Beginner Song Dissection: Hysteria-Def Leppard

In what I hope to start as a series, this is my first “Beginner Song Dissection”. I have several goals for writing these up. One, is to share some songs I found particularly easy for a beginner to jump into, play a full song with minimal pain and suffering, and feel epic doing so. Another reason is it helps me with retention when I lay things out in a written manner that works for my twisted brain. Finally, the last main reason is to open some dialogue on the songs, and hear input from other folks. I want to keep these simple, so I won’t go too far into musical theory apart from basics. And I myself am not well versed in it.

Some disclaimers: All tabs in these posts are pulled from the Ultimate Guitar Pro “Official” tabs. I do not neccesarily know for sure if they are official, or if UG just says that. To me, they all sound pretty good. You may find other tabs that differ, doesn’t mean either one is wrong, more than one way to skin a cat and all. I use the backing tracks from UG with bass dropped out, played via Bluetooth on sound bar, matching amp to sound bar as best I can. I plan to upload videos of me playing these songs in future when i make these topics, for now I do not have one of this particular song, but it will be coming. My recording method is a very precise phone camera set up, with the bass often louder than it SHOULD be so it can be heard. Until I spring for some better digital recording stuff, we will have to make it work :smiley: With that, let’s get started.

Song: Hysteria by Def Leppard
Tabs from: UG Pro Official Tab
Tuning: EADG
Key: D
Doc’s Difficulty Rating:3/10
Skills: Chugging, Chugging, and more Chugging

Right off the bat, we’re chugging. The intro starts with 8th notes on the 5th Fret of the A string (D), switches to 3rd fret of the E String (G), Open E, Back to 3rd Fret E string (G), back to 5th fret A string (D). These are the primary notes throughout entire song, with some exceptions. Below is image of Verse 1.

Some changes start in the Prechorus, starting on 3rd Fret of the A string (C), switching to 5th Fret of the A string (D) for several beats, then to the 2nd Fret of the A string (B), then back to the 5th Fret of the A string (D), back to 3rd Fret A string (C), then devilsihly making you cross to 3rd Fret E String (G), then setting back on 5th Fret A string (D). When first going through this song, the stretch from the B to the D, in rhythm, gave me fits. Slowed the track down until making the switches felt natural, then gradually sped it up. The string crosses are not that bad, as long as you are aware of them. First bit of turbulence here comes from changing notes during a bar, not playing entire note the entire bar. Not difficult, and good practice for fast changes while keeping that chugging rhythm. Below is image of Prechourus and Chorus.

Chorus starts on an open E, switches to 3rd Fret A String (C), then to 5th Fret A string (D), back to Open E, back to C, back to D, E, C, D ending with a sustain and a blissful; short rest for the chugging hand. These patterns repeat through 2nd verse, another prechorus, then chorus. At this point, you know 90% of the song. It is just listening for when the change ups happen, an exercise I highly suggest.

The last new item in this song occurs after 2nd Chorus, with the Bridge and Solo. If you are just starting out, your plucking fingers may be tired, the bridge offers a nice respite. A whole note on the 5th fret of A string (D), rest, pluck of 5th fret of E String (A), rest, 5th Fret E (A) again, rest, now CHUG! Fifth fret E (A) for two bars, Fifth Fret A string (D) for two bars, last two beats of second bar fall on 3rd Fret A string (C), back to 5th Fret E String(A). Repeat until the PreChorus. I love the guitar solo in this song., and while the bassline may not bring you glory, I personally feel damn good playing it.

Another prechorus/Chorus, and we reach the outro, which is two bars on the Fifth fret of the A String (D) two Bars on 3rd Fret E String (G), then play remainder on 5th Fret of the A String (D).

Lovely song, one of my favorites by Def Leppard, and an extremely simple chugging exercise. When learning the song, hardest part I had was some of the change ups for several beats. When those came, I almost always lost the chugging rhythm. Still do sometimes, as my clumsy plucking fingers sometimes decide to go lazy on me by the outro, and you can hear me falling out of time. Hopefuly, when I do record myself playing for this post, I don’t suck the place up after only assigning it a 3/10 on my own arbitrary difficulty scale.

If I do more of these, I may fiddle with format to have less wall fo text, feedback appreciated. Also, if I ever get terminology wrong or mislabel a note, please correct me. I always try to double check, but fresh new eyes always catch things I miss.

Again, a note on the tab, this is how I learned the song, using one specific resource. I assume there are certainly other ways to play the song, and they may even be better than the “Official” method. This is just how I learned and play it.


Good work…so simple even I could play it…thanks


They are not ‘artist official’ they are ‘UG staff official’ and can be as wrong as any other bass tab, but, a good place to start, as they always sound good and will work with the song regardless.

Great job and thought to do this @DocJas

hey @eric.kiser - this is a perfect example of an excellent thread to pin to the top of a beginnger section.


Thank you!

Well now I know lol. I doubted they were “Artist official” (for obvious reasons) so therein wondered where the Official tag came from. At any rate, like you said, they always seem to work, especially when playing with the backing tracks on same platform. Results may vary with an actual band. There are a few, which we will see in future posts of this nature, where I deviate mildly. Mainly for beginner purposes that don’t effect overall song.

1 Like

They really are quite good.
My nit with them is there are some artists that I try to recreate exactly as on the album, the Beatles are one of these. I spend quite a lot of time fixing up tabs for Beatles tunes to what my ear thinks it hears vs. an obviously wrong tab. I sometimes wonder if it’s done on purpose so its not an exact copy or something, or if they have an arrangement with some artists. Even the Hal Lenonard Offical Beatles score book is riddled with mistakes, its horrible.


I learned this one too…nice chugger to play and the bits where you change notes on beats before the one (e.g. the chorus) add a nice urgency in the song (and make it a little more interesting/challenging to learn)
nice work on the post


@DocJas this is great stuff! Keep them coming!

As for formatting, you could try something like this…

That would break up the directions from the exposition. :grinning::+1:


This was one I learned as well and really enjoyed as part of a warm up exercise. Great post!


I play it as a warm up as well, it is perfect for that. My long weekend was completely absorbed by other tasks, but I hope to put a video up this afternoon. Then will start work on the next one. I make no promises the video’s will be perfect, I plan to do one shot recordings and upload as they are, screw ups and all. And I have decided to include songs I am working on but have not mastered 100%, this is a beginners series afterall.


I learned this one on guitar years ago. This seems like the perfect song to learn on bass as a beginner. I’m a month in on B2B and feel like we’ve covered everything you’d need to both play this song, and have fun playing this song.


If you haven’t heard from UG yet, carry on but gotta think they might have something to say.