Lessons on Royalty: Top 5 Prince Guitar Riffs (Guitar Lesson)



hi this is Steve Stein from guitar zoom and to honor the musical icon known as Prince what I thought I would do is give you some give you five Prince riffs to learn how to play okay keep them fun keep them easy and we could just celebrate some some of prince's signature songs so the first one I want to show you is kiss I've always thought this was a really fun one to play and I'm going to give you the basic outline of this song so you can play this including a lot of times when Prince would play there would be sections in the song where you don't play as a guitar player but I'm going to give you some chords to be able to play so you can play along with the whole tune so the first thing we've got is this thing here so what we're going to do is start off with this first funky chord right here we're going to be using the 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th strings we're going to go to the 12th fret of the 4th string with our middle finger we're going to go to the 11th fret of the 3rd string with our first finger we're going to go to the 12th fret of the 2nd string with our ring finger and we're going to go to the 12th fret of the first string with our pinky that's that chord and then what we're going to be doing is basically a 12 bar blues here and I'm using an a chord right here it's an a power chord I'm playing 7 9 10 on the 2nd 3rd and 4th strings you could play the a chord anywhere but I think it sounds kind of appropriate for the song and then when it goes to the 4 chord the D chord I'm going to be playing 10 10 7 7 and when it goes to the E chord I'm going to do the same thing but two frets higher so I'm doing 9 9 12 12 ok so let me play the the verse section here so he's singing right now actually he's not then we come in starting with the a then we're going to head down to the D chord then back to the a chord then we're going to go up to the e chord then back to the D then back up to the E then back down then you're gonna go back to that chord again okay okay in the second song we're going to look at is 1999 there's a really great funky chord in here that I thought would be kind of fun for you to play it really kind of goes through the entire song so what we're going to do is we're going to play this part so what we're doing there is we're going to press on the tenth fret of the fourth string with our middle finger we're going to press on the eighth fret of the third string with our first finger we're going to press on the tenth fret of the second string with our ring finger and that's our prime chord and then what we're going to do is we're going to use the pinky to press on the 11th fret of both the first and second strings when we go right there and then what we're gonna do is go and right there what we're doing is we're just going to play the 2nd 3rd and 4th strings and we're going to add that pinky on the 11th fret of the second string so you have just like that ok so we're going 10 8 10 on the 2nd 3rd and 4th strings there and then we're adding the pinky on the 11th fret of the 1st and 2nd strings and then right there we're just skipping the first string entirely you just funk it up have some fun with the rhythm um these are just great examples of the funk the James Brown and steyr inspired kind of chord shapes that that prince and his his band would use it's just really really neat so that's what $19.99 is going to be now let's take a look at the fundamental chord structure of Purple Reign and it looks like this you okay so what I'm doing there is I'm starting off by playing one on the first string one on the second string three on the third string and then zero on the fourth string so that's the first chord and then what he does actually again I don't remember who played this in the studio but I'm assuming it was probably Prince but what you're going to do is move from the three on the third string to the second string with your middle finger and then you're going to add your third finger up here on G and then you can take your pinky and put it back on the third fret of the third string and then what you do is kind of deaden out the fifth string with your ring finger here that's your second quart so you have see that so I'm deadening out that fifth string so it doesn't get noisy and then I'm going to go to an F bar chord and then I'm going to head over and do it's going to go six eight ten so six on the fifth string eight on the fourth string ten on the third string and I'm going to bar over everybody on the sixth fret here and that's how you get that really pretty chord right there okay so you're playing an E flat with a an added tour of a flat adenine is what you could call that sus okay uh but anyway that's what that would be so you're going just kind of summarizing here just really pretty sounding chords then you're back again so that would be the chord structure for Purple Rain all right so we're going to kick up the distortion just a little bit for the next one this is going to be let's go crazy another signature Prince a song and so what we're gonna do is we're going to play an f-sharp power chord and then we're news we're going to head up to the seventh fret of the second string 8th fret of the 3rd string and then ninth fret of the 4th string and we're gonna do a little sus thing here so we're going from then we're gonna play this 7 8 9 and then I'm going to do a little hammer on with my pinky onto the 9th fret of the 3rd string then you start the riff now I always thought when I was younger that the riff was but I actually think what he's doing is going the first time he goes so it's two three four four and then the second time it does that so it goes to three four to four okay so that's the riff for let's go crazy kind of a fun song to play and the fifth one we're going to look at is one of my favorites by Prince it's I could never take the place of your man and the basic chord progression for this song let me show you that first you're going to be doing C G and F so you got this and again you can change up the rhythm however you like but that's what the the verse is doing and then it goes into the chorus which is the same chords there's this little kind of interlude in there where he goes which we got a lot of little chord changes in there so you're going F major tune F minor E minor I'm going up to the fifth string Barre chord E minor C major then D minor then G then you're back again okay so kind of a fun little section in there F major to F minor to E minor you could play it down here it doesn't matter and then D major and then D minor and then G okay then you get your little riff on top the that thing right there which is going on the second string you're playing six five three then five on the third string and they're going to head back up to the three and then the five so it goes then you're going to do a little hammer on pull off from three to five and then back to that five right here on the third string so it goes and then there's this little vocal thing in the background that goes just kind of fun to play on the guitar so you're doing eight six five four so hear that when you're getting no that little thing in the background as well so again another really really awesome print song I'm a very big prints fan and it's such a big tragedy unfortunately that he's passed away but we can celebrate his music again the point of this isn't that you have to play all the songs exactly perfect the point is have some fun playing some print songs if you've never really you know thought about playing prints there's a lot of really great court'll things going on needless to say an amazing soloist as well um but because this video is fairly short I just want to make sure and give you some prime prints riffs that you could look at and have some fun playing so take care stay positive and keep practicing and I'll talk to you soon

