Learn a Classic Riff – Photograph

Learn a Classic Riff – Photograph

In this lesson we’ll be breaking down the classic intro riff for the Def Leppard track Photograph.

The tone used in the video is from the Blackstar ID:Core V3, and the patch can be downloaded here: https://architect.blackstaramps.com/community/view.php?id=6814&name=80S%20ROCK%20DEF%20LEP

The tone used in the video is not based directly on the album version, it’s more of a modern Def Leppard live guitar tone with lots of chorus, slapback and reverb. The studio version is a very brittle tone with lots of background noise that does not work much outside of the context of that riff so I’ve created a patch with more of a general 80s Def Leppard vibe.

This is a fairly scooped tone using the Super Crunch voice of the amp.

The riff is a pretty easy one to get going with, it’s made up of two main halves and it is based entirely on the D and G strings of the guitar.

The first half starts with a double stop on the 9th fret, play this with your middle finger on the D and third finger on the G, this allows you to use your first finger for the change to the 8th fret.

The second bar of this repeated phrase is a power chord shape on the D and G that moves to a one finger double stop.

Learn a Classic Riff – Photograph

The second half of the riff uses the same notes, but changes the rhythm slightly. This time around, instead of playing the 9th fret double stop three times, you play it twice and switch to the first finger on the 8th of the G for three strums. The movement from the power chord to the double stop in the second bar also follows this same rhythm.

You’ll notice that every bar in the entire riff doesn’t actually start on the 1 beat. It starts on the & of the first beat.

Learn a Classic Riff – Photograph

Once you’ve learnt both parts, you can put them together and play the whole riff like this:

Learn a Classic Riff – Photograph
Learn a Classic Riff – Photograph

This is a fun riff to learn, and it is great for any new players looking to get some classic riffs in their repertoire.

About The Author

This lesson was written by Leigh Fuge who is a professional guitar player and part of the team at MusicTeacher.com. MusicTeacher.com works with a network of fantastic Guitar Teachers ranging from Portsmouth to Wandsworth, all of whom are ready to help you to take your guitar playing to the next level. Get in touch today to find out who your nearest teacher is.