Do you like rock guitar riffs and singers with cool, raspy voices?
Well, if so, this "No More Mr. Nice Guy" guitar lesson is for you.
From the epic opening rock guitar riff to the big chords in the verse, to even the syncopated bassline part that matches up with the melody in the chorus, this song has a lot to offer the aspiring rock guitar player.
I'll walk you through the whole thing, step-by-step, in this guide, with the goal of unpacking this EPIC rock guitar style.
“No More Mr. Nice Guy" was written by Michael Bruce and Alice Cooper for the American rock band Alice Cooper. The song was first released as a single in 1973, off their sixth studio album Billion Dollar Babies. The song reached number 25 on the US charts and since then, it has become an anthem of rock 'n' roll.
One of the coolest guitar parts in the song is the opening signature riff. It starts off with an A power chord but is played with a root on the 4th string. Typically, the first power chords players learn are the ones with roots on the 5th or 6th string. However, this one starts off with the root on the 4th string and is great to have in your wheelhouse as a rock guitarist. From there, the notes progress through a bluesy little melody and then it ends with a quick pentatonic lick in bar 2.
This riff repeats four times, and then it moves to a Bm chord at the 7th position and then an Esus4 to an E in 1 bar like this:
The Bm can be played like this:
The Esus4 is like this:
And finally, the E can be played like this:
That is the essentials of the intro. Next, let’s look at some more chords.
There are 9 chords you’ll need to know to play this song and here they are in order of appearance after the intro covers above:
I play the A chord at the 5th fret like this:
The C#m is a bar chord shape at the 4th fret like this:
The G is just like the A but 2 frets lower:
I also play the Bm here in the verse and pre-chorus:
Then lastly there is the D played like the E from above but at the 5th fret like this:
The verse section is just four bars long and it's repeated twice before moving on.
Each bar has one chord in it, until the last bar.
It starts with A, C#m, G. Then, the last bar has three chords in it and uses a syncopated rhythm like this:
The pre-chorus is another 4-bar chord progression repeated twice. Here each chord lasts one bar like this:
F#m (1 bar)
Bm (1 bar)
D (1 bar)
E (1 bar)
Then that repeats again. Here the groove of the song changes just a bit and I like to strum it more like this:
Finally, we get to the chorus and this is where the lyrics sing: “No More, Mr. Nice Guy…”
I would recommend breaking this part into little 2-bar chunks. The first bar has 3 chords in it F#m, D, and E. Then the second bar has 2 chords D, and E like this:
Then those 2 bars repeat again, however, this time in the second bar we’ll play a syncopated bassline that matches up rhythmically with the vocal melody like this:
Now that you have mastered the signature riff and the various chord progressions, it's time to put it all together and play the song. Start by playing the intro, then move on to the verse, pre-chorus, and chorus. With practice, you'll be able to play "No More Mr. Nice Guy" from start to finish like a true rockstar. And for more rock guitar, check out this awesome "You Really Got Me" lesson next.