Marty Friedman: This Was the First Song I Ever Learned on Guitar, I Didn't Even Like It

"It had only two or three chords."

logo
Ultimate Guitar
Marty Friedman: This Was the First Song I Ever Learned on Guitar, I Didn't Even Like It
10

Marty Friedman was asked by Guitar World to single out the first song he ever learned on guitar, to which he replied:

"A pretty unknown album track by Rush called 'Bacchus Plateau.' It had only two or three chords.

"I didn’t like it much, but at least it was cooler than 'Dreams' by Fleetwood Mac, which the entire school was learning.

"That song had even less chords in it. Not until I became an adult did I realize what a great song 'Dreams' is and what a true god Lindsay Buckingham is."

Still discussing his early days, Marty noted:

"No one in my family is musical at all, and music wasn't my first choice by a long shot.

"I was completely into sports. I loved all the major sports, football, baseball, hockey and basketball. I wasn't horrible at any of them, but I certainly wasn’t what you would call good.

"I did make the junior high basketball team, which tells you how crap they were. I was always kind of emaciated and bony, so I had the perfect body type for either a rock star or a drug addict, so I decided to go for the former."

"Bacchus Plateau" is the fifth section from Rush's 20-minute composition "The Fountain of Lamneth," originally released on their third album, 1975's "Caress of Steel."

YouTube preview picture

Marty released his latest studio album "Wall of Sound" on August 4 via Prosthetic Records as the follow-up to 2014's "Inferno." You can stream it in full below.

'Wall of Sound' track listing:

1. Self Pollution
2. Sorrow and Madness (featuring Jinxx of Black Veil Brides)
3. Streetlight
4. Whiteworm
5. For a Friend
6. Pussy Ghost (featuring Shiv Mehra of Deafheaven)
7. The Blackest Rose
8. Something to Fight (featuring Jorgen Munkeby of Shining)
9. The Soldier
10. Miracle
11. Last Lament
YouTube preview picture

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    soundsabbath
    My first riff was run to the hills! Then it was all down hill from there
    HardAttack
    'Back in Black' by AC/DC here. That whole album is a good starting point.
    Nuxx00982
    "Welcome Home" by Coheed and Cambria. It's got a sweep arppegio, power chords, inverted chords and palm muting.
    TheMysticalBard
    Idk why you are being downvoted. That's a great somg for beginners to learn.
    Nuxx00982
    Cause it's not "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" by Metallica or "Welcome Home" by King Diamond? I dunno, lol
    Batmantera
    Because Coheed is a terrible band. The singer is really the main problem but their songs musically are...meh. But I guess that's better than learning Kumbaya or Mmmbop.
    zack2k
    My first song mastered on drum was The Reason and Back in Black. then I got "absorbed" into Indie Rock like AM and The Strokes because they need a drummer. Right now I'm riding through Psychedelic.
    redwindmh
    My first was Stairway to Heaven. Still not allowed back in that guitar shop...
    Fausch
    I kinda feel terrible that my first riff was 'Long Way Down' by the Goo Goo Dolls. 
    Guns N' Chains
    Don't feel bad about that at all. They have some cool stuff. Nowadays they are getting further and further away from rock but their 90's stuff into the 2000's is legit. They were a very influential band for me starting out as a guitar player and finding myself and being able to understand song structure, chords, just everything. That's because a lot of their early stuff (Superstar Carwash, A Boy Named Goo) contain very simple songs. I'd recommend them for someone starting out playing guitar and wanting to play along to songs.
    bcwill58591
    I started playing in the early seventy's so of course it was "smoke on the water", heck i still like playing it today.
    BlackDeath92
    Like so many, my first song was Smoke on the Water. The funny thing is that 10 years later, I still haven't learned the solo! 
    cremadiscampi
    First song was Wish you were here by Pink Floyd, first riff was snow by RHCP. 
    sanjurox4
    Both are epic songs, but definitely not a good starting point for guitar imo.
    cremadiscampi
    In fact Snow was very hard for me, i had to practice it for 3 months and i couldn't play it completely because i had no stamina. Wish you were here was actually simple
    d.floresumana
    The first song I learned completely was Aerosmith's Dream On... Before that a new a few chord versions of other tunes.
    derekennamer
    I think my first riff may have been the intro to Come as You are. Simple and recognizable. It wasn't until later that I realized the song was downtuned. What a noob...
    OriginOfFeces
    First thing I learned to play (after figuring out how tabs work) was the into to One and Enter Sandman. Started to figure out how to do certain licks and techniques and figured out how to play quite some riffs by ear then. Learning more songs has never been my thing though. 
    Shreddermeister
    First song i played with a band was "wheels of steel" by Saxon, easy to play, sounds big even when youre playing is'nt to accurate and you can play it endlessly. We were 3 guitarist and a drummer(anything he played sounded like polka) and we played it probably for two hours without a break.   
    travislausch
    Caress of Steel is such an underrated album!  First riff I learned was "In The Flesh" by Pink Floyd. It was pretty much the only thing my dad knew on guitar, so when I got my first one, it was the first thing I was ever shown how to play. 
    domea
    First real song, Cocaine by clapton and then an attempt at Hey Joe by hendrix.  Hey Joe is a great song to practice for a beginner I think because you get to play that great intro and if you suck at switching between different open chords you can work on that too. 
    drcranium
    First song I ever learned was Perpetual Burn by Jason Becker...took me 10 years to master and is the only song I know how to play and will play til I'm dead.