Learn to Play Sweet Child of Mine
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Learn to Play Sweet Child of Mine

Master a class rock legend using these simple and tested methods
5.0 (1 rating)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
756 students enrolled
Created by Johan van Rooyen
Last updated 6/2017
Price: Free
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 6 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Play Sweet Child of Mine by Guns and Roses (except the guitar solo)
View Curriculum
  • You should have a guitar and the will to learn to play it

This course is a step by step guide to learning how to play one of the most famous songs ever written for guitar - "Sweet Child O Mine" by Guns 'n Roses. We'll work step by step to help you realize that goal of playing this awesome song for your friends and family.

Master A Classic Rock Legend Using These Simple And Tested Methods

  • Develop the ability of both hands to play notes
  • Familiarize yourself with the guitar
  • Learn to read guitar tablature
  • Master the song "Sweet Child O Mine"
  • Explore a variety of techniques for learning and mastering any song

This is a course aimed at getting you from whatever starting point you may be at to playing through the song "Sweet Child O Mine" without being distracted by unnecessary information. The course content is focused and goal oriented, with all the material directly tailored to getting students to a particular well defined target. 

The song has been hailed as a Rock classic, and frequently tops lists of best rock songs and best guitar songs. The intro riff is instantly recognizable and regarded as one of the defining moments of Rock guitar playing. 

We begin with a few exercises to get your left and right hands moving comfortably on the guitar. By starting with the basics, we ensure that your hands and fingers have enough strength and dexterity to manage the more challenging parts of the song.

From here we introduce some basic chords - particularly the power chords. These chords are extremely popular in Rock and Pop music and mastering them will allow a student the ability to play a large amount of new music. I introduce you to a method for slowly building up power chords, which if applied you will be able to play power chords consistently and cleanly.

Once the basics have been covered, we dive right into the song. We slowly work through the various riffs and parts, and I share some simple methods for getting the parts up to speed. By using the simple method, you can learn and master not only this song, but any other song you can think to learn. I demonstrate the method and show how it applies to this song.

We also have a glance at some lead guitar playing technique and explore some of the lead riffs that are used in the song. We look at bends and slides as a way to make notes sound more interesting and by using them, you will be able to take your playing to the next level.

From there we gradually start putting everything together, so that the various parts can be combined to form the complete song.

Who is the target audience?
  • People that love guitar
  • People that want to learn to play a song
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Curriculum For This Course
23 Lectures
Getting started
5 Lectures 23:50

This is the first lecture in the series. In this lecture we will explain the course structure, as well as the structure of this first section.


This lecture demonstrates the basic 4-finger exercise. A really powerful exercise for finger strength and independence. It also explains a few ways to practice and introduces the 3 rules for maintaining good sound.

Using the left hand

The student has spent some time exercising their left hand, and now it is time to look at the right hand. This lecture begins with correct pick holding, uni-directional picking and eventually alternating picking. 

Using the right hand

Your hands and fingers and probably pretty tired from the last two lectures. Now we set the guitar aside and examine some of the theory that we will need to know to continue. Don't be scared, it's all fairly straightforward stuff.

Reading tab, some theory stuff

A real life example of a guitar tab. Go through it slowly and carefully. In the next video you can check your answer.

Reading tab - exercise
Getting closer to the song
7 Lectures 23:12

By this point, you've been trawling through exercises, theory and all sorts of things that are definitely not music. We'll reward your patience in this lecture with the song "Otherside" by Red Hot Chili Peppers. A simple, but rewarding riff.

Bonus song - Otherside

Here, we take lessons 2 and 3 and move them into the higher register of the guitar. This lets your fingers get used to finding their way close to the head, and further down the fretboard.

Exploring the higher register

This lesson is our first steps into playing many strings at the same time - a thing called a 'chord'. The greatest tool in the rock guitarists arsenal is the power chord. You'll learn how to construct power chords, and how these chords got their name.

Power chords

Since Smoke on the Water, we haven't given much attention to our power chords. We revisit them in this lesson to see how power chords are used particularly in the song Sweet Child of Mine

Power chords deep dive

Since you've spent some time learning about power chords, we'll take a brief detour to see how to use them. We'll do this with the song "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple - a power chord driven classic.

Bonus song - Smoke on the Water

Smoke on the water - tabs

In all the exercises we've done so far, we've always been moving from one string to the next string along. In this lesson we shake things up and introduce some exercises with string skipping - a critical skill for our main goal.

String skipping
Getting the song going
6 Lectures 24:49
Main riff tab

This is our first lesson that is directly on "Sweet Child o Mine". We slowly go through the tab and pick out the notes. This will be your first effort at actually playing the song, which is great. This lecture with guide you slowly through.

That riff

In this lecture, we go through a step-by-step process for mastering power chords.

More Power chords

You know how to play a note that will sound decent. You can probably move between the notes fairly well and also read them from tab. Great. Let's have a look at some tricks for making those notes sound incredible.

Lead techniques - slides and bends

This lecture will be our second look at the target song. Using the lead techniques from the previous lesson we will slowly work through the tab and start piecing together the short interlude riff.

More lead riffs - interlude

Interlude tab
Getting the song to sound like a song
5 Lectures 13:16

So far you can probably play the song fairly well, but just a little slowly. This lecture is about stepping on the gas pedal and bringing the song up to full speed. We'll share a few techniques for accelerating for you to practice.

Up to speed

Chorus riff tab

The riff played in the chorus differs slightly from the way that its played in the introduction. We will examine the differences and learn the chorus riff.

Chorus riff

By this point, we've slowly accumulated many of the components of the song. What remains is to stick them together in the right order. This lecture will allow you to see how much of the song you already have, and how to string together the bits we already know.

Song structure

Congratulations. You can play the song now. That's pretty great. This lecture is about guitar playing more generally and makes some suggestions about what types of things you could look at learning in order to develop your playing further.

About the Instructor
Johan van Rooyen
4.5 Average rating
21 Reviews
2,342 Students
5 Courses
Music Instructor

I engage with music on a daily basis. Whether it be performing on stage, writing and composing music, teaching my students, or working with the other teachers in the school, I have music with me.

I completed a BMus (Hons), and received numerous bursaries and awards over the course I my studies. I have also written music for the stage and screen, performed in bands across the country, and produced research.

I spend each day empowering my students to bring music into their lives, helping them to not only become better musicians, but also to become better people.

I live in Johannesburg with my fiance, enjoy motorcycles, hiking, reading and, of course, music.