Satisfaction Guitar Lesson – The Rolling Stones

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Difficulty: Level IIILevel IIILevel III
Length: 16:07


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Satisfaction music videoMusic video

With our guitar tutorial on Satisfaction, you will learn these guitar skills:
  • barre chords
  • hammer-ons
  • open chords
  • pull-offs
  • strumming patterns

I’m not sure you know this, but you are about to learn the 2nd best song ever written. Really.

According to the Rolling Stones magazine, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones is the 2nd greatest song of all time, on their list of 500 best songs. Now that’s a pretty nice achievement if you ask me.

And again, structurally, the song is dead simple. The main riff is just 3 notes(!!!), and the chorus is just 2 chords. As you’ll soon see, you don’t need a blazing fretboard and godlike guitar skills to create truly great music.

Our video lesson on Satisfaction will teach you how to play the guitar bits to the song, but first of all, you’ll want to set your amp to recreate that crunchy sound used by the Stones. Add a moderate amount of gain, and set your bass and treble a bit above mid. Experiment with it.

First we’ll have a look at the main riff of Satisfaction. We’ll go over it note by note, and I’ll stop to make sure you get all of the little intricacies, that make this riff what it is. Keith Richards has said that he wrote the riff in a hotel room right before falling asleep, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s just one of the most famous guitar riffs of all time.

Next, we’ll learn the chorus, which is made up of 2 chords. I teach the barre chord version of the chorus, and also an open chord version. I would really like you to practice the barre chord version mostly, but if you aren’t at that level yet, feel free to play the open chord version. It’s not as authentic though.

The chorus chords have a quick little fill in between them. At first, aim just to be able to play the chords without the fills, and once you get them down, add the fill. This will be the hardest part of the song, since your fretting hand needs to move very quickly from the chord to the fill. As always, watch my hands in the video, practice it slowly at first, speed will come naturally.

And that’s pretty much it, fairly simple. Make sure you download the tabs to Satisfaction, and also to play along with the backing track I found for you, it’s under the tabs/backing track tab. Playing along with backing tracks is always a good idea, but it’s especially fun with this song, since the backing track has all the tracks (including voice), except for the main guitar, which you’ll be playing.

Satisfaction song details

Satisfaction was released by the English rock band The Rolling Stones in 1965. It’s amazing to find out that this song is half a century old, yet it still strikes a chord with people today. The song was released as a single in the USA, and gave the Stones their first no 1. US hit.

The song talks about increasing commercialism in the world, and the lyrics also refer to sexual frustration. When the song was released in the ‘60s, it was perceived as disturbing due to its negative view of contemporary culture, and its sexual connotations.

Keith Richards, the guitarist for the Stones said he intended for the main guitar riff to be played by trumpets. That’s the reason the guitar has fuzz on it, he wanted to emulate the trumpet sound.

Satisfaction song awards

  • 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (Rolling Stone Magazine): #2
  • 100 Greatest Rock Songs (VH1): #1

If you want to refine the skills you learned in Satisfaction, check out these lessons on songs by clicking these links:
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Download tabs for Satisfaction

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Download backing track for Satisfaction

Satisfaction backing track download link Sorry, the same goes for the backing track. To download the backing track to Satisfaction, please log in and revisit this page.

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