Peter Gunn Theme

Now for some of the fun stuff – FINALLY! Many of you will know this as the Blues Brothers theme, but this riff is a great one for beginners to practice with. It’s sort of a finger exercise, a picking exercise, and a rhythm exercise in one, so there’s a lot going on here! Take it slowly and don’t get too overwhelmed. I promise, it’ll get better and better the more you practice it.


Here's a little tab of this riff :) what's a TAB? Well, we're going to delve more deeply into Guitar TAB in Lesson 4, but just look at the bottom line on the image below - that's the thickest string, the 0 is the open string (no fingers on it) and the numbers are the FRETS where you'll put your fingers - we discuss which fingers to use in the lesson. More on the TAB stuff and what everything means later, don't worry about it yet!

Peter Gunn Theme


Up to this point, we haven’t done a whole lot with our pinky fingers, but that’s about to change! This riff has your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fingers placed on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th frets of the thickest string, respectively.

Try to get your fingers placed on the string before you start. It might feel a bit awkward at first to have your fingers spread apart that way but work on keeping the shape and strengthening your hand muscles. This will all come in handy as you become a more advanced player!

Your pinky will feel weak because…it is weak. It’s simply not as strong as the other fingers, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be stronger than it currently is. You’ll need it later, so the earlier you can give it something to do, the better.


All down-strums here! This is good practice for picking individual notes, rather than strumming all of the strings at once. Picking one string at a time can also be a challenge, though! Be careful not to hit the other strings as you’re picking. To help with this, you can try laying the 1st finger of your fretting hand down across all of the strings to mute them while you’re playing the riff.


This riff has what we call an “even rhythm,” meaning we’ll be using even 8th notes throughout the entire thing. Considering it’s literally called an even rhythm, you’ve got to keep it EVEN!

Find a tempo that works for you (tap tempo on your metronome), set your metronome to it, and really work on keeping that tempo steady as you’re playing. If you’re finding it difficult (which you should!), take the tempo down even further. Practice it as slowly as you need to! The focus right now isn’t on speed – it’s on precision and getting comfortable with your instrument.


Lesson 2: The E Gunn