50 thoughts on “Lessons on Royalty: Top 5 Prince Guitar Riffs (Guitar Lesson)”

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  2. the Purple Rain version on the album is taken from a live at first avenue in 83, it's not a studio version per say, the orchestral parts R overdubbed by clare Fisher at sunset sound studios after the One off performance…..wendy Melvoin is playing the intro chords….

  3. Great stuff. Not enough Prince lessons. So under-recognised as an amazing guitarist. Truly great guitarists come up with memorable parts and know when to hold back then dive back in. Gilmour and Prince do this perfectly

  4. Thank you so much for the tutorial. It's always nice to hear his music and the talented people who play it. Awesome.

  5. thank you so much for your videos, they are fantastic for helping a poor beginner! could you do a "how to" for seminal Aussie band The Saints' song 'No time'??

  6. Oh man . you are an Excellent teacher Steve . thank you so much . i'm using guitar as an outlet ,just started and learned so much from you . lots to work on and having fun already.

  7. i think you are a great teacher and if i was in the us i would be happy to have you as a tutor steve thanx for the free vid.from gino uk.

  8. You are awesome! Question though – so I can play any instrument pretty much, but I really seem to struggle with guitar… why is this? I play everything by ear, but I can read music, I just don't like too… does it matter what kind of guitar I learn on? What I mean is, I bought a cheap electric and a cheap acoustic would it be easier to buy a more expensive one? Also I think I have short and stubby hands, does that matter? because it looks like your hands are a lot like mine and you play beautifully…

  9. awesome. i can watch your lessons all day. every time i unplug my guitar, i play one more lesson, and have to fire it back up

  10. Hi Steve. This isn't related to this video. But I can't seem to be able to request a song on your website. I keep getting an error message. I was hoping to have you teach Tarot Woman by Rainbow. I can't find the music anywhere. Thanks.

  11. Th rhythm part in Purple Rain was played by Wendy Melvoin and the recording is actually live (with overdubs later), from her first appearance with The Revolution. I think on the first chord she actually plays a low Bb, so x10311, which is quite the finger knot. They're totally Joni Mitchell chords, but done in standard tuning!

  12. I know this comment is out of place but can you guys put up a video or a tab on how to play Nuclear Throne – Last Breath? I would love to play it on the acoustic guitar but my hearing is the worst so i thought i would ask pro players for a lesson.

  13. Been listening and play to many of your lessons in here and Facebook. Sure appreciate how
    you come across and your teaching style. Thanks!

  14. Prince came up with the Purple Rain progression, but Wendy played it since the song that is on the album is the live performance at Fifth Avenue.

  15. Thank you for the info on "I could never take the place of your man" I had it close just couldn't figure out the D minor part sweet!!

  16. thanks to you for the wonderful lessons, I'm a big Prince fan and I've been playing guitar for 5 years . now I finally have some good Tunes to play on guitar by Prince thanks for the lesson

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