The Queen Song Freddie Mercury Wrote The Guitar Riff

People generally knew Freddie Mercury for being the master at playing the piano, but he was also skilled at playing the guitar. Had he continued to play the guitar, he probably would have killed it as well, but Mercury had the gift of being a true showman. His live performances were so full of energy that, at a certain point, the frontman didn’t even want to be tied down by the piano so that he could have free rein all over the stage to connect with fans.

However, the frontman once in a while would want to show off his talent by contributing to Queen songs with instruments alongside his four-octave vocal range. Freddie Mercury wrote the guitar riff for the Queen song ‘Ogre Battle,’ one of the earliest songs in their setlist. Even though the band hadn’t immediately recorded it back then, they did as soon as they found more studio freedom to record the songs to their taste.

Freddie Mercury Showed His Guitar Skills With A Riff On ‘Ogre Battle’


Although Mercury loved to be the frontman of Queen, there were occasions when he would play the piano and guitar. One of those moments was when the frontman wrote a riff to ‘Ogre Battle,’ which was a part of the ‘Queen II‘ album. The riff was by far one of the heaviest Mercury had ever done, and combined with the drums; the track had an unmistakable trash sound that included ogre-like screams from Freddie himself.

In an interview with Guitar World in 2019, Brian May shared his thoughts about Freddie Mercury’s guitar skills. May mentioned the late star’s riff for Ogre Battle,’ which perfectly showcased his instrumental talent. He added that his guitar playing on the song was very unconventional; his movements were all downstrokes. His right hand moved so fast, and the singer had this frantic energy, which excellently matched the spirit of the track.

Brian May’s words about Mercury as a guitarist:

“He was very good on the guitar, very unorthodox — all downstrokes. He wrote the riff for Ogre Battle.’ I used to play it with up- and downstrokes, but he was all downstrokes. Imagine how fast his right hand was moving! He had frenetic energy on the guitar, which came across very well in that song.”

You can listen to ‘Ogre Battle’ below.