Learn To Play 5 Beatles Guitar Riffs


This week marked the 58th anniversary of The Beatles debut single Love Me Do. Love Me Do was released in October 1962 where it got to number 17 on the UK music charts and hit number 1 in America, where it was released two years later. 

No one could have imagined the impact the Beatles would have on popular music and the countless number of people they would inspire to pick up the guitar along the way. 

Below I have selected five Beatles riffs that inspired me in the early days of my guitar playing, they are suitable for beginners to learn and are super fun to play. The riffs do get progressively harder as you move down the list but take it slow and don’t worry, as you can always give me a shout if you need help.

Riff 1: Ticket To Ride

‘Ticket To Ride’ was released on 9th April 1965 and can be found on the album Help!
The riff is just an A major harmonic arpeggio which changes to an Asus2 by simply lifting off a finger, making it super easy for the left hand while the right hand just picks up and down the strings.

Riff 2: Come Together

‘Come Together’ was released on 6th of October 1969 and can be found on the album Abbey Road.

The riff comprises of single notes and apart from a 3rd fret on the E & A strings, is played mostly on open strings. 

Riff 3: In My Life

‘In My Life’ was released on 3rd December 1965 and can be found on the album Rubber Soul.
This riff comes from the A major scale and starts with a bit of a stretch from the second fret of the G string to the fifth fret of the E string. Also watch out for the hammer-on between the third and fourth notes. 

Riff 4: Paperback Writer

‘Paperback Writer’ was released on 13th April 1966, it later appeared on the 1966 UK compilation album A Collection of Beatles Oldies and the 1970 US compilation album Hey Jude.
The riff comes from the G Mixolydian scale and is the fastest riff of the five at 157 bpm. Watch out for the two hammer-ons, particularly the quick one in bar two.

Riff 5: Day Tripper

‘Day Tripper’ was released on 3rd December 1965, it was released as a double A-side single with ‘We Can Work It Out’ both songs were recorded during sessions for the bands album Rubber Soul, but neither appear on that album.
The riff is an E major melodic arpeggio with an additional minor 3rd, pay attention to the right hand as you jump from string to string.

I hope you enjoyed these riffs and have fun with them, if you are a member of Beginner Guitar Academy head to the riffs section of the site for more classic riffs.

Keep practicing and see you soon.

Many thanks,


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