Slash – World On Fire Guitar Lesson

In these video guitar lessons we are gonna take an in depth look at how to play "World On Fire" by Slash.

Of course Slash is well known for not only his legendary lead guitar work with GN'R, but since leaving the band he has come up with some very cool solo projects as well.

"World On Fire" features one of his coolest yet fiery riffs to date. Slash has always had a knack of turning a cool little blue inspired lick into a monster rock riff and "World On Fire" is definitely one of the finest examples of this.

You will need to tune your guitar down a half-step which is the tuning Slash has used a majority of the time throughout his career.

He starts the song off with a riff that involves bashing a simple A power chord while doing some rapid muted alternate picking on the open string. From there he expands the chord to a dominate quality with the addition of the G note before launching into some fast bluesy double-stop licks.

This riff is signature Slash through and through making it a great hard rock guitar rhythm workout.

Be sure to keep your picking hand wrist nice and loose, especially while trying to play the rapid open string alternate picking. Just remember, the more relaxed you are, the faster you will be in the long run.

The entire first video lesson is dedicated to teaching this signature Slash riff. In the second video lesson I will tackle all of the rest of the chords and riffs found in "World On Fire".

We will have a verse, pre-chorus, chorus and bridge section to learn. All of these riff are uptempo and involve everything from a quick shifting single note riff, rocked up blues and punk rock power chord style riffing. But, if you can confidently play the opening riff, you probably won't have much trouble with the rest of the chords and riffs found in the song.

In the third lesson I will tackle the main solo. As before, this solo is pure Slash through and through. It has some tasty bends and slick fast licks throughout. Slash has a very blues based soloing style so a lot of the time when he is playing very fast, he is just playing a random collection of blues licks. There really isn't anything thought out. If you have played this style of guitar before you will know what I mean. Just try to pay attention to the few licks I demonstrate for these sections, then just go for it combining them in a nice fluid manner. That is the way Slash approaches it himself. Every note isn't planned out.

In the fourth and final video lesson, I will demonstrate how to play the outro solo. This solo starts out with some octaves that move around very fast. It can be a bit unorthodox at first, but stick with it because it creates a cool effect when you get them down.

From there Slash performs a little lick high up on the fretboard that involves sliding into an octave. It may seem awkward to play this lick in the position that I teach it in, but that is where Slash performs it so I play it there for authenticity.

After a few more fast licks and pre-bends, Slash then closes out the song.

For any Slash or GN'R fan, I think you can get a lot of mileage out of learning how to play "World on Fire". The riffs and solos are all challenging to play and are also a good study into Slash's imitable guitar style. Enjoy!


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Slash - World On Fire Guitar Lesson - Intro

Slash - World On Fire Guitar Lesson -Rhythms Part 2

Slash - World On Fire Guitar Lesson - Main Solo

Slash - World On Fire Guitar Lesson - Outro Solo


  1. Jack Fleming on February 11, 2015 at 10:49 am

    awesome lesson very thorough

  2. Randy Husar on July 29, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Very cool lesson Carl! Most thorough lesson I found online. All aspects of song. Big Slash fan. I wish I had 1/10 of your skills.
    Keep up the awesome work!!
    I am self taught. Lacking theory. Any suggestions?

    • Carl Brown on July 30, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      Hey Randy, thanks for the kind comment.

      Did you check out my free theory lessons? Those should get you up to speed pretty fast. 🙂


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