Satisfaction Chords & Tab – An Essential Guide To Playing ‘Satisfaction’ by The Rolling Stones

This Satisfaction chords and tab break down the essential sections of this classic Rolling Stones song for you to learn in detail – Let’s dive in!

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In this free lesson, you will learn…

  • How to play ‘Satisfaction’ by the Rolling Stones
  • Hand positioning
  • Tips for tighter playing
  • Top pointers for maximising your practice routine
  • Tips for ear training!

An Intro To This Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction Tab

The Rolling Stones were (and still are) one of the most monumental successes in rock music.

With an incredible back story and a countless array of hit songs, the Rolling Stones blazed their way to the top of the charts and remained there firmly for many, many years.

  • In today’s lesson, we’re going to look at The Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction tab.
  • This tune is straightforward and tons of fun to play.

We’re going to review everything from the techniques and chords you need to know, right down to every note you need to play in order to nail this song.


We’re also going to dive into a brief history of the Stones and their infamous rise to fame.

  • From the blazing guitar licks of Keith Richards to the screaming vocals of Mick Jagger, these UK rock-and-rollers spared no expense in pushing the envelope of what Rock music was and what it could evolve into.
  • Without the Rolling Stones, rock and roll may not have gotten the push it needed to smash the barriers of censorship and bring its loud and abrasive nature to the radio waves.

Today we’re going to pay tribute to all that they’ve done for our music scene by reviewing this Satisfaction tab and teaching you how to play it.

First thing’s first, though – Let’s talk back story.


A Little Bit Of History

The song ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’ was released in 1965 on the album ‘Out Of Our Heads’ by the Rolling Stones.

The song that would later be referred to simply as “Satisfaction” got the Stones their first #1 hit in the United States.

At the time, UK radio deemed the song ‘too suggestive’ for public air-play, and so it only aired on what was then called “Pirate Radio Stations.”

These radio stations operated outside of commercial radio regulations and would often either hijack radio frequencies to broadcast over other stations, or broadcast illegally in general.


Pirate radio stations were just about as rock & roll as the bands they were airing, and it made for an exciting time when it came to pushing the boundaries of censorship on the radio.

The Rolling Stones were considered to be the ‘bad boys’ of music.

  • From their look to their sound, everything about them gave the impression of a band that wasn’t afraid to shake things up – and that’s exactly what they did.
  • By today’s standards, the Stones may not really be considered a ‘heavy band’ – but in the 1960s, they were heavy enough to frighten the Church.
  • Think about that standard of music for a second – especially when the torch of ‘heavy music’ nowadays is carried by bands like this.

Now, let’s jump into technique!


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What Techniques Do We Need To Play This Song?

It’s always good to arm ourselves with as much information as possible about a piece of music before we dive in.

By listening to the song repeatedly and analysing what is being played, we can familiarise ourselves with the tune more easily and play it more smoothly.

The two main techniques we’ll want in our toolbox for this Satisfaction tab are alternate picking and sliding.

One key thing to keep in mind is to pay attention to the rhythm of the guitar and how it is paced through the song. There is a definite and unique rhythm to pick up, and it helps to listen for that early in the song.

Let’s take a listen now.


Pro Tip: Listening to a song repeatedly before we play it helps embed the musical information into our brains. This is a super-effective technique for making the process of learning music easier.

As you progress as a musician and improve your ears, certain musical movements will become more familiar to you.

  • Eventually, these movements and techniques will become second nature to you.
  • This is the beauty of learning music – Everything that we learn always translates.
  • The more we learn musical concepts, the easier it is to learn the next musical concept.

Get it? Good. Now, let’s chat about chord progressions!


Satisfaction Tab: What Chords Do We Need To Know?

This song is really easy in the chord department.

This Satisfaction tab contains three primary chords for the whole song:

E major – A Major – D Major

In the ‘Cause I try’ section, we will see a B7 pop up as well, so be ready to rock one barre chord in this tune as well as some open-position chords.

This song is extremely strummable, and it’s easy to just get by on learning these chords alone.

If you just wanted to learn the chords of this Satisfaction tab, you can chill here and learn this section along with the song.



If you really want to rock out, we’re going to break down the rest of the song below.

Pro Tip: Understanding a song’s arrangement is one of the most important parts of learning music.

When you are listening and following this Satisfaction tab, keep an ear out for how the song switches back and forth from verse to chorus, and how those sections are different from one another.


One of the best parts of writing music is the ability to make small changes to one section in order to create a new section that will ‘pair well’ with the other.

  • Writing music is a lot like cooking – We have to use ingredients that will compliment each other.
  • Many times, these ingredients will have similar properties or characteristics.
  • This can be said in the same way about chords and notes.
  • Speaking of notes, let’s play some guitar already!


Satisfaction Tab: Intro & Chorus Riff

Let’s face it – This riff is iconic.

Even if you didn’t know who wrote it up until right now, we guarantee you’ve heard this riff before.

  • ‘Satisfaction’ has had plenty of play in movies and television over the years, and it’s usually the intro riff that Hollywood loves most.
  • We will start out with our index finger at the second fret on the A string and pluck twice.
  • From there, we play 2-4-5 on the A string with our index, ring and pinky fingers respectfully; then play back down the way we came.

