No grunge or rock guitarist’s repertoire is complete unless they know the Smells Like Teen Spirit chords. If you want to learn how to play Smells Like Teen Spirit on guitar, you need to start by mastering the power chords, the rhythm, and then the solo.
Step One: Learn the Power Chords
If you’re new to playing guitar, then learning power chords is an excellent pathway to learning many rock songs on guitar throughout the decades. The notes consist of a root note and a fifth played together through the positioning of the hand.
You can then alter these chords by going up and down an octave. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” has many power chord positions. You will move across the entire guitar with your hand positioning to play the whole song.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” includes the following chords: F5, Bb5, Ab5, Db5, C5, E5, F#5, Bb5.
Step Two: Learn the Rhythm
Learning the rhythm of a guitar song is all about counting the tempo. To count the tempo, you can tap or use a metronome then mimics that pattern throughout the song. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” works on 16th notes.
That means when counting 1,2,3,4, four separate times, you will find one bar. Once you understand the rhythm, you can focus on the strum pattern. The strum pattern for Smells Like Teen Spirit follows the basic up and down pattern, with down strums falling at the top of each bar.
Remember that some notes will have dead strings meaning fingers will make contact with the wrong string accidentally and cause a muffled sound.
Step Three: Learn the Solo
The guitar solo is the focal point of any guitar chord progression and separates the average guy playing “Wonderwall” under an oak tree from an experienced guitarist. If you want to truly impress people with your guitar skills, you should always learn the solo part as well.
The solo in “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is in the key of F minor and should focus on an F minor scale across the neck. You can check the finger positions and begin practicing.
Remember that when playing a solo, it always makes sense to start slow at first. Let your fingers remember the shapes they need to form, and then you can begin trying to play in tempo. It also helps to separate the solo from the rest of the song until you learn it perfectly.
As the Head Editor at Music Grotto, Liam edits content produced from over 30 professional music/media journalists and contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.