Guitar Aficionado

Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” Performed Fingerstyle

Miguel Rivera combines tapping, harmonics and body taps for this one-man-band performance.
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By Christopher Scapelliti

Miguel Rivera uploaded this fingerstyle take on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” two days ago, on June 22, and it already has more than 390,000 views.

It’s easy to see why. Rivera combines fingerstyle, two-handed tapping, harmonics and percussive body tapping to create a veritable one-man band performance. (The video is shot beautifully, too!)

“I decided to start working on this arrangement because tt was a great challenge,” Rivera writes. “When you listen to the chorus of the original song, you can hear the main riff (recorded by Steve Lukather) sounding together with Michael's vocal melody and, of course, drums, bass and other instruments.

“My objective was to play all of the parts together: the main riff, the vocal melody and the percussion part. I had to find the proper tuning and make good use of the harmonics but in the end I got it. The tapping part is to remark on the great solo that Eddie Van Halen recorded for this song.”

Check it out below. You can also see Rivera’s other videos on his YouTube channel and follow him on Facebook.