If you’ve been playing guitar for a while, it can be tempting to slip into a sense of complacency. You’ve mastered some basic chords, scales, and strumming patterns, so what else is there to learn? A whole lot, as it turns out. There’s some phenomenal intermediate guitar songs out there that can help kick your guitar prowess up a notch, and we’ve picked out a few of them to teach you in this article.

 

intermediate guitar songsIntermediate Guitar Songs Vs. Beginner Guitar Songs

 

Intermediate guitar songs and intermediate guitar materials can mean many things ranging from bar chords, challenging riffs, fingerpicking patterns, complex chord voicings, and so much more. Beginner guitar material rarely moves from the first three frets of the guitar, but more complex material begins to explore the range of the guitar. As always, we recommend playing everything we show you today to the steady click of a metronome.

 

 

“Daytripper,” by The Beatles

 

“Daytripper” features not only one of the best riffs of all time, but is also a great intermediate guitar song for someone to learn something more challenging than songs with simple chords. The song’s chord structure is a variation on the 12-Bar Blues, and the main guitar’s syncopated rhythm is likely to get stuck in your head for months. In addition to chords, we’re going to show you how to play the main riff of the song. Here’s the chords paired with the lyrics for the verse and chorus. The chord structure here repeats two times throughout the song.

 

 

Riff 1:

 

Intermediate Guitar songs riff for daytripper

 

 

 

Riff 2:

 

Guitar riff for Daytripper

 

 

Guitar tabs for Daytripper

 

 

 

(Verse)

(Riff 1)
Got a good reason, for taking the easy way out
(Riff 2)               (Riff 1)
Got a good reason, for taking the easy way out

 

(Chorus)
F#
She was a day____ tripper, one way ticket yeah
A7     G#7          C#7              B7
It took me so____ long to find out, and I found out

 

(Solo)

B—

 

 

 

“1979,” by The Smashing Pumpkins

 

It only takes a few seconds of listening to “1979” to hear why The Smashing Pumpkins are widely recognized as being one of the most important bands in modern music. During the 90’s, this Chicago-based band took heavy grunge music and expanded it into gorgeous, sprawling songs that are dreamlike in nature. “1979” is one of the best intermediate guitar songs to learn, because it features challenging rhythms and interesting chord shapes up the neck of the guitar. For this song, you’ll need to tune your guitar a half step down to Eb tuning.

 

 

 

Intro and Verse Riff:

 

1979 Smashing Pumpkins Intro Riff

 

Pre Chorus Riff:

 

Pre Chorus Riff 1979 guitar

 

 

Chorus Riff:

 

 

Chorus Guitar Riff for 1979

 

 

 

Bridge Riff:

 

1979 Smashing Pumpkins Guitar Bridge Riff

 

 

(Intro and Verse Riff)

Shakedown 1979, cool kids never have the time
On a live wire right up off the street
(Pre Chorus Riff)

You and I should meet
June bug skipping like a stone
With the headlights pointed at the dawn
We were sure we’d never see an end to it all
(Pre Chorus Riff)

 

(Chorus Riff)
And I don’t even care to shake these zipper blues
And we don’t know just where our bones will rest
To dust I guess
Forgotten and absorbed into the earth below
(Verse Riff)

Double cross the vacant and the bored
They’re not sure just what we have in the store
Morphine city slippin’ dues, down to see that

 

(Pre Chorus Riff)

(Chorus Riff)

We don’t even care, as restless as we are
We feel the pull in the land of a thousand guilts
And poured cement, lamented and assured

(Bridge Riff)
To the lights and towns below
Faster than the speed of sound
Faster than we thought we’d go, beneath the sound of hope

(Verse Riff)

Justine never knew the rules
Hung down with the freaks and the ghouls
No apologies ever need be made
I know you better than you fake it, to see

 

(Pre Chorus Riff)
(Chorus Riff)
And I don’t even care to shake these zipper blues
And we don’t know just where our bones will rest
To dust I guess
Forgotten and absorbed into the earth below
(Verse Riff)
The street heats the urgency of sound
As you can see there’s no one around

 

 

 

“Smells Like Teen Spirit,” by Nirvana

 

 

Nirvana’s blistering contribution to music was the perfect accompaniment to the angst, discontentment, and disillusionment so many young people were already feeling in the early 90’s. Nirvana and their first hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit” changed the musical landscape forever because the release of the song propelled alternative rock into the mainstream where it’s remained ever since. This song is as fiercely powerful as it is simple, and it’s a perfect introduction to power chords and string muting. Power chords are simple shapes on the guitar that leave the note out of the chords that determines if the chord is major or minor. To mute the strings, simply relax your left hand fingers slightly and strum the strings.

 

 

 

 

Intro and Chorus Riff (mute strings between chords):

 

Smells Like Teen Spirit Intro Guitar Riff

 

Verse Riff (play the same notes at a faster rhythm during pre-choruses):

 

Smells Like Teen Spirit Guitar Riff

 

Bridge Riff:

 

Smells Like Teen Spirit Bridge Riff

 

 

 

 

(Intro and Chorus Riff)

 

(Verse Riff)

Load up on guns
Bring your friends
It’s fun to lose and to pretend
She’s overboard, self-assured
Oh no I know, a dirty word
(Verse Riff)
Hello, hello, hello, how low [x3] Hello, hello, hello
(Chorus Riff)
With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us
A mulatto, an Albino
A mosquito, my libido, yeah

(Bridge Riff)

Hey, yay

(Verse Riff)

I’m worse at what I do best
And for this gift, I feel blessed
Our little group has always been
And always will until the end

Hello, hello, hello, how low [x3] Hello, hello, hello

(Chorus Riff)

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us
A mulatto, an Albino
A mosquito, my libido, yeah

(Bridge Riff)

Hey, yay

(Verse Riff)

And I forget just why I taste
Oh yeah, I guess it makes me smile
I found it hard, it was hard to find
Oh well, whatever, never mind

Hello, hello, hello, how low [x3] Hello, hello, hello

(Chorus Riff)

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us
A mulatto, an Albino
A mosquito, my libido

A denial, A denial, A denial, A denial, A denial
A denial, A denial, A denial, A denial

 

 

 

We hope learning these intermediate guitar songs has been fun. If you get stuck learning these, it’s always a good idea to seek out help from an experienced guitar teacher.

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