Rock guitar 101 Book Review Lesson 4 Power Chords & Creating Rhythm

Izzy Stradlin


Once you have mastered your open chords or would like to take a break from them, you can proceed to work on your closed power chords. Once you get the open chords down you can focus on learning power chords & creating rhythm.

Closed power chords.

Closed power chords are very much like your open power chords, it’s just that now your playing two strings where neither one is open. These are going to be then next chords in your vocabulary to learn because they are played with two fingers instead of just one. Your index finger and your ring finger. Or the pinky if you prefer. Everyone plays a bit different.

I recommend you use the first and third fingers as this is more standard and will leave your pinky open to add chord embellishments later when you learn to form chords using three and four fingers. But for now, we’ll just stick with two.

What’s great about these chords is two things.

  1. The chord shape always stays the same no matter where you’re at on the fretboard.

  2. They allow you to move up and down the fretboard, unlike the open power chords that stay at the second fret.

This allows you to unlock many mysteries of the guitar and rock guitar songs by playing chords of this type.  Most rock songs ever written, mostly use or have used these types of chords.  So make sure you take some time to learn how to form them and then learn how to move them around the fretboard.

When learning to form power chords you will need to stretch your fingers a bit.  Because this chord shape is created by two fingers on two strings with a fret in between them.  And once you learn this to form this chord, you will need to keep this shape when moving it around the fretboard.  Be sure to watch the video lesson on how this is done.

These chord types are not the easiest to form as a beginner, but with a little consistent effort on a daily basis, you will begin to see some progress and that is when the fun starts to happen.  And as with all things, you must be patient and not give up. If you stick with it, your reward will be all the cool rock songs you’ll be able to play.

Reading power chords in tablature format.

In addition to watching me form them in the video lesson, it is very beneficial that you learn how to read them in the written tablature as well.  This will give you more of a rounded education, a step up on most guitar players (most don’t read sheet music) and a more enhanced learning experience. Heres some examples of what power chords look like in tablature format.

G power chord

This is a G power chord.  Where the first finger (index) is on the sixth string third fret and the third finger (ring) is on the fifth string fifth fret.  Remember in guitar sheet music your biggest string will be on the bottom.

D power chord

This is a D power chord played on the fifth string.  The first finger is on the fifth string fifth fret and the third finger is on the fourth string seventh fret.  The D power chord is played on the fifth and fourth strings and provides a bit of a brighter sound than the G chord formed on the sixth string.

Rt4 A power chord

Above is an A power chord played on the fourth string.  Using the first finger on the fourth string seventh fret and the third finger on the third string ninth fret.  Since this chord is played on the fourth string, we will consider it a Root four A power chord.  Because the root of the chord (which is an A note) is located on the fourth string.

Always remember (I can’t stress this enough) that the strings in the sheet music are upside down.  I know it can be confusing.  Sorry but I didn’t create it, I just teach it 🙂  Anyway, now that we know how to form a few chords, let’s look into how to create the rhythm with those chords.

Creating a rhythm with power chords.

This can be done with proper timing and emotion.  When creating a rhythm with power chords playing rock music you want to start out with a simple 1 2 3 4 count.  Because this is the most common timing of rock music.

Listen to bands like AC/DC.  They use this timing in almost all they’re songs.  You can tap your foot to the beat and follow along to the music.  It is simple and effective.  Then once you get the initial timing of rock music down, you can create more complex rhythms.  But in the beginning, keep it simple.

Malcolm Young

What this does is creates the internal clock that all musicians must have and by focusing on improving your timing by counting (to yourself or out loud) you begin to develop this very important skill set.  I can’t begin to tell you how many musicians I’ve met who have not developed proper timing.

Additional counts to use when creating rhythm.

Here are a few more to experiment with:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &.

1 2 & 3 4.

1 2 3 & 4

Any of these examples will produce a nice rhythm and if you work with them enough, you’ll begin to discover other ones you can create as well.  Think of how creative you can be with just these four numbers.  Look at our number system 0-9 and all the endless possibilities that we can come up with.  Even though you’re just using four numbers, the concept is the same.

Once you work with these counts you’ll begin to recognize familiar parts of songs you already know.  So practice these rhythm counts while moving your power chords up, down and around the guitar fretboard.  That way you will develop your internal clock and be on your way to becoming a good solid rhythm guitar player.  Which is vitally important.

Moving your power chords is essential to learn. Make sure to lift your fingers slightly off the fretboard but keep them on the strings and play only the two strings that the chord is made of.  The rest of the strings try to mute with your fretboard hand.  This will keep unplayed strings from vibrating and causing unwanted sound.  This will allow you to produce a cleaner, rich guitar tone.

Lesson Conclusion.

Playing rock guitar, there are certain techniques that are associated with it that you will need to master.  This takes time.  But with the proper training, it won’t take as much time as you think.  That is why I wrote Rock Guitar 101.  A simple step-by-step method on getting started playing rock guitar.

This book will help out in many ways and allow you to progress at your learning faster than you ever thought possible.  You learn what tools are necessary for the art.  You will learn how to set them up and get the best out of them.

You’ll also discover how to develop practice habits, basic music theory and much, much more.  All without previous musical knowledge or ability.  This can be very very beneficial when getting started.  If this is you or anyone you know, be sure to order this book today on Amazon and get started having fun learning how to play guitar.

Until our next lesson, take care.

