Mr. Brightside Guitar Lesson – The Killers

Mr. Brightside Guitar Lesson - The Killers

Subscribe for new songs every week!

Check out my theory and technique channel!

Take Lessons With Me!

Follow GuitarLessons365 on Twitter!

Please help support my lessons on Patreon.

When “Mr. Brightside” was released off of The Killer’s debut album “Hot Fuss”, it went on to become the bands biggest hit and helped them achieve international success.

The success of “Mr. Brightside” is in large part due to guitarist Dave Keuning’s highly inventive and melodic guitar work. In this Mr. Brightside guitar lesson video, I will show you how he plays all of those signature guitar riffs note-for-note.

Be sure to tune your guitar down a half step to Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb in order to follow along with this lesson and the original recording.

The opening guitar riff is instantly recognizable to any modern rock fan and quite challenging to play. Keuning uses some highly unorthodox chords very high up on the fretboard while playing a challenging arpeggio pattern across each chord. Besides the chord work, the key to getting this type of picking comfortable is to always pick in the direction of the next string that you will be picking. That will insure that your playing is as economical as possible.

You will also notice during this opening riff, which also acts as the verse of the song, that there is a quick open D string played between the chord changes. That open string is a clever technique that Keuning uses to facilitate the smooth chord changes. While picking that open D string you should be preparing the left hand for the next chord shape. Your ring and little finger should stay planted at all times.

The pre-chorus is also very challenging using a repetitive arpeggio picked pattern along with some chords requiring a very large stretch. This is also a very unorthodox way of playing these chords, but it is necessary in order to have the open high E string and E on the 5th fret of the B string ring together.

The chorus starts out rather simple by playing double-stops with a constant up/down arpeggio sequence. However, the second half of the chorus can be difficult to get up to speed due to the quick shifts involved. Once again here though, guitarist Dave Keuning uses an open string to enable him to quickly shift up without creating a break in the sound.

During the short guitar breakdown you will be playing a little variation of the chorus riff. The melody line moves around a bit faster here but it makes for a very exciting guitar part.

Other than that we will close the song out with 3 quick chords. These chord shapes will be familiar to you since they are also used during to chorus.

“Mr. Brightside” is not only a fantastic song full of energy and melody, it is also a very challenging and brilliantly original song for guitar players to learn. I highly recommend it. 🙂

Video Rating: / 5


  1. That 'little guitar breakdown' is one of the greatest solos of all time

  2. Prasanth Selvadurai

    Beethoven's 9th symphony

  3. omg the intro, i can't do it. the pinky finger

  4. Thanks Carl…..GREAT lesson…my fingers don't thank you! I am not hearing it…..which part of the song starts with the D arpeggio at the 10:00 point of your lesson? Are those essentially the same chords as the chorus just in a different position? Thanks again!

  5. Thanks Man!

  6. i cant physically do this, hands are too small lmao

  7. Can you please do a video on I will survive by cake?!?! You would make my life sooo much easier haha

  8. I just started teaching myself guitar and I don't understand how your hand can physically play this song.. How do you have your middle finger and ring finger on the same fret?

  9. Best guitar lesson i've ever seen. Based on original player's style, and perfect in notes thanks a lot!

  10. my fingers are dyeing from the chord shapes :/

  11. Shikhar Bhardwaj

    Still the best guitar tutorial for Mr Brightside 🙂 Thanks so much, matey

  12. You know I was going fine up until the chorous… Then I shit a brick

  13. on the bright side at least your pinky will come out able to play stuff like muse

  14. for people like me who are having trouble with the first lick,

    i've found that it's slightly easier to play if you cross your right leg over your left and rest your guitar on that, because then it changes the angle slightly so your pinky won't commit suicide

  15. steven herrera


  16. kayla de borja

    ohgawd when i heard the first note play i was grinning at the screen like a freaking lunatic

  17. Dude, you give the best lessons in youtube.

  18. i broke my wrist a while back, the pain of that stretched note it worse on my wrist than when it broke

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *