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How to Play Eddie Van Halen's "Beat It" Guitar Solo

Sit back, grab your guitar (or someone else's guitar) and learn how to play Eddie Van Halen's solo from Michael Jackson's 1983 hit, "Beat It," courtesy of guitarist Antonio Cordaro.

Cordaro, who runs his own popular YouTube channel, plays the solo at normal speed before slowing it down. No, there are no tabs, but—come on, people—just "watch and learn" like we did it in the 1830s!

Cordaro is playing what looks to be a Kramer Custom replica of one of Eddie's classic Kramers (opens in new tab)—perhaps his one-pickup "1984" model, which he used as a touring backup in ancient times. Regardless, if you want to read up on Eddie's Kramer guitars of yesteryear, check out this story over at vintagekramer.com.

And, if you'd like to kill another five minutes, watch Eddie perform "Beat It" with Jackson below. The performance took place July 14, 1984, in Dallas. Eddie (and his guitar) happened to be in town that night, so he joined Jackson on stage.

For more videos by the oddly named GuitarTutorialsdotit, click in this general direction.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.