Deep Purple Speed King Guitar Solo


This song was from an idea that Roger Glover (bassist) came up with. Richie Blackmore was looking for an up-tempo piece to kick off their live shows, and had said to the other band members how much he liked the Jimi Hendrix track Fire. Roger tried to play something with a similar feel and came up with the riff on the spot! Although the entire song is definitely worth learning all the way through, this week we’ll only be focusing on the keyboard and guitar “duel” part, as I’ve seen many inaccurate versions on YouTube. Time to set things straight!

What I love about the guitar solo is how fusion it sounds. Rather than playing with maximum distortion, the pickup in the bridge position, and using a straight Pentatonic or Blues Scale – which is what most rock guitarists at the time would have done – Blackmore dials down the volume knob a touch, flicks the pickup to the neck position to get a warm jazzy sound, and makes tasty fusion note choices.

What kind of fusion notes are we talking about? If you look at bar 14 in the video (but bar 10 in the PDF tab below), Blackmore ends the bar with the 9th note of the G minor scale, basically playing the Dorian Mode, which is a jazz scale favourite. Then, in the next 2 bars, you’ll notice he plays the fourths of the scale, which is a typical jazz move.

As always, below the YouTube video you’ll find the backing track to play along with, and below that, the tablature. Aren’t I nice?!

Feel free to ask questions or just share your thoughts in the comments!

Watch the video:

Play along with the backing track:

Read the tab:

Deep Purple Speed King Guitar Solo

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