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pretty woman how to play

how to play oh pretty womanOne of the most recognized guitar riff is Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman. Hey, come on that is why it is included here in, right?

Click Here to Learn PrettyWoman Note for Note.

Anyway, the song became even more popular than it really is when it was used as a title and soundtrack of the blockbuster movie that stars Richard Gere and Julia Roberts movie.

How to Play Pretty Woman

This is an upbeat riff that is very easy learn. It used single picking, one note at a time plus if you are already familiar with The Beatles’ Day Tripper, they are almost similar and you will not have a problem with this one. It’s also good finger exercise for beginner guitar players.


The first part of the intro for Pretty woman in in 6/8 time signature. The rest of the song is in typical 4/4 time signature.

This riff is the riff at the start of ‘Pretty Woman’, before the vocal begins. It’s a fairly simple riff, with perhaps the only tricky part being the interplay with the drums. For that reason, we’ve included the beats for each measure.

This riff, like the majority of rock riffs, is in 4/4 time. So there are 4 beats per measure. The song starts off with the drums, and the guitar comes in on the 4th beat of the first measure.

Then the drums continue and the guitar comes in again on the 3rd beat of the third measure. That’s Figure One (Play Once). By the time the 5th measure rolls around the guitar pattern starts comfortably on the first beat.

This is Figure Two. It repeats 4 times and then the riff ends and the verse/vocals begin.

Van Halen covered this song on their 1982 album ‘Diver Down’.

Don’t forget to watch the video. In it you will notice that this we will play two open E strings and then use our 3rd finger on fret 4 of the E-string. That is followed by using our 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the A-string. Last an open D string. Part 1 is played twice and then is followed by part 2 below.


As you can see in part 2 we play most of part 1 but it is followed with a few extra notes on the D-string. After you play what we covered in part 1, on the D-string you use your 3rd finger on fret 4 and followed by the 1st finger on fret 2, then an open string.

– Try and palm mute the first 2 or 3 notes of the riff, that is the notes in the low E string

Enjoy and goodluck Rockstars!

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Riff Richard is an IT person, a husband, a dad, a couch potato and a passionate guitar player

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