Sincerely, Dwayne Jenkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rock guitar 101 Book Lesson 3 Tuning Up And Learning Your First Chords


Once you get your guitar, amp and tone set, you can then progress forward with where the fun comes in. Learn to tune up your guitar and play it!  Start off with open chords first. These are great because they require only one finger to form and play them. Chords like Open E, Open A & Open D. These are the easiest to learn and will set a solid foundation for your development of playing rock guitar.

But first, we must tune-up!

Before you start playing anything on the guitar you want to make sure that you’re in-tune.  Meaning that all six strings are at the correct pitch relative to each other.  This way when you play them they will be in harmony with each other.  And for this, we need a guitar tuner.

When it comes to guitar tuners, there are many to choose from but for getting started I recommend you get a simple clip-on tuner.  These can be found at your local store or online at a place like Amazon.com

How to tune your guitar.

Now that you have learned a little bit about the guitar, you are ready to learn about how to tune it. But before you do, I’d recommend you learn the name of the guitar strings.  This will allow you to know what to tune the guitar strings too.

Names of the Guitar Strings

The names of the strings are (from thickest to thinnest)

6-E

5-A

4-D

3-G

2-B

1-E

A good way to remember this would be to use an acronym.  Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie.  Or you could do it in reverse.  aster Bunnies Go Dancing After Easter.  Either way is fine, it doesn’t really matter as long as it helps you to remember the strings name.  After you learn and you remember your strings name, you are now ready to tune your guitar with a guitar tuner. I recommend a Snark clip-on tuner.

Learning your first chords.

Once the guitar is in tune and everything is set to go we can now proceed to actually play the guitar and start to make music with it.  And this is where it starts to get fun.

The very first chords you want to learn are your open power chords.  We start with these because they are the easiest to play.  Like stated before, they only require one finger.  Your index or first finger will do.

In addition to that, it is best to learn a little bit how one might read these chords on a sheet of music paper as well.  Like tablature.  This is simplified sheet music for guitar.  Here is an example of what they look like.

Open chords:   E            A            D

your first chords

The horizontal lines represent your guitar strings.  Biggest on the bottom, smallest on the top and the numbers represent the frets in which you will put your fingers.  Except for the 0 which stands for open, which means you play the string without putting your finger on it.

In the example above for the Open E chord, you will place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the fifth string and strum only the sixth & fifth strings.  For the Open A chord same thing just a string down and same for the Open D chord.  These three chords are all formed and played on the second fret.  They just change strings that you play them on.

Strum only two strings.

When playing open power chords with one finger, be sure to only strum the two strings that the chord is on.  This will make it easy to get a good sound out of your guitar to start.  Eventually as time progresses and you learn more complex chord voicings, you’ll strum more strings and get more sound out of your guitar, but for now, just strum the two that the chords are made of.

By taking this approach to form and play simple one finger chords, you will be able to build self-confidence fairly quickly and you will be setting up yourself for closed power chords.  Two note chords that move up and down the fretboard.

Lesson conclusion.

In this lesson, we have learned about how to tune our guitar and start off playing simple one finger chords.  By doing this we are now setting a foundation for our other chords that are needed to learn for playing the art of rock guitar.

There are many guitar chords to learn but these are the easiest and most common to start with for playing rock guitar. Not just guitar mind you, but rock guitar.  This is a certain style of guitar playing.  Very much like Jazz or country or blues.

Now if you are interested in learning more about how to get started playing rock guitar I recommend you check out my book Rock Guitar 101.

Rock Guitar 101

A is a simple step-by-step method book for beginners.  It is designed to teach the fundamental principles of the art with easy to understand lessons and full-color pictures so you can learn easily and get quick results.

It goes over everything that is needed to get started.  From what type of guitar, amp, tuner, chords to learn, how to develop timing for better rhythm playing, intro to lead guitar and much much more.  It even has a rockstar training quiz at the end to make sure the student fully understands the material.

And the best thing about it is no previous musical knowledge is necessary.  This book can be learned by anyone at any age who wishes to learn the art of rock guitar playing.  All that is necessary is the desire to learn and want to get better.

So if you have that desire, check out the book and get started enjoying the fun of playing rock guitar.  You’ll be glad you did. And if any further help is needed, I’m only an email away.

Best of luck and until our next lesson, take care.

Dwayne Jenkins.

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How To Play Guitar Like Angus Young Of AC/DC Secret Solo Techniques

When it comes to playing lead guitar, not many guitar players can match tenacity of Angus Young from AC/DC.  His approach to guitar playing is inspiring and has touched the souls of millions of would-be guitar players worldwide.

With a  straightforward Gibson SG plugged straight into a Marshall amplifier with no pedals set up, Angus’s rig is simple but yet most effective. with a guitar tone that is pure and natural.

He just plugs straight in, dials in his tone and gets after it.  You can’t get more simple than that!  But don’t let the simplicity fool you.  Because it’s not always in the equipment that is being used as it is the techniques he executes with his fingers that create the lead guitar magic.

How to play guitar like Angus Young?

In order to play like Angus Young of AC/DC, you need to understand some of the key techniques that he uses.  Some of the key phrases (guitar licks as they are called) that he incorporates to make the ear perk up and listen.

If you incorporate these key elements into your playing you will be able to play AC/DC songs easier because you’ll have insight into how Angus Young plays guitar as well as be able to add some new and fresh techniques to your own guitar playing and lead guitar compositions.

