Smells Like Teen Spirit

Animated Smells Like Teen Spirit tab by Nirvana on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This song needs little introduction...and this ActionTab shows how to play it. Solo included.

Move through these simple barre chords (F5, Bb Maj, Ab5, Db Maj), and remember to mute the strings as shown in the ActionTab - especially in-between open chord strums. The guitar style begins with a clean guitar sound for the intro riff, shortly followed by more grunge than you'll find in a mechanic's sock.

At the very start the strumming pattern 'misses' one stroke, compared to how it is played throughout the rest of the song. In other words, after the first 3 chord strikes of the song (the chord is F5), there is a short gap followed by 3 muted strokes, then Bb Maj etc. Elsewhere in the song this riff will be played with 4 muted strokes and no gap at all. It's not that vital to be so precise - but for those who want to know, that's how Kurt did it.

Notice that sometimes the thumb is used to mute strings. Some people may prefer not to do this. However, for this style of playing it is common to clasp the back of the guitar neck closely, which allows your thumb to wrap around the neck and come down onto the fretboard from the top. You can mute the string easily this way - or even use your thumb to hold the bass notes of the song instead of using your first finger. If you want to more about this topic - check out our written site articles on alternative fretboard hand positions.

The rest of the song riffs are included in this ActionTab - the solo is added at the end for you to try out. The solo is from the album version, which is a bit longer than the single version of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' by Nirvana.


Oops! You need Flash 9+ and Javascript enabled

In order to view this ActionTab preview you need a web browser with Flash 9 or higher and Javascript. If this is your first time visiting you should be seeing a blue animated fretboard. If you feel your system meets these requirements but it still isn't working get in touch and we'll see if we can help.

Unfortunately Adobe Flash isn't supported on Apple's iPhone and iPad. If you are using a device running on Google Android you will be able to use Flash. Click on the Adobe Flash button below to download it.