How to Play Tush by ZZ Top on Guitar

richardsguitarstudio on November 16, 2015


Nate shows you how to play Tush by ZZ Top on guitar in this guitar tutorial with tabs!

Every time I hear a ZZ Top riff (especially Tush), I always think, “Only a man could have written this riff.” I’m not trying to be sexist here, but there is some sort of engrained simple masculinity about ZZ Top’s guitar riffs. I think it is refreshing to hear straight-up man-writing. Something that is on the opposite end of the spectrum from, say…Nickelback.

Here are some tips for learning Tush on guitar:

  1. You MUST work with the tabs – the riff is based on 12-bar blues so it is a LONG riff. Just going through the tutorial without the tabs is possible, but will be more of a headache than you really need. Open the tabs in a new window, print them out, or use some other means to read along as you practice. This will make the learning process much, much easier.
  2. Lower the thumb to reach stretched-out chords.¬†There are a few chords in this song that span FIVE frets – yep, that’s right. So, you must keep the thumb low on the back of the neck in order to reach. If you’re having trouble, put the pinkie down first, and reach¬†back for the first finger, extending it towards the headstock. If you plant a lot of weight on the first finger and try stretching with the pinkie, it won’t get your very far. Think of the first finger reaching back as the main sensation of the stretch.
  3. Practice standing up. As per my recent lesson on How to Play Guitar Standing Up, try playing this song standing up rather than sitting. It’ll be a good opportunity to get a feel for it, while at the same time getting your body moving and energy going, since standing gets your blood flowing and you can put more enthusiasm into the performance.

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