how to play “Cheap Sunglasses” by ZZ Top – electric guitar lesson rythym

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An electric guitar lesson on how to play “Cheap Sunglasses” by ZZ top. Another classic riff from Billy Gibbons. Most guys don’t play this properly, but once you learn the technique and the tuning “trick” you’ll notice how much better it sounds.

I get a lot of questions about my sound so here’s what I’m using:

My amp is an Egnater Renegade head through a Marshall 1960b cabinet. I use a TC Electronics Nova System through the loop for effects. On almost all songs I just use a digital delay, roughly 400ms, but some stuff I use tap tempo to set the delay. I also use a BB preamp on most lead tones and sometimes (rarely) a Boss CS-3 compressor. The reverb is from the amp. My wah is a Dunlop MC404 CAE Dual Inductor, REALLY great pedal! I also use a Polytune tuner which is fantastic.

My guitar is a 1975 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe. I have Suhr Aldrich pickups on it. I have them coil split, but for this tune I had them running in full humbucker mode.

Folks may be surprised at how much time and effort goes into creating these videos. If you’re getting something out of the lessons and can afford to contribute to the cause, I’ve setup a Paypal link. If you can’t afford it no worries, but if you can, any amount is appreciated and will help me to continue to make the videos.


Thanks for all the comments, and questions and of course for subscribing. I really appreciate the support. Good luck to everyone with their guitar playing.
cheers everyone


  1. This is great! Can you do a tutorial for Gotsta Get Paid?

  2. What gear did you use for those sounds? What is the chorus type of effect used?

  3. very accurate – thanx

  4. Not sure everybody would think this is cool but in a trio you can sort of cover that whammy bar "A" note part in the "moody" section before the solos. You can play the three note mini bar chords and then hit the twelfth fret harmonic three times with your pinky while holding the triad in the lower position. It at least suggests the other guitar part. I haven't tried it with the band yet though.

  5. Outstanding….thank you!

  6. why do they say g minor; but you solo in g minor it doesn't sound good or like what he's playing ; when i do fminor sounds better or g#minor pentatonic or bminor pent

  7. Excellent job!

  8. question:

    how much do you use your coil splitter as opposed to the full humbucker ??

    I guess I am asking is it all that useful to have a coil splitter??

  9. For anyone with a floyd that doesn't want to detune, you can just play xxx220 and slide to xx33x and hammer-on the xxxxx1 at the same time, it's tricky, but it does sound exactly like the record.

  10. Barry P Walker

    Superb lesson. Thank you so much for getting this song perfect!!!!!!!!!

  11. Fantastic video, thank you so much – I've come back here over the past year or so just to rewatch and listen. Any thoughts on cheating the chord slide for the riff (otherwise clean chorus + overdrive blended), like maybe adding a slight amount of chorus on your overdriven guitar? Just wondering.

  12. Hey man, wanted to tell you how great these lessons of yours are. I've gotten a lot out of them . Thanks for sharing!

  13. some of Billy Gibbons songs are easier to play in open G tuning like this one and Tush  I know Billy doesn't usually drop the 5th and 6th strings by watching his videos but by dropping the first string your already part way there and on Tush  the fingering seems to get easier [ I know Billy uses his thumb }

  14. I was one of the guys playing it wrong and couldn't figure out why it didn't sound quite right, I have it down now. You nailed it, great lesson.

  15. twilightcapers

    Thanks for this – tune the first string down, no wonder I could never get this right! – excellent lesson. Subscribed!

  16. Love it! I'll be watching a lot more. Thanks!

  17. Fast Fingers Freddie

    Thanks… i never thought he dropped the high E come to think of it i bet thats what he does on sharp dressed man… have mercy!

  18. Thank you this rhythm has plagued me for a long time :)

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