1.) Type of Guitar, Gibson SG.

Gibson SG

The Gibson SG is a very popular guitar among rock guitar players.  It has been around for years and has been used by some of the best rock guitar players who ever recorded a hit rock guitar song.  People like Eric Clapton, Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Glen Tipton (Judas Priest) and of course Angus.

This is an Icon guitar and in fact, you never see Angus Young play anything else.  This guitar just fits him.  It’s lightweight and has two stylish pickups designed for maximum output and a look that screams rock guitar.

You can also get this style in Epiphone as well.  An Epiphone SG can be a bit more affordable if you’re just starting out.  Either way, An SG style guitar will be a step in the right direction when it comes to playing guitar like Angus Young.

2.) Type of Amplifier, use a Marshall.

Marshal JTM45 Plexi

When it comes to rock guitar and rock guitar orientated music, there is absolutely no substitute for a Marshall amplifier.  This amp was specifically designed for rock music since Jim Marshal first invented it. If you look at the history of rock music from the late 60’s to the late 90’s, Marshall has been the amp of choice.

In fact, if you have a favorite rock song from that era, chances are it was recorded using a Marshall amplifier.  A Gibson plugged into a Marshall is actually what a lot of people consider the sound of rock!  If you look at rock bands of the 70’s almost all the guitar players, play Gibson (or Gibson style guitars) and they’re plugged into a Marshall amp.

In the 80’s it continued.  Look at all the “Hair-Metal” bands of that era.  But by this time Eddie Van Halen had come along with a strat style guitar he built himself and got a whole generation of guitar players to switch guitars and start using a whammy bar.

Although the guitar changed, the amplifier stayed the same.  Marshall!  So if you want to get the true AC/DC sound, my recommendation……..Get a Marshall!

3.) Learn the minor pentatonic scale.

Minor Pentatonic Scale

This right here is the secret sauce in how to play guitar like Angus Young.  He is what I call, a pentatonic wizard.  He uses this scale to the hilt.  And if you want to play like him, you will need to learn it also.  It is a very common scale used for playing guitar solos.

This box pattern scale (a sequence of notes in a specific order) has been used by all the best!  Hendrix, Clapton, Page, and many, many more. If you are going to play like Angus or learn to understand how to do any of his solos, you will need to learn and master this box pattern.  The minor pentatonic scale.

4.)  Learn to use double stops.

Double stops are where you use two strings together.  This is a very common type of guitar lick in the blues.  Which is the style of music that AC/DC derive from.  Angus Young uses this technique very well in his solos.  Here is an example.

Double stops

Work on playing two strings at the same time and then work on bending them.  This creates a very unique sound that is widely used in lead guitar playing.  When working on this technique, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone (as they call it) because not only will you be mastering double stops, but you’ll also be mastering unison bends.  Which is another common technique Angus uses.

5.)  Master vibrato.

Here is a tricky one.  You need to grab the note with your finger (doesn’t matter which one) everyone’s a bit different, and vibrate the string up and down.  This gives the note a vocal-like effect.  As if your actually singing with the guitar.  Much like a singer’s, vocal chords vibrate.

Guitar String Vibrato

6.) Think rhythm.

I know it sounds weird but it’s true.  You need to think rhythmic style solos.  If you listen to Angus Young, this is how he plays.  On some songs, he might be buzzing like a bee, but on songs like Shook Me All Night Long, Back in Black, Let There Be Rock, Highway To Hell, Dirty Deeds, and countless others, he has more of a rhythm to the solo.

This comes from being creative with linking guitar licks together like a chain.  Now whether he does this consciously or unconsciously it doesn’t matter, he creates a rhythm with his solos.  Which makes him one of the best at what he does because of it.

guitar licks

Lesson Conclusion.

So there you have it.  Six things that Angus uses in his guitar playing and if you want to learn how to play guitar like Angus Young, I highly recommend you master them.  Of course, there are many more things he does, but this should be enough to get you started.

Now if you’d really like to improve your guitar soloing, I recommend you check out my book Lead Guitar Wizardry Volume 1.  Where I show you the fundamental principles necessary to get you sounding like a professional guitar soloing rock god!

Lead Guitar Wizardry

I show you all 5 pentatonic patterns so that you can solo all over the fretboard in any key you desire.  I show you in a simple step-by-step easy to understand method, that gets you results very quickly!

I include easy to understand diagrams and terminology that a person with minimal musical knowledge can easily follow along to.  I go through common guitar licks that are widely used by the master lead guitar players like the ones mentioned above.

I show you how to use hammer=ons, pull-offs, bends, slides, vibrato and much much more!  By the time you get through this training, your lead guitar playing will be transformed into that of a professional. In addition to that, I give you extra training tips that will take your guitar playing to the next level.

So why wait.  Click on the link and order your copy today from Amazon and get started on the path to learning the “sacred knowledge” necessary to becoming a Lead Guitar Wizard!

Best of luck in your learning,

Dwayne Jenkins

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Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele Review Best For A Beginner To Get Started With

Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele Review Best For A Beginner To Get Started With


Although I teach guitar and promote learning it for many reasons, I think it is also good to try out the ukulele. This is another stringed instrument that is fun to play and very similar to the acoustic guitar.

Which is the best to start with?

In my opinion, if you’d like to get started and don’t want to invest a lot of money right off the bat (not quite sure if you’re going to like it or not) I recommend starting out with the Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele.

