In this guitar lesson, you will be learning how to play We Will Rock You by Queen on guitar. This is a Queen classic and a great track for any rock loving guitar player to add to their repertoire. It’s extremely popular amongst both rock fans and casual music listeners and the good news is, it’s not that difficult to play either. This guitar lesson isn’t one that will take long to get through and long as you’re willing to listen closely to the track.
I decided on writing a We Will Rock You guitar lesson while I was writing my previous article. It was a piece on the best Brian May guitar solos. Be sure to take a look at that later but for now, let’s learn some classic Queen.
About the track
We Will Rock You was written by legendary guitar player Brian May and was recorded for Queen’s 1977 album News of the World. The song has received multiple accolades and went gold and platinum in multiple countries. It was ranked in the top 500 songs of all time by Rolling Stone and was also named one of the songs of the century. It was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Other than the half a minute or so of guitar playing at the end of the track, We Will Rock You is generally performed a cappella with a stomping and clapping rhythmic accompaniment supporting the Freddie Mercury vocals.
The song maybe simple in composition but its definitely an example of simple but effective. Simple is sometimes the best way to go and this is proof. We Will Rock You has always been a prominent piece of music in society with multiple cover versions recorded and multiple appearances in TV shows, films and other forms of media. The song also became popular in stadiums during sporting events.
That clapping and stomping at the start of the track is instantly recognisable to anyone that hears it but I’d argue that the guitar playing at the end is equally memorable so this is one that’s very much worth learning for any guitar player whether rock music is their primary genre or not.
How to play We Will Rock You by Queen on guitar – guitar lesson and TAB
This guitar lesson will be focussed on that last half a minute or so of the track that I mentioned in the previous section. This is because up until that point, there’s no guitar. The guitar is only around for a short time and it takes us to the end of the track, it’s only around for half a minute, but what a half a minute it is! Let’s dive straight in and learn how to play it.
The first thing that I normally show you during my guitar lessons is the chords that will be required for the lesson but today I’ll be focusing only on the TAB. This guitar part is very short so a few bits of TAB will be all we need. I’ll break it down into manageable chunks and then by the end, we’ll have put everything together.
How to play We Will Rock You by Queen on guitar part 1
So, the first thing we get from the guitar is a sustained note that gradually increases in volume and prominence. The TAB for this part is simple as there’s only 1 note used but you’ll need to control your instrument appropriately from your end, gradually increasing the volume from zero to full. You’ll also need plenty of gain for this. Here’s the TAB. Feel free to throw some vibrato on this too. I like to play with this a little and pick the note more and add wider vibrato so experiment and find what works for you.
How to play We Will Rock You by Queen on guitar part 2
What follows this note is some power chord-based playing that starts with a 3 finger C power chord at the 3rd fret of the A string. That chord is followed by a move to an A power chord that utilises the open A string. We’re also adding a G note on the low E string there at times. Here’s the TAB
As you can see, there’s some percussive stuff going on there too although I’ve tried to keep that simple. You can also see that there’s some complexity in the rhythm of this part thanks to things not always falling in the most simple way possible but its fine. Just play along to the record if you need to and you’ll get a feel for where things fall.
How to play We Will Rock You by Queen on guitar part 3
This next couple of bars take us to the other end of the fretboard. We’re based around the 14th fret with a barre and some hammer on and pull off stuff. Again, the rhythm isn’t the easiest thing to follow (or TAB out) but the actual difficulty isn’t that hard. We also see the emergence of some single notes which will lead us into the next part.
How to play We Will Rock You by Queen on guitar part 4
Next, we have another couple of bars but this time, there’s more going on in terms of lead guitar. This actually feels easier in terms of rhythm and it all flows very nicely once you know where to put your fingers. We’re almost there guys.
How to play We Will Rock You by Queen on guitar part 5
Part 5 of the We Will Rock You Guitar TAB takes us to the end of the track. We have 4 more bars based around the 14th fret, very similar to what we were doing before. The good news is, there’s only 2 bars to learn really, as the final 3 bars are repeated.
Below, you will see the addition of our final parts which means that the next image is the full We Will Rock You guitar TAB. Enjoy.
If you’re still in a rock mood, check out these following song tutorials.
Hello. My name is Ryan J Mellor and I play the guitar. I’m also the creator of Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat. I’ve ben a guitarist for many years and my guitar playing has been described as “above average”. My guitar and music knowledge is somewhat impressive but most importantly, I have a passion for creating great guitar and music related content.