Riffs on Ukulele: Sweet Child o' Mine

A famous Guns N’ Roses song, a simple and incisive riff that gets into your head, probably played by all budding guitarists.


A bit of history from wikipedia:

Lead guitarist Slash has been quoted as having an initial disdain for the song due to its roots as simply a “string skipping” exercise and a joke at the time. During a jam session at the band’s house in the Sunset Strip, drummer Steven Adler and Slash were warming up and Slash began to play a “circus” melody while making faces at Adler. Rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin asked Slash to play it again. Stradlin came up with some chords, Duff McKagan created a bassline and Adler planned a beat. In his autobiography, Slash said “within an hour my guitar exercise had become something else”. Meanwhile lead singer Axl Rose was listening to the musicians upstairs in his room and was inspired to write lyrics, which became complete by the following afternoon. He based it on his girlfriend Erin Everly, and declared that Lynyrd Skynyrd served as an inspiration “to make sure that we’d got that heartfelt feeling.”

My transcription makes a minimum use of open strings, and is fairly easy to play except for a jump from the second to the eighth fret in the second phrase:


Why i chose this fingering?

Officially because I prefer a ‘staccato’ execution, without notes that resonate, unofficially … well, I’ve always played the riff in this way and I succumbed to the habit! :-)


Published: June 11 2015