This is a great started Ukulele for many reasons. It is designed around a bound Lindenwood body for exceptional sound and exceptional looks. It offers a bound fingerboard for comfortable playability with classic open-key tuning machines and a natural wood color.

In addition to that, the Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele comes with an instruction book to allow beginners with no prior musical training to easily get started having fun. With full-color diagrams, tuning tips, and easy songs to help build self-confidence.

Learning to play ukulele is a lot of fun and something anyone can do if they want to. You just need a good quality instrument and the desire to want to learn. If you have that desire, then all you have to do is get a good quality ukulele. The Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele is that instrument.

How about a quicker way to learn?

In addition to the Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele, I highly recommend a video course that can help you to take your playing to the next level quickly and easily. Ukulele Lessons For Beginners. This video course is well designed and makes learning to play the ukulele fun.  Having fun always makes learning easier with video lessons that are simple to understand.

All you need to do is play along with three7-minute videos a week and you will see your progress skyrocket with a proven system.  And one lesson alone is worth the price of the course.  And while following along with the course you’ll learn how to develop solid practice habits.

Also with a quick and easy video course, you can learn when it is convenient for you.  Whether that be in the morning, afternoon or evening.  You are in control and can learn 24 hours a day 7 days a week and since it is online, you can take it anywhere and have class anywhere you choose.

Ukulele lessons for beginners is highly recommended if you are serious about learning and want to progress fast.  Just purchase the course and you are ready to start having fun.  It can’t get more simple than that.

Lesson Conclusion.

As you can see, the ukulele is a great alternative to the acoustic guitar.  A little bit of a different instrument but a lot of the same concepts apply.  A lot of the chord voicings are similar and the way you approach playing the instrument is similar as well.

So if you’d like to get started with an instrument that sounds great, has easy playability, looks fantastic and is at an affordable price, don’t overlook the Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele.  And if you get the video course I recommend up above, you’ll be having fun inspiring others to want to learn in no time.  You might even get good enough to teach others how to play.  Wouldn’t that be neat?

As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out and I will guide you in the right direction.  Learning and playing a stringed instrument is fun no matter if it’s a guitar or ukulele.  I’m often asked why I don’t teach the ukulele and it’s simply because I don’t have time.

But can still offer advice and guidance to those who do want to learn and experience the fun of playing a stringed instrument like the ukulele.  Best of luck and until next time, take care.

Sincerely,

Dwayne Jenkins.

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Rock Guitar 101 Lesson 2 How To Get A Good Rock Guitar Tone!

Marshall rock guitar tone

Knowing how to get a good rock tone is essential to your guitar playing. In fact, many guitar players spend many hours searching for the ultimate tone.

Now for our purposes here, just getting started we don’t need to do that. All we need to do is get familiar with our amplifier. How it works and how to set it up to sound the way we want it to.

What do the amp knobs do?

The amp knobs are the heart and soul of the amplifier aside from the speaker. But the speaker is only going to project what the knobs are dialed in to so we want to make sure we get this part right. And to do that, we need to first learn and understand what they do and how they function.

Marshall MG10 faceplate

Most amplifiers are two channel. One clean channel and one rock channel. I call it the rock channel because it is the channel that has the gain knob that is needed to dial in your rock tone. After all, you can’t be a good rock guitar player without a good rock guitar tone.

In addition to the two channels, the amp is going to have two volume knobs (one for each channel) and either a contour knob (on the smaller practice amps) or a three knob equalizer (bass, mid & treble) to help shape the tone once you get it dialed in.

The proper configuration for a rock guitar tone.

When it comes to amp settings, it is important to know how to configure them.  This is how you get the best rock tone possible.  You combine a little bit of this knob with a little bit of that knob and before you know it, you’ve got the rock tone you’re looking for.

The clean channel is usually just the volume knob and some form of contour knob or a three-band equalizer set up.  Very much like your car or home stereo.  With these knobs, you shape your tone.  Add more bass, take out the mids, or have partial treble.  It’s really all personal preference.

Then there is the second channel the “rock” channel as I like to call it because it has the secret weapon!  The gain knob!  The gain knob is what gives you that sound.  That overdriven distortion sound.  You know, the sound that makes you want to turn it up!  yeah, that’s the sound of rock!

Dial it in and crank it up!

Well if your just getting started you don’t want to crank it up too much, but you know what I mean.  Channel two on the amp (the rock channel) has everything the clean channel has except for the gain knob and when turned clockwise it adds gain to the overall signal.  Your gain is determined by how much you turn the knob.  This is how you create your rock tone.

Learn what your knobs do by experimenting with them and find the tone that you prefer.  It really comes down to you taking time to learn your amplifier and what it’s all about.  Then and only then will you be able to dial in your own rock guitar tone for maximum playability.

How about an alternative?

Well, an alternative to using an amplifier would be to use guitar pedals.  Preferably an overdrive or distortion pedal of some sort.  There are many to choose from but my recommendation would be to choose BOSS pedals.

BOSS pedals have been around since the 70’s and have been used by a lot of the great rock guitar players.  They are made of quality components and have shown they can stand the test of time and is used in the studio and on the road in a band on a daily basis.

I recommend you either choose the DS-1 Distortion pedal

Boss DS1 distortion pedal

(great for getting a classic rock tone like AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc)

or another great choice to produce great one is the MT-2 Metal Zone.

