Smoke on the Water

Animated Smoke on the Water tab by Deep Purple on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This is one of the most famous rock songs of all time. Perfect for beginners to get stuck into. Deep Purple recorded the song 'Smoke on the Water' for their album 'Machine Head' (1972).

The Lyrics tell the story behind the making of the album. The band were due to record at the Casino in Montreux, Switzerland after Frank Zappa finished his concert there. Someone fired a flare gun into the ceiling and the place burned down. The band had to find somewhere new to record, and fast...

This song is only one example of Ritchie Blackmore's guitar riff mastery. This ActionTab shows the easiest way to play the song for most beginners. The riffs are played using a pick (easier for the palm muted parts) - but bear in mind that Mr. Blackmore prefers this song to be played using fingerpicking. So if you are about to play for him in private concert, now you know how to get extra brownie points.

The whole song is very much based around the E shape powerchord pattern. Even the infamous beginning riff is just like playing an E power chord without the root note. It is easiest to play the beginning with your first finger barred across the 2 notes as shown, but use other fingers to hold these 2 notes if you find it more comfortable (the 3rd and 4th fingers instead means you can easily drop into the G powerchord for the next bit of the song).

The next part of the song (the verse lyrics are sung over this part) is simple palm muted picking across the G powerchord (E shape beginning on fret 3). Watch out for the timing and remember to drop 2 frets to pick across the F powerchord when shown.

The last part is open powerchords, and is the part where the chorus 'Smoke on the Water' is sung. Powerchord sequence is:

C5 (the 5 just means 'powerchord') - G#5 - G5 and then C5, G#5 again before breaking back into the beginning riff.


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