Road Trippin Photo

Road Trippin’ by The Red Hot Chilli Peppers (Guitar Lesson)

Road Trippin' appears on the Red Hot Chilli Pepper's greatly successful album 'Californiacation'. The song was released as their fifth and final single from the album and although it didn't reach the top of charts in most countries, it did make it to number one in Poland.

Despite this, the song has gone on to be widely successful, very well-known and an immensely popular one to learn among intermediate fingerpicking guitarists.

Road Trippin' was written after John Fruscianti (guitarist), Anthony Kiedis (singer) and Flea (bassist) took a surfing road trip along the Pacific Highway, shortly after Fruscianti had rejoined the band. The song is entirely acoustic and features no drums throughout.

Road Trippin' is no. 16 on my Top 60 Fingerpicking Songs of ALL TIME list. If you've not seen the list be sure to check it out and subscribe to get weekly lessons for each song!

Song Facts:

  • Recorded - 1999
  • Released - 18th November 2000
  • Bpm - 101
  • Key - E minor
  • Only released as a single in Europe


The intro/verse is really just three chords - Em, C and B. The trickiest part to really anchor down is the thumb, if you can get that down the rest should come reasonably easily. Therefore, I recommend isolating the thumb first, getting the rhythm of it really secure and only then bring in the remaining notes. Once you do get the thumb rock solid the remaining notes fall in-between.

I personally use my thumb (t) to play all the bass notes, my 1st finger (i) to play the B string and my 2nd finger (m) to play the high E string. You may find getting the rhythm down complicated too, especially if you can't read rhythmic notation. If you can't, then I strongly recommend learning how either via a teacher or another means.

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  1. Matjaz left a comment on 7th November 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Thank you for your lessons, I’ve picked up two of them for now. After I’ve finally got the first part to sound similar as you the rest went smoothly ( for a beginner 😉

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 7th November 2018 at 11:09 pm

      It’s a pleasure. Road Trippin’ is pretty difficult I’d say, if you can master it you’re doing very well.

  2. Tom left a comment on 16th December 2019 at 6:39 am

    Brilliant lesson, Chris! Thanks for all your hard work and great teaching style – the best on the web for me and thousands of others 🙂

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 19th December 2019 at 5:35 pm

      Thanks a lot Tom.

  3. Chris left a comment on 24th February 2020 at 5:11 am

    Hey man. Stumbled on your work several days ago and I’m well on my way to picking up this tune. I grew up loving this song but it always fell into the ‘never be able to play’ pile. I love your segmented approach to instructing, makes it way less intimidating. If things keep going well I’ll buy in for sure, it’s obvious you work pretty hard at this so thanks.

    -Chris from Alberta

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 25th February 2020 at 11:11 am

      Hey Chris, thanks for your message, I’m really pleased you enjoy the lessons. I hope I can continue to help you grow as a player.

  4. Jeff left a comment on 27th November 2020 at 7:33 pm

    The video repeatedly refers to the tab being one click away but no longer appears to be here. Is it still available?

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 3rd December 2020 at 3:06 pm

      Sadly it recently got removed due to copyright, it’ll be back soon but won’t be free anymore.

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