Boss Metal Zone

Which works well for more heavier stuff (like Metallica, Slayer, etc)

There are many pedals to choose from and these are just two I recommend.  It is always best as with anything, to try out a few you like for yourself.  Test them out.  Plug into them and start turning knobs and see how they react and what kind of tone they produce.

Lesson Conclusion.

And like the guitar amplifier discussed earlier in this guitar lesson, you want to experiment with the knobs and find the tone that works for you.  Finding and developing a great rock guitar tone is not too difficult if you put in the time.  Where people have issues is they don’t want to put in the time.  They want someone to just tell them what to do.

That’s the last thing you want.  Music is very personal, so take the proper time to learn your tools of the trade and how they work.  Before you know it, you’ll come up with a sound that is unique to you.  And in the process, you’ll have fun doing it.

And if you’d like to learn more about getting started with learning rock guitar or know someone who is, be sure to purchase my Rock Guitar 101 book on Amazon and get started in the right direction with fun and easy guitar lessons.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

Until our next lesson, take care.

Dwayne.

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How To Recognize & Understand Chord Embellishments like C/B

Malcolm Young

When learning guitar, you’ll want to be able to know how to recognize & understand chord embellishments like C/B. Or possibly D/F#, Or F/C.

Knowing how to recognize the chords that you might be looking at in a songbook or possibly in tabs on the internet is very important to be able to play a certain song.  Or to possibly add note extensions to a particular chord.

Like for instance C/B

Chord embellishment C/B

In the first chord diagrams, we are playing a C major.  A chord that is one of the basic natural chord shapes in guitar because it is so common in many songs.  In the second diagram, we are changing the root note of the C on the third fret fifth string, to the B note on the second fret fifth string.  This adds a little different sound to the chord.  It gives it a little “darker” tone in the base being that you’re moving the root chord down one fret. You’re still playing a C major chord, you are just embellishing it to give it more character.

How about D/F#?

Chord embellishment D/F#

Here is another very common chord shape you will find in many songbooks and chord charts.  The infamous D/F#.  In this diagram, we have a D major chord with an F# added in the base.  Here we have a natural D chord shape on the second and third strings on the second and third fret.  We then add an F# note on the second fret of the sixth string.  Once again this adds a “darker” tone to the chord.

The F# played over the D chord adds character and a bit different type of emotion to the chord voicing.  If you just play D by itself it can have a nice bright natural sound.  But by adding the F# note embellishment it adds a little bit of moody emotion.  Which can be great for certain types of applications.

Chord embellishments add emotion

musical emotion

By understanding the notes that make up your chords, you can then add texture and emotion to your playing.  Music has been known to move people.  To make them display certain feelings.  Excitement, joy, anger, sadness, etc.  This can all be given recognition to the chords being constructed in the song.

Of course, there is more to it than that, but chords and how they are put together is a huge part of that feeling you get from music.  That is why if you want to move people with your music, you should learn to understand the inner workings of chord construction and playing rhythm.

This is an aspect that I think gets overshadowed by the lead guitar solo.  For example as in AC/DC.  Malcolm lays down the rhythm and Angus plays the solo over the top.  Now when you think AC/DC you picture Angus playing hot lead guitar!  Which he does quite well might I add.  But what is often overlooked is the fundamental rhythm that Malcolm is playing underneath.

Malcolm Young

In fact, a good lead guitar player needs to have a good sense of rhythm in order to play solos over the top.  But it is even more important for the rhythm guitar player to create the emotion of the musical landscape that moves the listener.  This can be seen very clearly in any AC/DC song.  In fact, it can be seen in most rock songs in general.

Understanding music theory

Another great benefit of being able to recognize chord embellishments is the better understanding of music theory.  Understanding music theory will open you up to a whole new world!  A world of endless possibilities.  Where the sky is the limit when it comes to musical composition.  Where you’ll literally learn another sacred language that most guitar players have no idea about.

I say this because most guitar players don’t read sheet music and don’t take the time to learn to understand how music theory works.  They merely play by ear.  Which is good in its own right, but by being able to understand music theory, you’ll be able to soar above the crowd.  You’ll be able to put notes together and know for sure they will sound good.  No fumbling around and guessing.

By knowing your notes (and if you don’t know this by now I highly suggest you get on the ball of learning them) you will be able to clearly see where you can add notes to the chord or take notes away to create variations and alterations in the chord voicing.

Become a rhythm guitar playing alchemist!

Alchemist

A what you ask?

A rhythm guitar playing alchemist.  A person who studies the inner working of properties.  These people were scientists who attempted to turn lead into gold.  By studying the properties that made up the metals they felt they could alter the DNA and change the metal into something else.  Gold!!

In fact, this is what musicians do.  They figure out a way to turn lead into gold.  Well actually Vynl into gold but you know what I mean.  Think about it, when an album sells 500,000 copies it’s considered gold!  If it sells a million copies it’s considered platinum!  See what I’m getting at?

Lesson Conclusion

In my humble opinion, I recommend you take some time to learn how chord embellishments work and use them in your own music to create color and emotion.  This will make your music more enjoyable to listen to and give you greater satisfaction as a guitarist because you understand the inner workings of the guitar.  Which will allow you to unlock its mysteries that someday you may turn lead into gold!

That you will one day create a musical composition that will move people in such a way that they buy it.  Then more people will buy it and if your lucky, you may sell 500.000 copies.  Maybe even more.

