Deep Purple – Smoke On the Water

deep purple smoke on the water ukulele riff
Smoke on the Water midi

This is the first riff every guitarist learns to play. It’s the embodiment of the ‘less is more’ philosophy.

Deep Purple guitarist and writer of this riff, Ritchie Blackmore is currently writing madrigals and appearing at a renaissance fair near you.

Deep Purple - The Very Best of Deep Purple - Smoke On the Water

Suggested by Stewart and weelie

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  1. indigo_jones September 27th, 2007 2:36 pm

    It’s funny because it’s true! That really was the first riff I learned to play on the guitar!

    I’m enjoying this series. Thanks for doing it!

  2. Woodshed September 27th, 2007 7:58 pm

    First one I learned too. Glad you like the series. I’m thinking of going back and doing numbers 20 to 11 at some point.

  3. Uke Hunt » Top Ten Guitar Riffs for Ukulele Roundup October 4th, 2007 8:19 pm

    […] Child O’ Mine. 1.5 Back In Black. 2. Whole Lotta Love. 3. Paranoid. 4. Seven Nation Army. 5. Smoke On The Water. 6. Sunshine of Your Love. 7. Le Freak. 8. Satisfaction. 9. Gay Bar. 10. Iron […]

  4. Dodgergrrl November 7th, 2007 5:39 am

    Your website ROCKS! I just discovered it- just finished building my uke (from a kit) and now I’m loving hunting for TABS.

    Thanks so much!

  5. Woodshed November 10th, 2007 1:01 pm

    Thanks, Dodgergrrl. Glad you like it. And congratulations on building your own uke. I’d never be able to do that.

  6. Joe January 22nd, 2008 5:41 pm

    it was the first guitar riff i learnt!

  7. Variant May 11th, 2008 11:13 pm

    I can’t play this song on my guitar, only One and a very slow Stairway to Heaven.
    But now I can play it on my ukulele!

  8. Mark December 27th, 2008 6:43 am

    Ahahahah. Yeh we all learnt this on the guitar as our first song. I thought you would tab out the whole song, and then I come here and it’s like four bars and thats it, it’s hilarious.

  9. Woodshed December 27th, 2008 9:58 am

    Mark: Well that’s the point of the series.

  10. Joe Danks January 1st, 2009 7:47 pm

    I dont Mean To Be Contreversial but if you play

    Am, C, D, Am, C, D# D

    Than You can Use chords instead of single notes.

  11. Woodshed January 2nd, 2009 5:10 pm

    Joe: Yeah, that would work.

  12. April 25th, 2010 2:12 pm

    I taught myself how to play the ukelele abd how to read the music and now i’m really getting into ur site!

  13. Josh May 20th, 2010 2:05 pm

    Joe danks – If you play these chords, but still play the original tune on the bottom (A) string (you know, 0, 3, 5, 0, 3, 6, 5), it sounds even better!

  14. Woodshed May 21st, 2010 7:09 am Glad to hear it.

    Josh: Thanks.

  15. Jahan July 11th, 2010 4:54 pm

    i dont even play the guitar and this is the first thing i played on it. wise words!!!

  16. stan July 31st, 2010 7:42 pm

    this is the first riff i played on my uke 2, its just so easy

  17. Michael Booyzen August 13th, 2010 7:24 am

    I think its way easier if u play it like this
    all on G (string)
    that’s how i learnt it and it sounds GR8

  18. Smithy August 19th, 2010 12:44 pm

    you know how it’s supposedly the it’s the first guitar riff you learn…well, I think I’ve been cheated out of a riff ‘coz I’ve never learnt it at all! :( great on the Uke though

  19. zym October 26th, 2010 12:23 pm

    Gosh, has this really been here for 3 years?
    Doesnt time fly!

    Ahh, I remember it well… a young ukulele player without a care in the world, eager for uke tips, visiting the website of some floppy haired bloke in a pink shirt…

    And now look at me – 2 kids running about under my feet, and not enough spare time even have a crap in peace and quiet, let alone to pick up a ukulele and strum it for more than five minutes.

    Where did it all go wrong!!!

    But anyway, im thinking of adding this to the set list for the next HUG meeting, which will be a “Hall’o’fawkes” special – so, ta!

  20. LNA March 22nd, 2011 3:41 pm

    thank you for all the stuff on your great website!

  21. Kavana Crossley September 24th, 2011 9:51 am

    Begginers Favourite Uke Riff. Sounds great with so little effort.

  22. sam November 29th, 2011 4:58 am

    Interesting how its two strings, my friends play the smoke on the water on uke with the G string. My first uke song was “My Bonnie” however another recognizable tune to the older folk.

  23. Dizzy June 9th, 2012 12:16 am

    I’ve been practicing for a few days now and I’m wondering if there is any trick for plucking two strings at once. I’m either just not coordinated enough or I’m doing something wrong trying to pluck with two fingers as I’m having no success at all.
    Any tips?

  24. Woodshed June 9th, 2012 3:07 pm

    Dizzy: On this one I’m using my thumb on the g-string and my index finger on the C-string.

    I like to steady my picking hand by anchoring my little finger on the soundboard. It’s bad technique but it does make things easier.

  25. chelsea January 23rd, 2014 7:17 pm

    this is really helping with my guitar lessons at school

  26. Woodshed January 24th, 2014 8:41 am

    chelsea: Glad it helped!

  27. Thomas Seiler September 30th, 2016 10:55 am

    Smoke on the Water was not the first guitar riff I ever learned, that would be Satisfaction. SOTW was written seven years after I started playing guitar.

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