Slither Guitar Lesson – Velvet Revolver

Released in 2004 off their debut album Contraband, "Slither" quickly shot to the top of the rock charts and has gone on to become Velvet Revolver's signature song.

The signature guitar riff that Slash plays throughout large sections of the song is a big reason why "Slither" has had so much success.

In this Slither guitar lesson I will show you all of Slash's guitar parts note-for-note in their entirety. A quick note, you will need to tune your guitar to dropped "D" (D A D G B E).

For the intro Slash employs some atmospheric chords and volume wells. The second time around however, he cranks up the gain, plays through the same chords yet adds some palm muted grooves on the low D string.

Then comes the main guitar riff which is pretty much instantly recognizable to any rock guitar fan. Slash actually performs this riff in many different ways, from full throttle power chords, octaves, single notes on the low D and high D and heavily muted power chords as well. Pay close attention to the slides that he throws into the riff as well.

You don't really need to consistently play this main riff the same way each time though. Slash seems to constantly mix it up both on the original recording and live videos I have seen. So just have fun with it. As long as you have a good groove going, you can play this riff using any of the previously described techniques and it will sound great.

We also have a cool guitar lick that closes out this intro and is played by Slash around the 10th position. This lick is further expanded and repeated in the final moments of "Slither", so make sure you go ahead and get it down in the beginning of the lesson. When we cover the expanded version at the end of the lesson, you will then be 85% finished mastering it already.

After that, we make it to the chorus which contains big open and power chords played in a very laid back fashion with a variation of the main riff played on the high D string to keep the rhythmic momentum going strong.

I will demonstrate this variation note-for-note. Try to find the differences in each time through the riff. It will be played 4 times and the 1st and 4th ones are identical (using the same frets as the main riff). However, the 2nd and 3rd times through this chorus riff have some cool melodic variations in them that compliment the underlying guitar chords very well.

In the second video lesson I will tackle Slash's killer wah drenched solo phrase-by-phrase. As with most Slash guitar solos, this one is full of blisteringly fast blues inspired licks, wrapped around a catchy melodic structure.

Here we will be using unison bends, rolls, fast alternate picked and legato licks and more. I will demonstrate the compete solo up to speed first, then I will break it down into bite-sized pieces that you can practice individually before trying to put it all together.

So I hope you guys enjoy learning one of the biggest hard rock songs of the early 2000's. I think it will make for a nice challenge for just about any level of guitarist.


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Slither Guitar Lesson Pt.1 - All Rhythms

Slither Guitar Lesson Pt.2 - Solo


  1. Jerry Meyer on March 11, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Hey man, I’ve been following your videos for some time, ever since I picked up guitar back in November. I was wondering if you could do a tutorial on YouTube of Velvet Revolver’s “You got no right”. love your tutorials, I have a hard time learning from other videos but your’s are very clear and cut and dry. Would be amazing if you could do this.
    Thank you 🙂

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