Message In A Bottle Guitar Lesson – The Police

In this guitar lesson video we are going to take an in-depth look at the killer guitar driven track "Message In A Bottle" by The Police.

Released as the lead single to their second studio album Reggatta de Blanc, "Message In A Bottle" went on to become a massive hit for the band and also be a personal favorite of all three band members.

In this Message In a Bottle guitar lesson, I will show you all of guitarist Andy Summers' classic riffs and chords, along with demonstrating how he created his lead lines. So let's get to work!

The song begins with a guitar riff that pretty much defined the seventies and more importantly, The Police. This riff requires a pretty large stretch to play all of the add 9 chord shapes used throughout. These days when playing this riff live, Andy Summers opts for a little bit easier and economical way of playing it. However, in this lesson, we are going to focus on how he played it originally on the recording in the proper positions on the fretboard.

Take your time with this riff because besides the large stretches, you will also have to shift around the fretboard quite quickly.

For the pre-chorus, you get to play basic power chords with a straight ahead punk rock rhythm. This is a very driving rhythm in which you should use all down-strokes. That can be a bit quick for some players, but keep practicing it and keep your forearm as relaxed as possible. Getting this pre-chorus to sound correct is well worth the effort.

The chorus is based around a C#min7 and A major chords until the very end when Andy Summers plays a F#minor chord.

Over the chorus is where Andy Summers really starts to spread his wings by overdubbing many solo lines. In the lesson I will show you the scale forms that he is using so you can step into Andy's shoes easily and create a nice solo as well. 🙂

Have fun tackling this one guys!


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Message In A Bottle Guitar Lesson - The Police


  1. FELIPE ANDAI on August 19, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Are you using any effect to get Summer’s sound? Or it’ just the Strat trough the amp?
    Thnx for your great lessons!

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