Wilson on February 10, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Hey Carl,

    Love this song so much!!!!! 2100 Likes on You Tube. Can we get the whole song man.

    I know you are busy but if you can add it to your to do list,much appreciated

    Thanks again for the riff

    • Carl Brown on February 11, 2019 at 9:42 am

      Yeah I still have a few songs on the site left to finish. You seem to be able to find all of them. Haha!!

  3. Budgie on August 24, 2022 at 9:32 am

    Hi Carl, isn’t that second 8th note (g# if one plays g, g#, a) right after the whammy bar-intro actually an out-of-tune note?

    • Carl Brown on September 7, 2022 at 7:47 am

      It is just a chromatic passing tone. Great musical device to use when you want a little dissonance in your riffs.

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