Thank you once again for reading this lesson and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out and I will help.  Be sure to sign up to my guitar club for exclusive training tips that will be delivered directly to your inbox.

Until our next lesson, take care.

Dwayne Jenkins

 

 

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Best Type Of Amplifier To Use For Playing Rock Guitar

Marshall amplification

When it comes to playing guitar, you want to make sure you know the best type of amplifier to use for playing rock guitar.

Knowing which amplifier is best when playing electric guitar is vitally important because, without the right one, you won’t be able to get the tone that works with that style of music.  In this case. rock music.

What is the best type of amp to use?

Now since rock & roll’s inception back in the 50’s with Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley (and many others for that matter) guitar players have been searching for the proper guitar amplifier.  The one that has been most popular for years is the Fender amplifier.  Leo Fender saw there was a demand for a better amplifier for the new revolutionary electric guitar that was getting popular at the time.

He could see that guitar players were having trouble getting a good tone.  So he designed amps that worked great for the electric guitar. And after all these decades later, is still an amp favorite today of many great guitar players.

But as guitar playing progressed and rock & roll music developed into more of an expressive art form, guitar players who were learning how to play guitar wanted something with more of an edge.  People like Pete Townsend of The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton of Cream.

Enter Mr. Jim Marshall.

Jim Marshall was a drummer, teacher, and store owner who sold drum equipment to his drum students.  Ever once in a while, they would bring their guitar playing friends in with them and they asked “why he didn’t sell guitar stuff”  well, he saw the demand and started doing that as well.  By selling guitars and guitar related products he knew he could help guitar players get better also.

Then in 1962, he noticed a request for something with more of an edge.  Something that would give that overblown sound of a radio that distorts when you turn it up too loud.  So,  Jim got a group together and set out to design the first rock amplifier.

Marshall amplifier

His idea takes off

His amplifier was a hit!  More and more people liked his style and sound that he came up with that it became the go-to amp for rock guitar players.  It had that sound that they were looking for.  That sound with an edge.  Throughout the generations, guitar players all over the globe have plugged into a Marshall.  Some of them won’t use anything else.  That’s how awesome it is.

Over the next four generations, Marshall amplification dominated the rock & roll landscape.  Creating all kinds of different models for different applications.

Amp and speaker separate like in the infamous 1/2 stack

Marshall stack amplifier

Or possibly something a bit smaller for playing in the bedroom like a combo amp.

Marshall combo amplifier

I remember when I was younger playing in bands, you were taken seriously if you had a Marshall.  Anything else was considered inferior.  And when it comes to playing rock guitar today.  I think that still stands.  Of course back then you’d have to get a second job to afford such a Cadillac of guitar amplifiers, but when you actually got one and saw why so many great guitar players chose it all the hard work was well worthit.

Since Marshall amps were so popular with rock guitar players it helped to propel rock guitar playing forward.  Over the decades Marshall Amplification has defined the sound of classic rock and if you have a favorite classic rock song (anything from the late 60’s to the mid 90’s) it’s very possible it was recorded using a Marshall!

In fact, it has been said that a Gibson plugged into a Marshall is the sound of rock!  If you look at most rock guitar players n the 70’s they were most likely playing a Gibson plugged into a Marshall.

Gibson guitars

Personally, I like Ibanez.  I think Ibanez is more the modern style of rock guitar.  Of course, it wasn’t dominating the market like Gibson was back in the 70’s but either are both great guitars to plug into a Marshall.  And let’s not forget to mention Fender.  The Fender Stratocaster is an iconic guitar plugged into a Marshall.

Fender Stratocaster

Lesson Conclusion

So as you can see, Marshall amps have been played over the years by all the masters of rock guitar.  People like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Angus Young, Jimmy Page, Ace Frehley, Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Pete Townsend, Randy Rhoads, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Zack Wylde.  And that’s, just to name just a few.

So when it comes to getting a good solid rock amp. which one are you going to get?  That’s right, a Marshall!!  And as always if you have any questions about purchasing one just reach out and contact me.  I’m always here to help.

Good luck finding your rock amp.  Be sure to join my guitar club for great insider tips and training to help get your playing to the next level.

Until our next lesson, take care.

Sincerely, Dwayne Jenkins

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Best Type Of Guitar For Playing Classic Rock Music

Ibanez S Series

When it comes to playing rock music.  Especially classic rock like Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Ozzy, & Metallica, you must have the right type of guitar.  A rock guitar.

Playing rock music requires a certain type of guitar for getting its sound.  In fact, every type of music has a guitar that is best suited for it.  If your playing jazz, you want to use a hollow body type guitar as they sound great for that style.  Or if your playing country, a nice Fender telecaster works well, and if your playing blues a nice Gibson Les Paul or Fender Stratocaster works well.

Now, of course, you can use one guitar to play all styles like a Fender or Gibson but typically some work better than others for certain styles of music.   And it would be best to look around.  But here are some suggestions.

What’s best for rock music?

Well, when it comes to rock music thee are a few that work really well.  A Gibson Les Paul has bee known to work wonders in the rock genre of music for decades.  And the Fender Stratocaster has been known to produce quite a few guitar heroes in its day.

Leo Fender was considered a genius and was the one to put rock guitar on the map back in the day and players like Jimmy Hendrix and Eric Clapton have influenced millions to pick up an ax (as it’s called in the music world) and carve out their own original musical creations.Fender Stratocaster

 

 

And of course, people like Jimmy Page (of Led Zeppelin fame) and Slash (of GnR fame) has inspired legions of fans to pick up a Les Paul.  Either by Gibson or Epiphone.  Whichever you can afford.  Both Work well.  In fact, if you look at rock bands of the 70″s most of them play a Les Paul.  That is how influential it was.

