How to play Smoke On The Water
How do you play Smoke on the Water
How do you play Smoke on the Water? This is possibly Rock's most classic song and you can start playing Smoke On The Water today! Deep Purple was without doubt Prog Rock's greatest supergroup and almost certainly Smoke On The Water is Rock music's most covered song! Got your electric guitar for Christmas? Do you have the TAB for Smoke On The Water?
Here I hope to introduce you to playing the main riff of Smoke on the Water, show you some resources for learning the song in its entirity and write a little about about guitar playing styles. So, without further ado, if you have never heard this masterpiece for beginner electric guitar.... Smoke on the Water!
Note - public safety warning - please do not play this riff in music stores unless you can play the solo too ;)
Preview Smoke on the Water on iTunes
Listen to Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple and Gillan
If you have not heard Smoke on the Water here are two links to it on iTunes where you can preview the song. The first link is to the original by Deep Purple, the second is to the version by Gillan. Ian Gillan carried on Deep Purple's work after guitarist Richie blackmore split to form Rainbow. I am proud to know and be a friend and colleague of Gillan's guitar player, Ray Fenwick.
iTune link Deep Purple
Richie Blackmore's playing style for Smoke on the Water
Smoke on the Water was originally played fingerstyle!
Yes, Richie Blackmore used thumb and two fingers to play the original riff of Smoke on the Water and palmed his plectrum for the actual solo. Not many guitar players do that because it requires a measure of dexterity in the right hand. Playing the first riff fingerstyle allows the notes to be played absolutely simultaneously and the tone is softer too. Using a pick slightly arpeggiates the notes so although the attack is brighter, the version is not so tight. Personally I emulate Blackmore and use my fingers, this is easy because I started with classical guitar. If you find fingerstyle guitar difficult, then just do as most other players do and use the pick.
Basic Shapes for Smoke On The Water
Power chords for Smoke on the Water
Here are some graphics I made which will help you understand and play this song.
Before you can play Smoke on the Water, you should learn Power Chords. These are movable shapes and the riff uses two of them. For G5, use the "F" shape with first finger on fret 3 of string 6. For Bb5, C5 and Db5 you need the Bb shape. Bb has the first finger on fret 1 of string 5, C has the first finger on fret 3 and Db has the first finger on fret 4.
The G minor pentatonic scale will help you to improvise your own solo should you find Richie Blackmore's is too difficult to learn. Stick to the notes in that shape and emphasize "G" and you will be fine!
I will not be giving the riff in notation for copyright reasons, but the chord progression of Smoke on the Water goes something like this:
G Bb C G Bb Db C G Bb C Bb G
If you practise the chords and listen to the song the rhythm should not be too difficult to pick up.
Smoke On The Water from Amazon UK - Check prices on Amazon UK
Amazon UK Link
- Deepest Purple - The Very Best Of Deep Purple: Deep Purple: Amazon.co.uk: MP3 Downloads
Deepest Purple - The Very Best Of Deep Purple: Deep Purple: Amazon.co.uk: MP3 Downloads
Smoke on the Water - Marching Band Version
Blowing with Smoke on the Water!
I thought this was great! Marching bands these days play just about evrtything, and I was happy to find the score of Smoke on the Water for brass instruments. Now wind players can enjoy it too!
Smoke on the Water - marching band score
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