- Open chords
- String bending
- Vibrato while string bending
I truly believe the intro solo to Parisienne Walkways is one of the greatest guitar solos of all time, maybe even the best ever. This is subjective, but for me, the emotions that Gary Moore put into it each time he played the song just mesmerizes me.
To tell you the truth, I’ve heard this song at least 100 times, but I have not the slightest idea what the lyrics are about, it’s the guitar that really captivates me.
This guitar tutorial covers the notes and techniques you’ll need to be able to play Parisienne Walkways, but the emotions, you’ve got to put those into it yourself. Nobody can teach that, you really have to feel it. I would recommend listening to the original version several times, and actually, watching Gary Moore perform it live, to really get a feel for the song.
The song is played in the key of A minor, and if you want, you can just improvise all the way through on the A minor scale, it’ll sound good. But of course, you’ll want to learn the actual notes Gary plays as well 🙂
Oh, this song isn’t suitable for acoustic, sorry…
Our guitar lesson on Parisienne Walkways can be split up into 3 parts, the big solo, the verse, and the interlude (which is a smaller solo).
We will, of course, start out with the initial solo, where we’ll concentrate more on the techniques you’ll need to master to be able to play the song, rather than just learning the notes. This will be very advantageous, as these lead guitar techniques are used in loads of other songs as well, so learning to play Parisienne Walkways will be very beneficial if you are into the electric guitar.
Next, we’ll learn the chords you’ll need to play during the verse. These chords are actually arpeggiated by Gary and will be a great chord-changing exercise. There is 1 trickier chord, in particular. You’ll have to practice changing into it more than the other chords.
Finally, we’ll learn the interlude, which is a smaller solo in the key of A minor of course.
Oh, and just a word on the tone you'll be aiming for in Parisienne Walkways: Gary used a Gibson Les Paul with Marshall amps, and he also used a compressor to get super long sustain.
As I mentioned, this is really one of the greatest songs in my opinion, but rest assured, it's not that difficult once you're comfortable with some basic lead techniques. The thing that makes this song so wonderful is the soul.
You don't need blazing speed, or knowledge of all 7 modes of the major scale across the entire neck to be able to create something great. All you need is a couple of techniques, 1 single scale, and to put your heart and soul into your playing.
Parisienne Walkways will really show you how.
Parisienne Walkways song details
Parisienne Walkways was released in 1979 on the album Back on the Streets by the great Gary Moore. He was probably the least known blues guitar god of our time, for some reason, he never really made it to super-stardom.
There are 2 officially released versions of this song, the original 1979 version, and a live one played in 1993 and released in the same year. The 1993 version made it to #8 on the UK charts.
If you want to refine the skills you learned in Parisienne Walkways, check out these lessons on songs by clicking these links:
Open chords / Slides / String bending / Vibrato / Vibrato while string bending
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