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How to play Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones

Updated on December 15, 2015

How to Play Satisfaction

Welcome to my page if you want to learn how to play Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones. I can't get no Satisfaction epitomises the rebellion and the freedom of the 1960s. The riff from Satisfaction is easily in the Top 10 all time greatest rock guitar riffs.

Picture shows:

Mick Jagger - The Rolling Stones live at San Siro Stadium, Milan, Italy - june 10th, 2003. Original uploader was Kronos at it.wikipedia. Transferred from it.wikipedia; transfer was stated to be made by Blues 1911. Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

This page was written to help you to play Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones and I designed all the music graphics just for you. The raunchy guitar introduction of Satisfaction is one of the most iconic sounds in rock and roll. I loved this song as a kid and I still do, so finding material to help you play Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones will be a pleasure!

Here you will find the chords, the riff and a clue to the attitude too.

How do you play the Satisfaction Riff? - Picture TAB of the notes for Satisfaction

Notes in the Satisfaction Riff
Notes in the Satisfaction Riff

That moody Riff from Satisfaction.

Use the chart to see where the notes are on the guitar. you can use finger 1 for B, finger 3 for C# and finger 4 for D to play as a melodic riff. Alternatively, use the index finger only until familiar with the moves and then make a power chord riff out of it which will sound more punchy and give it some growl by using slight amp distortion or crunch setting.

B B B C# D D D C# C# B

B B B C# D D D C# C# B

Do you know how to play power chords? If not, the diagram here might help.

Power Chords with Root on 5

This is the shape you can use to play the riff from Satisfaction in sliding power chords. For B, play it in 2nd position, for C# play it in 4th and for D play it in 5th.
This is the shape you can use to play the riff from Satisfaction in sliding power chords. For B, play it in 2nd position, for C# play it in 4th and for D play it in 5th. | Source

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Chords to Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones - E, A and B7 chords

Satisfaction Chords
Satisfaction Chords

Satisfaction Chords for Acoustic Guitar - Unplugged

You can use these simple open position chords to play Satisfaction on acoustic guitar. As you are not using distortion they will sound OK, especially if you have a friend playing the bass riff or the power chords on electric guitar.

To play Satisfaction all you need is three chords, a riff and an attitude!

Satisfaction chords with lyric for personal  and educational use only.
Satisfaction chords with lyric for personal and educational use only.

Satisfaction Riff - An Analysis

How can something so simple be modal?

The riff from Satisfaction is actually modal. The chords are firmly in the key of E major, but that riff which starts on the 5th of the E chord, is in the mixolydian mode. What makes it mixolydian is the minor seventh - the D natural. That shouldn't surprise you though, because the Rolling Stones were very much influenced by the blues and part of the British blues explosion of the 1960s! Much of blues is mixolydian. The whole key to blues (in the traditional rhythm and blues idiom) is the clash between major chords and minor melodies and that riff is so reminiscent of Howlin' Wolf! (If you haven't listened to Howlin' Wolf singing Smokestack Lightnin' PLEASE do!)

For those musical anoraks (like me) here is a treatise on Modal and Tonal Counterpoint: From Josquin to Stravinsky

This book delivers a lesson on modes for guitarists too:

You can find out more about power chords, modes and improvisation on these pages.

British Invasion Mousemat

Source

Satisfaction for String Orchestra

The Rolling Stones - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Music Book

For those of you who just can't resist the thought of those grunting cellos and basses....


Do you love the Rolling Stones? - Do you know how to play Satisfaction?

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    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 5 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Yes, I used to play Satisfaction on the guitar! Love the riff....but I was not their biggest fan, liked the Beatles way more. The songs I like of Rolling Stones are ones not so well known. Love the lens and how you explain music. Sending to my guitar teacher son:)

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image
      Author

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Heather426: Thank you Heather! :) I am very grateful for the blessing and more than happy for people to use my ideas too if it will help :)

    • Joyce Mann profile image

      Joyce T. Mann 5 years ago from Bucks County, Pennsylvania USA

      I do all my riffs on the piano. Super lens! Love the Stones.

    • Joyce Mann profile image

      Joyce T. Mann 5 years ago from Bucks County, Pennsylvania USA

      I do all my riffs on the piano. Super lens! Love the Stones.

    • profile image

      termit_bronx 5 years ago

      They were playing in Zagreb (Croatia) some years ago, but I was too little to go to the concert. My mom did. Zagreb is only 20 mins away from my home, but in other country. They are great!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      I found this new lens in the Forum and am glad I stopped by. Time to get out the guitar and start jamming. I can handle the three chords and the attitude. ;-) Should be great fun. Thanks!

    • andreaberrios lm profile image

      andreaberrios lm 5 years ago

      I love this song. I remember when my father used to play the Rolling Stones back in the late 70's. Excellent lens!

    • mufke1 profile image

      mufke1 5 years ago

      great tips..like your lens

    • profile image

      TheEssentialVoice 5 years ago

      Really cool lens, I like the way you set it up :)

    • sherridan profile image

      sherridan 4 years ago

      Was not a fan until I saw them in Stratford in the late 70s - we stood in the front row, near enough to touch Jagger. I marvelled at his energy and talent. Brilliant!

    • profile image

      Oosquid 4 years ago

      I'm a lifetime Stones fan ( they are indeed the worlds greatest rock n roll band)

      But I can't play a note :0)

    • egyptiancotton lm profile image

      egyptiancotton lm 3 years ago

      I love this song,great lens as well,congrats!

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