Break On Through by The Doors

This is a song that I spent a lot of my teenage years playing, and hopefully you’ll soon understand why. Whether you’re looking for a great, collaborative song to play with a band or if you’d rather go it alone, “Break on Through” by The Doors is a great one to try.

The chord structure isn’t complicated, at all. It mainly consists of just an E minor chord, with the occasional D thrown in. In this lesson, I walk you through the song in a few stages, giving you the basic, basic version first. From there, you can add in the keyboard riff, and once you’ve got that down, you can try the slightly more complicated guitar riff.

If you’re working on your strumming, you can start this one off with just a basic strum before transitioning into a more exciting pattern. For part of the song, the pattern includes a mute on the 4th beat of the bar, which can be a fun little detour from the rest of the tune.

For those riffs, definitely take them slow at first! Work one hand at a time, being sure to get the fingering and picking down individually before putting them together. Once you can play them straight through, no stops, and up to speed, you’ll be able to play along with the recording, which I highly recommend.

As I said, this is a great one to play with a band. Something I’ve noticed with songs that have such basic skeletons is that people tend to want to add in their own flairs and variations over the top. Personally, I think this takes away from the hypnotic and mesmerizing quality of the song - the same quality that The Doors are quite known for. There is something to be said for consistency and a driving beat in a song.

If you’re playing with a band, this is particularly important. The goal is never to confuse your listeners with too many voices competing for the spotlight at once. Be sure to listen to your bandmates, and if one is soloing, stick to your riff or chord pattern. The end result will be much better for the listener :)