Sharp Dressed Man Guitar Lesson – ZZ Top – Famous Riffs

In this "Famous Riffs" video guitar lesson we will learn the opening riff to ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man".

This Sharp Dressed Man guitar lesson shouldn't present much of a challenge to most players.

The main part of the riff uses a couple of double stops that require some quick fret-hand muting but it is still rather simple to play.

The main difficulty will be the thumb bass notes and keep the groove going while picking between the thumb bass notes and the double stops.

If you aren't used to using your thumb on the 6th string to finger bass notes I think this riff is a great place to stat learning the technique.

It's really all about your fret-hand wrist when trying to master those thumb bass notes. Simply bend your wrist up slightly (towards your face) and that will put your thumb in a position over the top of the fretboard that will make it much easier to play notes on the 6th string with your thumb.

Have fun tackling this Billy Gibbons classic! Carl..

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

Donate to GuitarLessons365
Other Amount:

Sharp Dressed Man Guitar Lesson


  1. GEORG P WEYAND on August 17, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Hi Carl,
    I am glad you include ZZ top in your great website, Hopefully there will be full songs of this group in the future. I don’t leave a comment on every song, riff or solo you do but that does not mean I don’t like them. I love almost all the songs or parts thereof that you teach. Thanks for all your effort.

    • Carl Brown on August 18, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Oh yeah I am sure there will be plenty more ZZ Top coming really soon. 🙂


  2. dermot murray on January 4, 2015 at 11:20 am


  3. samuel ward on April 9, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    that was really cool I do hope u put the whole song on!

  4. MATTHEW WATERS on May 15, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Hey Carl, good stuff. I recently upgraded to Premium and have been enjoying it.
    I can’t find a good lesson on-line for the rest of Sharp Dressed Man and the solo. Hope
    you consider teaching more of this song. Thanks, Matt

    • Carl Brown on May 15, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      I was just thinking of doing more ZZ top. I will take a look at this solo for an upcoming lesson. 🙂

  5. MATTHEW WATERS on May 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks Carl! I appreciate it and look forward to it.

  6. Bill degroot on February 19, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Can u demo tush thanks

  7. Justin McGuire on January 20, 2018 at 4:43 am

    Hi, Carl. You are certainly the best online guitar teacher, hands down. Any plans to put up the entire song? Also, would you consider doing a lesson for Pat Travers Band’s Snortin’ Whiskey? It might have too much lead work for you to want to undertake it, understandably. Either way, I love what you do and keep doing it! Fantastic stuff! Have a good day, man!

    • Carl Brown on January 20, 2018 at 9:12 am

      Hey Justin, thanks for the kind comment and for supporting my lessons.

      I will probably finish this song up if I get enough requests. I am currently putting the finishing touches on the new GL365 Academy that will go live here on the site this month. That is why there has been no new song lessons this month.

      My main focus after that will be adding about 15 new lessons to the academy every week while also supporting those lessons for any of the Premium or Premium Plus subscribers.

      My YouTube (song lessons) will slow down a bit. Probably about 2 lessons a week from here on. I will just be focusing on the big classic artists mainly that are requested a lot since my song lesson output will be so much smaller. I will see how much I can do once everything gets going . 🙂

  8. George Kerr on May 3, 2020 at 6:45 am

    You need to add runaway to your song lessons

  9. Gautam on August 5, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    Hey Carl!! You’re the best! Are you going to complete the solo as well for Sharp Dressed Man? It’ll be really helpful! Thanks!

  10. Larry Murdock on February 14, 2023 at 2:41 pm

    Carl, you have an amazing library! Seriously, almost any song I want to learn, I turn to your lessons and it’s almost always right there, ready to learn. My complements about the way you present the lessons and always pay such attention to detail. I have got to the point that if you don’t offer a certain lesson I just skip it rather than go to another teacher. While I’m here I would love to see you complete the lesson on ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed Man. And have you ever checked out Wishbone Ash? Some of their songs are really cool, like Warrior and The King Will Come. Thank you for all you do!!!

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.