Little Guitars Guitar Lesson w/Intro – Van Halen

In this Little Guitars guitar lesson video series, I will show you how to play this great song off of Van Halen's Diver Down album.

Technically, this is two tracks on the album, hence, I have created two video lessons, one for the acoustic intro piece and one for the main track.

The tuning of the "Little Guitars (Intro)" is standard tuning with a capo placed at the 2nd fret.

For the main electric guitar track, Eddie is using a shorter scale Les Paul copy guitar. This shorter scale guitar is tuned a minor 3rd higher in pitch that a normal sized guitar. This "little guitar" is the reason for the song's title. In addition to the higher pitched guitar, Eddie threw the guitar into a drop tuning by lowering the 6th string down a whole tone. For those of us who don't own one of these shorter scale guitars, the easiest way to achieve this tuning on a standard sized guitar is to put your guitar into Dropped "D" tuning DADGBE and then place a capo at the 3rd fret. That is what I will be doing in the video lesson.

In the first video lesson, I will take you through Eddie's killer acoustic intro note-for-note. It is a very challenging piece of music that not only employs some fast cross string arpeggio picking, but Eddie also uses his trademark tremolo picking technique along with fret-hand hammer-ons to recreate the sound of the popular classical guitar tremolo technique.

In the second video lesson, I will teach the entire main track that is played on electric guitar. I will teach each section of the song in the order that each appears on the original recording.

The main difficulty of this song for most people is the staccato fingerpicked verse sections of the song. I will go into detail on exactly how Eddie picked this section of the song. Once you understand how he did it, it will make learning how to make it sound like the recording a lot easier.

I hope you guys enjoy this in-depth breakdown of one of Van Halen's funnest songs!

R.I.P. Eddie! The guitar world just isn't the same without you, not even close. 🙁 Carl...

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Little Guitars Intro Guitar Lesson - Van Halen

Little Guitars - All Electric Guitar Parts


  1. Rich Sele on October 17, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    This is an awesome lesson, Carl! I had a lot of fun with it. Especially when I played with the tones, flanger, and delay on my Katana Artist amp. After going through the lesson once, I watched several live videos of Eddie playing this. The VH @PNC Bank Arts Center had the best video so I could really see how he plucks at the strings to get that staccato. Incredible just watching him play it effortlessly. In the earlier shows he was running and sliding all over with that little guitar never missing a note. Man, I miss him. Thanks again for the lesson.

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