Rush – YYZ Guitar Lesson

In this YYZ guitar lesson video series, I will show you how to play all of Alex Lifeson's killer guitar work for this instrumental classic by Rush, note-for-note.

In the first video lesson, I will take you through every section of the song in the order that it appears on the original recording. The second video lesson will focus on Alex Lifeson's guitar solo.

"YYZ" is full of riffs that can be challenging rhythmically and technically. The riff that open the track has an interesting feel about it that can be difficult to play correctly. I will give you a simple way to count it that will make it easy to understand.

The rest of the intro section contains some challenging scale work as well.

The main riff of "YYZ" is probably the most difficult part of the song due to the very fast alternate picked string crossing required. However, this riff is also very repetitive so at least you will only have a couple of picking patterns to learn.

The melodic section after this introduces a soaring guitar melody that is followed by some challenging legato licks up the B string.

We then arrive at the jam section that revolves mostly around just B7 and C7 chords. Alex Lifeson constantly varies the rhythm style over these chords and it makes it very fun to listen to and play even though there is just two chords being repeated.

In the second video lesson, I will demonstrate Alex Lifeson's guitar solo note-for-note.

This solo has a lot of legato playing that can be a little bit difficult to get down note-for-note. I will demonstrate every bit of the solo phrase-by-phrase to help you get it into your hands as fast as possible.

I hope you guys enjoy learning this Rush instrumental classic!


If these free lessons help you, please donate to keep new ones coming daily. Thanks!! 🙂

Donate to GuitarLessons365
Other Amount:

Rush - YYZ Guitar Lesson

Rush - YYZ Guitar Lesson (Solo)


  1. Chris Strane on September 26, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Hi Carl-
    Big fan and a YouTube subscriber. You are a great teacher and your ethos reveals a humble spirit and good heart.

    I too play classical guitar but can’t seem to put away my electrics for long. I love classic rock and some metal much to my teacher’s chagrin.

    Would you consider doing a lesson on the Intro to 2112 by Rush. I think it would be a good lesson because it has beginner-friendly intro, a faster middle section with a good bar chord workout, and a nice shot but tasty solo. Furthermore, there is not a good lesson out there on YouTube on this song.

  2. Ken on November 22, 2023 at 2:36 pm

    Would love to see the whole side one of 2112. Thanks

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.