Gibson Les Paul

Guitarslinger Extraordinaire!

Then in the late 70’s a young guitar slinger named Eddie Van Halen came out of Pasadena California and set the guitar world on fire (literally) with his own original concoction of a Strat and Les Paul combined.  Creating a sound that is still emulated to this day.  He says it is due to years of experimentation.

 

Eddie Van Halen Frankenstrat

Eddie Van Halen introduced something new to the rock world with his home-made guitar that had a tone that is out of this world.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, just listen to that first record “Van Halen” you’ll understand very clearly what I’m talking about.

Modern Age Rock Guitar.

So when you are looking to play rock music with a guitar, all the above mentioned can do the job.  But to me, they don’t do nearly as good as an Ibanez RG or Ibanez S series.  These guitars (very much like the Marshall amp) were born to rock!  Designed to play high voltage rock n roll!

Ibanez RG Ibanez S Series

Plug into one and play it and within the first 5 minutes (if not sooner) you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.  These guitars are designed with high output pickups, sleek body contours and a slim fast neck for fast playing.  Not to mention a floating bridge for getting all those cool rock sounds that send shivers down your spine.

Conclusion.

When you set out to find your guitar.  You know the one that is right for you, be sure to take your time.  Look around and try out a few.  You’ll eventually find the one that fits you best.  Whether that be a Fender Strat, Gibson Les Paul (or one like Angus uses, the SG) or an Ibanez RG or S series.  You will find what you are looking for if you put enough time and effort into it.

Once you do, you’ll have acquired your first and most important tool for playing rock guitar. Now it’s off to find the perfect type of rock amp.  That’ll be in the next lesson.

Until then, good luck finding the right rock guitar for you.  And if you have any questions be sure to reach out.  That’s what I’m here for.  And be sure to grab my starter book Rock Guitar 101 on Amazon and join my Guitar Club for exclusive training tips sent right to your email.

Sincerely, Dwayne.

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How To Get Started Playing Rock Guitar

best guitar player

One of the things that are hardest at the beginning of a venture is getting started. Guitar playing is no different. Rock Guitar 101 will show you how to get started playing rock guitar quickly and easily. Even if you have absolutely no prior musical knowledge. It’s that simple!

What is needed first?

What’s needed first when playing rock guitar is the correct type of guitar.  With so many to choose from nowadays, it’s hard to know which one is best.

Well here are a few ideas to begin with:

  1. The IBANEZ RG450DX

This guitar is perfectly designed for playing rock music.

  • The Ibanez RG series of guitars has remained a standard in rock music for the last couple of decades, thanks to the effortless playability of its Wizard III neck. Switching between aggressive rhythm playing and wild lead lines is effortless on this slim-profile neck. Guitarists love the feel and playability of the Ibanez’s RG guitars. You will, too!

2. The Fender Standard Stratocaster

This guitar defined the rock music genre when it was invented.

  • The Standard Series is the perfect choice for any musician looking to upgrade to a professional level instrument
  • The “C” shaped tinted neck provides universal comfort and elegant styling
  • Achieve the classic iconic tones that only a Fender Stratocaster with three single-coil pickups can provide
  • Vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge with a high-mass block provide increased sustain and enhanced tuning stability
  • Reduced hum provided by the shielded body cavities.Rosewood or maple fingerboard with 21 medium jumbo frets

3.  The Epiphone Les Paul

This guitar has been played by millions of rock guitar players.

  • With a set neck, rosewood fingerboard, and Trapezoid inlays, this Standard is that and much more. Cream binding on the body and neck and a Locking Tune-o-Matic bridge, this guitar is a gift that keeps giving
  • The Les Paul Standard Plus-Top PRO has the very popular Epiphone ProBucker 2 and ProBucker 3 pickups. If that wasn’t”t enough it also offers the neck pickup volume with push/pull coil-tapping and the Bridge pickup volume with push/pull coil tapping
  • Like every Epiphone, the Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top PRO features a Limited Lifetime Warranty backed by world famous 24/7/365 Gibson Customer Service. Be a part of history today with the Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro

4. The Schecter Omen

This is a fairly new model that has become very popular for playing rock.

  • The Omen-6 features a Basswood Body with a bolt-on Maple Neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Schecter Diamond Plus Pickups
  • Black Chrome Hardware with Schecter Tuners
  • Tune-O-Matic Bridge with String Through

What’s next after acquiring a great rock guitar?

Now you want to find a nice rock guitar amplifier.  This is very important because it allows you to get the rock “sound” that is needed for this style of music.  Without the proper amplifier, you will not be able to get the right guitar tone and you won’t be inspired to play.

Here are a few practice amps to take into consideration.

