Green Onions

This riff is a classic guitar line that sounds great as part of an arrangement,  helps develop your rhythm, your guitar skill in finding different frets with the left hand, and your ability to use the pick between the three thickest strings in the right hand.

You’ll see that it is a repeating pattern. You’re always playing  0 0 3 5 in terms of the frets – this means open string, open string, fret three and fret five. A reminder of how to read the tab – the line that the numbers are written on is the string you’re playing. The fifth line is the fifth string (the A string). The fourth line is the fourth string (D string). The sixth line is the sixth string (E string). We always count the strings from the thinnest string. So the thinnest string is 1, and the thickest string is 6.
Here are some backing tracks for you to play along with. To begin with, you may find that your left and right hands get jumbled up – so you might have your fingers on the correct string with your left hand, but you might be picking the wrong string with your right hand. Just take your time and check your left and right hands. It’s normal for this take a little while to get the hang of, the distances between the strings are small, and your hands need a bit of time to get used to that.
Play without the backing tracks first until you can play all the way through. Pro tip: if you play the last line where the string changes every bar four times for every one time you play the top, that bit won’t throw you when it comes around. You’ll know you have mastered this when you can play all the way through without any gaps. Then move on to the backing tracks.  Firstly, you can play along with the audios that correspond with your part. Getting this far is great and plenty for beginning guitarists! Each backing track goes twice round Green Onions.

Green Onions 60 bpm


Green Onions 70 bpm


Green Onions 80 bpm


Green Onions 100 bpm


Green Onions 120 bpm