“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

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Riff Rundown

Difficulty: Easy

Composer – Nirvana

Where to find this song – Nevermind track # 1

Release Date – September 1991

The Band:

Kurt Cobain – guitar, vocals

Dave Grohl – drums, vocals

Krist Novoselic – bass

Ahh, Nirvana. The grunge rock band that our parents warned us about.
Kurt Cobain has become an icon in the music world in many ways like
John Lennon. His knack for creating some of the most popular riffs
in history has given us musicians a reason to play. The band’s music
is fun, and sometimes simple-but sometimes not so simple. The band,
as we all know, had to end because of the supposed suicide/murder of
their frontman, Kurt. The band had to call it quits way too early,
for obvious reasons, but their music will continue to inspire the likes
of all musicians and music enthusiasts along the way.

Main Riff



Begin the riff by placing your 1st finger on the first fret on the “low
E” string. Place your 4th finger on the third fret on the “A” string
and “D” string. Play that three times, and then mute the
strings a couple of times. Here, the mute is very important, as that
is what keeps the time in this song. Next, just move your fingers as
they are now to the “A” string, the “D” string,
and the “G” string, all relative to the frets above. Play
that twice, and then move your fingers as they are now to the third
and fifth frets on the “low E” string, the “A” string,
and the “D” string. Slide here to end the measure toward
the fourth and sixth frets on the same strings. Play that about three
times, and then mute the strings as you did in the first measure. Now,
end the measure by simply moving your fingers just as they are to the “A” string,
the “D” string, and the “G” string on the same
frets. Play that twice, and then just slide from the third fret with
your 1st finger toward the nut ( or tuning pegs ) of the guitar. Such
a popular song, yet so easy!



Riff Resources

Complete Transcription
To “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (PDF)

Complete Transcription
To “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Power Tab)