“Mama Kin” by Aerosmith

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Riff Rundown

Difficulty: Intermediate

Composer – Tyler

Where to find this song – Aerosmith track # 5

Release Date – January 1973

The Band:

Steven Tyler – vocals, harmonica

Joe Perry – guitar, vocals

Tom Hamilton – bass

Joey Kramer – drums

Over the years, Aerosmith have voiced discontent with their 1973
self-titled debut. The song writing may not have been as fluent as
their newer releases, and Steven Tyler’s singing style wasn’t fully
developed yet, the album succeeded on the band’s raw, rock-meets-blues performances. Now, they have nothing to worry about. They are still everywhere you turn!

Main Riff

The main riff has two guitar parts. This is what they sound like together:

Guitar 1

Begin the first measure by barring your 1st finger on the seventh
fret on all three strings that are shown being used on the tablature
( it will come into play in a second). Place your 3rd and 4th fingers
on the ninth frets on the “D” string and the “G” string.
Play that twice, only playing the notes shown on the tablature. Lift
off the ninth frets with your 3rd and 4th fingers and play that once.
Put your 3rd and 4th fingers back, and then move to the second and
fourth frets with your fingers in the same arrangement to end the measure.

Play the second measure by keeping your fingers where they were from the end of the first measure. Play that a couple of times, and then just like you did in the beginning of the first measure, pull your
3rd and 4th fingers off and play the second fret on the three strings
shown once. Put your 3rd and 4th fingers back, and after you have played that once, let off with all of your fingers and then place your 1st finger back on the second fret on the “D” string. Don’t forget the open notes.

The third measure is a little confusing. Barre your 1st finger on
the second frets on the “D” string and the “G” string. For this whole measure, allow the “A” string to remain open and played. Play that once, and then use your 4th finger to play the fifth fret on the “D” string once. Let off, and play the second fret as shown on the tablature. At the end of the measure, just barre your 1st finger on the second frets on the “A” string, the “D” string, and the “G” string, but only play the “A” string and the “low E” string. The “low E” string is played open.

The fourth measure is weird. Play this by placing your 1st finger
on the “A” string. Allow the “low E” string to remain open throughout this measure. Play that twice, and then use your 3rd finger to play the fourth fret on the “A” string. Let off with your 3rd finger, and play the second fret with your 1st finger again. It is recommended if you can to just leave your 1st finger there the whole time for this measure. Next, use your 4th finger to play the fifth fret, and then let off of that fret to go back to your “default” second fret. Play again with your 3rd finger on the fourth fret, and then let off of it as well to end the measure.

Guitar 2

The second guitar part, though a little trickier, isn’t much different
than the first. Let’s focus on the third measure, as the rest are almost
identical to the first guitar part.

The third measure has a couple of pull-offs in it. A pull-off is when
you go from a higher note to a lower note, only striking the first
note(s). The honest truth about this riff is that you may be performing a pull-off without even knowing it. Notice that the frets that you will need to play are almost the same as the last measure on both of these parts. Get familiar with the last measure on guitar part 1 before doing this, and you will have no problem. Notice the only difference is at the end of the third measure when you are to play the second fret on the “A” string instead of on the same string. The
rest is relative to the last measure from guitar part 1.

Riff Resources

Complete Transcription To “Mama Kin” (PDF)

Complete Transcription To “Mama Kin” (Power Tab)