We’ve illustrated the intro riff below with notation as well, so you can see how the rhythm flows if you’re into reading notation.

If not, keep the track close by and play along!


You’re going to want to repeat this 2-bar passage a total of four times before landing again on the 2nd fret on the A string and holding it there for one bar.

This song repeats this phrase often, and you can use sliding to move your ring finger between the 4th and 5th frets if you don’t want to use your pinky.


Pro Tip: Even though using your pinky finger isn’t absolutely necessary for playing guitar, we recommend you use it as often as possible throughout this Satisfaction tab.

Your pinky is the one finger that adapts a lot less quickly because of the fact that it is used less often in day-to-day activities.

Give your pinky the love it deserves and work it into your practice regimen, and you’ll be rewarded with an extra finger to shred with!

how to-play-satisfaction-on-guitar

Satisfaction Tab: The Verse

This section is predominantly played with an acoustic guitar on the recording, but there is a gritty electric guitar underneath that keeps a cool little riff going. We’ve tabbed it out for you below, as well as the chords.

For the strumming pattern, you should favour a pattern that looks something like this:

Down – Down – Down – Up – Down – Up

This pattern gives us a good circular cycle of strumming that we can easily get stuck into. Make sure you follow up on the last upstroke with an immediate downstroke to keep the rhythm going steady.

Pro Tip: The verse is an important section to learn in this Satisfaction tab. Take some time to familiarise yourself well with these chords, and play along to get your groove together.


For the rhythm guitar part of the verse, wait two bars before coming in to play this riff.

  • This beautiful little lick in this Satisfaction tab is buried in the mix, so listening with headphones is highly recommended in order to grab all the little details.
  • This riff is tricky as it combines single-note progressions with a few chords to keep you on your toes.
  • Do yourself a favour and listen to this section a few times to get a good feel for it.
  • The notes are very present and easy to hear once you can place the guitar in your ears.


Pro Tip: Move forward with your ring finger so that your index finger has room to move your hand backwards as needed.

This will give your mobility a needed boost. Watch out for the mini barre chord at the 7th fret on the A string! This Satisfaction tab has a few surprises, so be on the lookout.


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Satisfaction Tab Bonus: The Vocal Line

Lifting and learning vocal lines from songs is a great way to develop our ear and keep our chops up to par.

We thought it would be cool to throw Mick Jagger’s vocal line into this Satisfaction tab to give you a bit more to play with.

Be mindful of the rhythm in this section, and pay close attention to how Jagger sings. His rhythm is distinct and easy to spot, so look out for it!

These vocal licks involve a little bit of finessing in the hands, so take your time and move at your own pace to get through this section of the Satisfaction tab.


The end half of the vocal line is super straightforward, and makes us focus on the interplay between our index and ring fingers.

Alternate picking is super important in this Satisfaction tab in order to make sure we nail the note changes as they happen.

Pro Tip: Take note of the ‘let ring’ indication, and apply it where needed throughout the vocal line.

Mick Jagger uses a combination of held notes with punchier ‘staccato’ (short) notes to get his point across, and you should make sure to reflect that in the way you play it.


How To Play This Satisfaction Tab Tightly & Effectively

Playing through this Satisfaction chords and tab effectively requires you to pay close attention to the rhythm of the song.

A lot of classic rock music is rooted in groove and punctuation, and it’s just as important to look out for the right notes as it is to take note of hard stops and rests.

Using a metronome to feel our rhythms is also super important and helps us tighten our ‘time feel’ in the process.

What’s ‘time feel’?

  • Time feel is the way in which our ears naturally approach rhythm and timing in music.
  • The more we practice keeping tightness in our grooves, the better our time feel becomes.
  • Due to the bounce of the song, time feel is important to pay attention to throughout this Satisfaction tab.


Try This: Count an 8th note rhythm throughout this Satisfaction tab.

You can do this by either counting the rhythm below in your head while playing, or by tapping your foot.

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

Pro Tip: If you’re tapping your foot, you can use the upward motion to count the ‘&,’ (‘off-beats’) and the tap to count the 1, 2, 3 and 4 (on-beats).

Learning to count is a vital tool for any musician, regardless of their principal instrument, and it helps a lot in this Satisfaction tab..

  • Take the time to develop a practice workflow that involves either mental or physical counting to keep yourself in good time.
  • Your future bandmates will thank you!

Final Pro Tip: Practice isolating different instruments in your ears when learning any new song by focusing on one instrument at a time in the mix.

This helps your ears distinguish what is happening in a song more easily, and makes for an interesting listening process also! Apply this concept to this Satisfaction tab to master it quicker!

Where Do I Go From Here?

Can’t get no satisfaction from these Satisfaction chords and tab? We’ve got some more suggestions below:

  • Try playing along with a metronome to tighten up your playing
  • Play along to the track to try and fall into the groove of the song!
  • Practice each section individually to master one part before you move on to the next
  • Play slowly to help yourself sound out each section – Don’t rush!
  • Watch someone play a YouTube cover of this Satisfaction tab to get a better idea of how it’s played!

Recommended Resources

If you loved this free lesson on the Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction tab, you’ll love some of the other free content that we’ve got in store for you!

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