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Kickstart My Heart Guitar Lesson – Motley Crue – Famous Riffs

Today's lesson comes to you by way of the great Motley Crue with their scorching main riff to "Kickstart My Heart".

First things first, this Kickstart My Heart guitar lesson 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.

Alright with that out of the way, we have a few things to concern ourselves with while learning this awesome riff.

One thing you will notice from the get go is that the 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.

Also, pay close attention at the end of the video when I demonstrate how I mute the 1st 2nd and 3rd strings while I am doing the pull-offs in the riff. If you don't properly mute those strings there will most likely be a lot of unwanted noise from those strings during the pull-offs.

Remember, take it slow and keep everything nice and accurate in the beginning and you will be playing Kickstart My Heart up to speed in no time. 🙂


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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!!

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