Guitar Tricks Free Trial
Guitar Tricks


Learn How to Play Guitar here at

Acoustic Songs || Classic Rock Songs || Folk Songs || Rock Songs

Don't forget to Thank GuitarTrick's 30 Day Free Trial. Very good tutorial videos there!
how to play purple rain on guitar UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 13: RITZ CLUB Photo of PRINCE, Prince performing on stage - Purple Rain Tour (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)

On this post, we will learn how to play “Purle Rain” as popularized by Prince

So Purple Rain by Prince. What can you say? Another shocking turn of events with Prince passing away yesterday actually re really shocking, I think for everybody. Anyways, I want to get right into this. It’s a fantastic song, really soulful song.

Maybe his most soulful song, in my opinion. It is. And I’ve always really loved this song. It’s been on my list for a long time, but I guess now is the time to do it. Anyways.

How to play Purple Rain by Prince

Credits to Shutup and Play

There’s a couple of interesting things about this song, and one of them is that it was recorded during a live performance in 1019 and 83 in Minneapolis, and it was recorded that night was recorded, and it was the debut of Wendy Melvin, the guitarist Prince, right. She’s the one who plays this intro, and she’s only 19 years old, which is kind of cool. And they use the basic tracks from that recording to make the record that we all listened to today, which is also kind of neat.

Of course, they did a lot of overdubs clean stuff up, change things around a bit, but the basic tracks are there another cool thing about it is when it was finished, Prince phoned Jonathan Cain, who’s the keyboard player from Journey. He does a lot of the writing.

He did a lot of the writing back in the day because he thought the song was really similar or maybe too similar to Faithfully, and you can really hear it in the course, like in Faithfully. The course is for yours, Faith.

So it’s the same four course. But Jonathan Kane said that it was just the same four chords. The song was so different that it wouldn’t be a problem until I read this. I’m just looking this up on Wikipedia. I’d never actually thought of that before, but yeah, the same four chords is Faithfully chorus.

learn to play guitar

Anyways, let’s get on with it. It’s in the Kia of B flat, which already is kind of strange for a rock song. Right. And I see guys playing this a lot of weird ways, but it’s not as hard as it might sound. So let’s go over the chords.

First of all, the first chord is going to be like this open D three and bar on B one.

What that is, is it’s a B flat nine. Got that C in there, which is like the 9th like that. And that’s where I think a lot of guys get that because you’re getting that night. But what you’re missing in that is the D, which is the third, and that’s how you fly it. You don’t even need that be flat in there.

Okay. It’s just and if you watch that video that I talked about earlier that’s posted down in the description box, you can watch Wendy Melvoyn play this and you can clearly see what she’s doing. That’s the first chord, the second chord. You’re going to get that third finger, put it on E three and put your little finger where your third finger was on G three. And that’s going to be a G minor.

Sus four, seven, G minor, seven.

For those that are interested. And then we’ve got an F. And in the intro, one guitar plays an F, and one guitar plays an F nine there.

how to play guitar

And then the next chord, because there’s only four chords in the entire song is this awesome chord.

It’s a beautiful chord. All it is is a flat nine.

But with this voicing, which is just a beautiful voice, the way we’re going to do that is it’s going to be a 6D eight.

So we’ve got this and this. All right. So those are your four ports, and they just cycle and they’re in slightly different orders at certain times in the course. And whatnot right. Okay.

So now let’s go over the rhythm the intro, which is such an iconic intro. Right. As soon as you hear that first chord, you automatically know what the song is, which is kind of amazing. Right. So we’re going to do that.

We’re going to hit all four strings from the D string down. Try and hit them all at once. Don’t go all at once. And then we’re going to go.

And that’s an upstroke on the E string downstroke on the G string.

Right now, there’s two guitars in this intro. I’m not going to show you each part because they’re so similar, but I’m going to combine them all into one part. So we’ve got pulling off there.

So we hit that low G, and we’re going to go.

And if you hit that open D, that’s fine.

It doesn’t matter.

And then we’ll follow that like with this, it’s just a G string and an upstroke on the E and B back to the G string, and then open E and E one the F note, right. Because we’re in this formation.

That whole thing so far would be.

And now we’re going to go.

And here’s where the two guitars are. One just plays a straight F back stroking from that G string, and the other guitar goes playing that G nine. So we’re getting through the F nine. So we’re getting that G note in there. Right.

And then we’re going to go and that’s in that open G there. Right. So we’re going to spread it like that lift our bar up, right.

And then a slash on the muted strings.

About Riff (165 Articles)
Riff Richard is an IT person, a husband, a dad, a couch potato and a passionate guitar player

Leave a comment