Learn To Play: Riffs in the Key of Prince

Prince’s passing last week has left a hole in many hearts. He was an icon, a musical visionary who experimented with gender, sexuality and race in a way that included and celebrated everybody. It’s no surprise we received a flood of requests for a “Riffs in the Key of Prince” video, so we’re releasing one in his honor.

For all of his fame, Prince was a criminally underrated guitarist. Not because people didn’t recognize his chops; they did. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year he was eligible, appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of best guitarists, and even floored talents like Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne when jamming on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

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It was, in fact, his own celebrity that cast a shadow over his guitar-playing skills. Because he was so well-known as Prince, the superstar, the Purple One, he was not as frequently referenced as Prince, the guitarist. Although the layman may not have been aware of Prince as the guitar virtuoso, his artistry has been acknowledged by many greats both within and outside of the music industry. Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder even stated, “Prince was probably the greatest guitar player we’ve ever seen.”

Rest in peace, Prince. Your talent and musical effervescence are sorely missed.

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