The first thing you need to do is put your guitar into D tuning. Just to be sure, this if full D tuning NOT dropped D tuning. Many of Motley Crue's songs use this same tuning. The exact notes starting from the 6th string will be D G C F A D. So in other words, tune every string on your guitar down a whole step from standard tuning.
Now that you are in tune, let's get started learning this hard rock classic by Mick Mars and the rest of the Motley guys.
The main riff uses an open 5th string muted rhythm into a inverted power chord on the 3rd and 4th strings. It is a very simple riff to play with a straight forward rhythm. When combined with the groove being played by drummer Tommy Lee, it can sound like there is more going on with the rhythm than there actually is so watch out for that. The key is to keep it simple.
This main riff, which also serves as the chorus of the song, ends with a cool pentatonic lick throughout the entire song. Once again, it is all about timing here to make this riff lock into the groove. The intro of the song is just a slight variation on the main riff, that is why I demonstrate the main riff first then go back and cover the intro.
Also in the intro is a lead guitar overdub containing unison bends. This same melody happens at the end of the song as well. It can be a bit tricky keeping those bends in tune if you have a guitar with a floating trem system. As you bend the 3rd string, it can pull the note that you are playing on the 2nd string slightly flat. You will have to slightly compensate for that if that is how your guitar is set up by slightly bending the note on the 2nd string with your first finger while still bending the note on the 3rd string up a whole step.
The verse is made up of mostly simple power chords played in an easy rhythm. There is a slight variation at the very end of the riff and that is all.
The solo is classic Mick Mars. By that I mean, very musical yet sonically crazy at times. The solo starts by moving the rhythm over to the low D power chord and playing some unison bends again.
From there he launches into one of those crazy licks where he is performing a trill while also applying a liberal amount of whammy bar abuse. My guitar in this video is not set up to be able to pull the notes as sharp as Mick Mars does in his solo. If your guitar can do it then great, go for it!
This short solo ends with some more unison bends into a 3rd string bend and a couple power chords. Overall a nice solo that is approachable by many players I think.
The only other thing to cover is the variation played of the main riff that happens at the end of the song. Nothing too difficult here either, and it is also very repetitive. You will also hear the same melody played with unison bends over this ending riff.
So have fun learning this simple yet very fun to play Motley Crue classic!
If these free lessons help you, please donate to keep new ones coming daily. Thanks!! 🙂