Tie Your Mother Down Guitar Lesson – Queen

In this video guitar lesson we are going to take an in depth look at a hard rocking classic by Queen, "Tie Your Mother Down".

Released as the second single from their 1976 album A Day At The Races, "Tie Your Mother Down" quickly became a live staple of the band's throughout the rest of their career.

In this Tie Your Mother Down guitar lesson I will demonstrate how to play all the chords and rhythms to this Queen classic.

The song is dominated by guitarist Brian May's huge guitar riffs throughout. It is truly one of the heaviest songs Queen ever wrote.

The main focus when learning how to play "Tie Your Mother Down" should be getting the shuffle rhythm Brian May employs throughout most of the song to feel natural. In the video lesson I will demonstrate how to feel this rhythm properly so it shouldn't take you very long to understand it. Then after that, all of the left hand parts will seem to fit perfectly within that rhythm.

The opening riff consists of some open string pull-offs performed while you are holding down an A5 chord. This part of the opening riff will probably be the most challenging for you to time correctly due to the pull-offs. Just isolate that maneuver and practice it again and again in a loop and you should lock into the groove pretty quickly.

That opening riff's rhythm is broken up with some open position power chords played in a driving quarter note rhythm. Those chord changes go by pretty quick so make sure the movements to each chord are as economical as possible.

The second riff consists of some Chuck Berry style E5-E6 maneuvers that require a bit of a left hand stretch. Keep your thumb at about the middle of the back of the neck in order to comfortably perform that stretch.

Things move around quite a but with this riff including a section where Brain May performs a quick ascending chromatic lick that still employs the familiar shuffle rhythm. Pay close attention to this part of the lesson because it is at the part of the riff there is a small difference between the first and second time this riff occurs in the song. It is pretty easy to understand though. 🙂

OK that is it for me. ROCK OUT!!


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Tie Your Mother Down Guitar Lesson - Queen


  1. Ken Parsley on March 6, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Hi Carl- This is one of my all time favorites. Put me down for a yes on the solo!

  2. wade wignes on May 20, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Tie your mother down solo would be great, see if i got it half right on my own. Hope its soon .wade w

  3. Karl Engelhardt on February 26, 2018 at 3:25 am

    Great lessons! Would like to have to solo as well.
    There’s also a really good song off New of the World, Fight From the Inside that would be great to learn.

  4. Walter Bukowski on March 30, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Great song, please post solo.

  5. ben on August 23, 2023 at 10:59 pm

    Hey carl. I was hoping if you could do keep yourself alive by queen thanks!

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