What to Remember When Performing Greta Van Fleet's "Highway Tune"
Performing the numerous half-step bends in the main riff for “Highway Tune,” each indicated by a curved arrow with a 1/2 appearing above it, is best accomplished by using a quick, downward pulling motion with the fretting finger, in toward the palm, to momentarily raise the pitch of the note the equivalent of one fret. In fact, this is the only way to bend notes on the low E string, such as the G# on beat four of bar 1, as pushing the string would cause it to “fall” over the side of the fretboard.
The bends in this particular riff go by quickly and are used more for attitude than melodic purpose, so you needn’t fuss about nailing the exact pitches. For example, while the transcription indicates in beat two of bar 3 that guitarist Jake Kiszka performs a quick half-step bend on the F# note on the D string’s fourth fret, a quarter-step or three-quarter-step bend will likely work just as well for imparting a similarly gritty, bluesy feel to the note.
The key to copping the song’s chorus guitar part is to first familiarize yourself with the chord fingerings shown at the beginning of the transcription. When moving between the A and A6sus4 chords in bars 25–28, maintain the A chord “grip” and then barre your ring finger across the D, G and B strings at the seventh fret to play A6sus4. During the second half of the chorus (bars 29–33), maintain the B chord fingering, which includes the thumb fretting the low E string, and use your pinkie to perform the ornamental pull-offs shown in the tablature.
For Jeff Perrin’s tab of “Highway Tune,” check out the March 2018 issue of Guitar World.