how to play “Heroes” on guitar by David Bowie | electric guitar lesson tutorial

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Link to the SOS article on the writing and recording of “Heroes.” –

Link to the Wikipedia page on

An electric guitar lesson on how to play “Heroes.” by David Bowie.

This is my favorite David Bowie song, and possibly the most loved tune he’s ever recorded. The song was an instrumental for a long time with the singing and lyrics added later on. The musicians on this one came up with some amazing parts. Carlos Alomar’s rhythm guitar parts are excellent, and Robert Fripp’s haunting guitar/synth part is incredible.

For the demo I faked the keyboard parts on guitar and just used a lot of gain, delay and reverb on the lead guitar parts. There is a lot of stuff happening on the original recording, it really is an incredible record. Read the SOS article for all of the details.

I had a lot of fun making the demo for this song. I hope you enjoy the video.

I get a lot of questions about my sound so here’s what I’m using:
My amp is an Egnater Renegade head. I am using a Two Notes Torpedo Live. It’s a load box and a speaker emulator so I’m not running the Marshall 1960b speaker cabinet anymore. It enables you to crank up your tube amp but use headphones, or just listen at low volume through your monitors, so I can be rocking out and getting a great sound without bothering people around me. So far I like it!
I use a TC Electronics Nova System through the loop for effects. I also have a BB preamp which I essentially never use anymore, 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.
I use Elixir strings nanoweb 10-46. These are the best strings I’ve ever used. They last 5 times longer than uncoated strings and always sound great.
My guitar is a 1975 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe. I have Suhr Aldrich pickups on it. I have them coil split, but for this video they were 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, 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. A special thanks to all of you that have contributed financially by making a donation! I really appreciate the support. Good luck to everyone with their guitar playing.
Video Rating: / 5


  1. Major Tom & the Moonboys

    Wow, excellent break down. My band happens to be working on this song next in our set list… Thanks for your work here, I know it takes a lot of time and thought to put these together. Great job! All the best, much appreciated!

  2. Righteous Isthelord

    Dear Lord in Heaven thank you for the being the only person on the whole damn internet who gets it! First, you play it right. That in itself is so rare (some people have no shame). Second, you don't show us 2 seconds of playing the song, then jump right into super slooooooow mo for the super beginner. Instead, you have minutes and minutes for those of us who can just pick things up "real time" THEN you go into the details, but, again, not at a glacial pace. Dude, they say there are those who can teach and those who can do – the internet is full of people who can do neither, but you do BOTH!

  3. Ur tone is magnificent

  4. you always do such a great job,please don't stop. you are the best.. thanks so much

  5. wow! seriously the best tutorial on any song I've seen, and I've seen lots. Real nice

  6. Nicely played! Good staff


  8. Can you please do a tutorial on Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. There are many many tutorials on youtube on how to play this song, yet you always have the best lessons on the entire internet, and I applaud you for that. I understand that you spend a lot of time on these videos and would love for you to help me learn this song. I have learned both solos of comfortably numb and goodbye blue sky, but only because of your fantastic teaching. Thank You.

  9. Brill! Happy to PayPal something to you for this insightful lesson. How?

  10. Thanks for this.

  11. One of my favourite songs, thank you.

  12. Beautiful sustain!

  13. Great lesson, man! Thanks for posting this.

  14. Ana Luiza Brown

    Thanks for this video! I love this song !

  15. really like your tone cool playing sounds clean

  16. Wow, awesome! But i wish to have the tabs and some advices about the tunes regulations.

  17. What a fabulous lesson ! Watching it every day until I get it.

  18. Credit where It's due – You are a very good teacher and excellent guitarist – 10/10

  19. Top notch!

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