  1.   Marshall MG10
  • Clean & overdrive channels
  • Gain channel contour control
  • Custom 6.5-inch speaker
  • A line in for jamming along with tracks
  • Emulated headphone output

2.  Marshall MG15CF

  • Compact size for practice and small jams, featuring critically acclaimed Marshall analog tone
  • Output (RMS): 15W, Speaker: 1×8″
  • Channels (storable): Clean, Crunch, OD1, OD2, Digital Effects: Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Vibe, Octave, Digital Reverb: Spring, Studio
  • Internal FDD, Mp3/ Line In jack, Emulated headphone Output and MG Foot controller Compatible
  • Includes: ChromaCast Pro Series 10ft Cable and ChromaCast Pick Sampler

3.  Fender Mustang 

  • With a turn of a knob, choose from clean to mean tones from the 17 various amp models that will accommodate almost any genre of music.
  • Shape the onboard amp models ‘on the fly’ or dig deep and edit them with your computer using the included Fender FUSE software to further alter the included effects such as reverb, delay/echo, tremolo, phaser and many more.
  • Jam along with your favorite tracks by simply plugging your MP3 player into the Auxiliary input and you instantly become part of the band and /or practice privately with the 1/8th headphone output jack that also mutes the speaker output.
  • Capture moments of inspiration and build songs using the included Ableton Live Lite 8 Fender Edition studio-quality recording software compatible with either MAC or PC, Controls: Gain, Volume, Treble, Bass, Master, Preset Select, Modulation Select, Delay/Reverb Select, Save Button, Exit Button, Tap Tempo Button
  • Limited Warranty Included

4.  Orange Crush20

  • Foot switchable channels
  • Analog signal path
  • CabSim loaded headphone output
  • New High gain preamp design, 4 stage preamp
  • 20 Watts

I believe any of these amplifiers will work just fine for getting the rock tone that is necessary for playing rock music.

Now You Get In-Tune

Having the instrument in-tune is most important.  Without it you won’t sound good, even if you know how to play.  So make sure you acquire a good solid guitar tuner.  Once again there are many to choose from.  Here is one I’d recommend.

Snark Clip-on Tuner

  • Full-Color Display
  • Features frequency range tailored to guitar and bass
  • The tuner can be used on the front of back of headstock, Rotates 360°
  • Very popular model for hobbyists and professionals alike

Now all you need is a standard guitar cable to plug the guitar into the amp and your set to start having fun.

Oh, there is one more thing

Some good training material to help get you started and headed in the right direction.  Enter the book Rock Guitar 101.  A book designed to get you started with a simple step-by-step method for easy learning and quick results.

Rock Guitar 101

Rock guitar 101 is a system of methodology that takes you through the basics of learning how to play rock guitar.  Getting the right tools of the trade, learning your first rocks chords, creating rhythm, reading and understanding sheet music plus an introduction to lead guitar and popular rock song riffs.

This book is filled with full-color photos and diagrams for easy learning with no previous musical knowledge required. Plus additional training tips are presented as a bonus along with a rockstar quiz to make sure the student understands the material thoroughly.

Once you get through this training, you will have a well-versed understanding of the fundamental principles associated with playing rock guitar.  In addition, you will have a smile on your face due to being able to play some rock guitar song riffs.

Conclusion

By acquiring the proper tools and training in the very beginning of any new venture you are going to able to progress faster than you ever thought possible.  You are going to be able to get quicker results and you are going to have more fun in the process.

So if you’re interested in playing rock guitar, make sure to get all the elements needed to get you started and I guarantee you that you will see results fast!!

Why?

Because you took the time to do it right!  The way it should be done.  And if you still have questions, feel free to contact me so as I may help guide you in the right direction, and get you on your way to having fun playing rock guitar.  Be sure to sign up to my Guitar Club where you’ll receive exclusive training tips to help you improve your guitar playing.

Sincerely, Dwayne Jenkins

 

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Boss DS1 Distortion Pedal Product Review

Boss DS1 pedal

The Boss DS1 distortion pedal is one of the most popular guitar pedals on the market today.  And has been used on countless classic rock song recordings.

It is a true icon in the world of guitar effects. It was first Introduced in 1978, and as BOSS’s first distortion pedal it defined a whole new sound.  It can deliver a multitude of applications.  From a bone-crushing hard-edged attack to a warm smooth milky tone with sustain. The ds1 pedal can do it all.

DS1 pedal ease of use.

With simplicity in design and three knob configuration allows the guitar player to easily create their own original sound.  The way they envision it to be. This ease of use, the Boss DS1 distortion pedal can easily be used for creating a nice solid rhythm tone or used as a boost for guitar solos.  The Boss DS1 distortion pedal is constructed of sturdy metal and will provide enjoyment that will last a lifetime.

Boss DS1 distortion pedal

All-time Best Selling guitar pedal.

The Boss DS-1 distortion pedal is one of the top-selling compact guitar effects ever.  Its original design has not changed.  Although it has been imitated by other pedals that look similar, it continues to top the charts in inspiring musicians everywhere to create great music.

Classic DS-1 tone is behind the sound of numerous rock legend recordings and is ready to fuel your own artistic style to make you a rock legend.  You just have to get one, plug it in, dial in your tone and let your fingers fly.

A new innovation in sound.

Most distortion pedals of the past produced a harsh, buzzy tone that was muddy at high gain settings. Then engineers at Boss changed all that by developing a unique distortion circuit for the DS-1 that produces a tight, hard-edged gain with rich harmonics while retaining the unique characteristics of different guitars and playing techniques.

Popular across the board.

In the ‘70s and ‘80s, and the DS-1’s tone had a major influence on the rock genre of hard rock, heavy metal, and punk. As these styles began to flourish the popularity of the DS1 grew as well.   In time other distortion pedals have hit the market to provide a variety of choices.

DSI distortion pedal alternatives.

MXR  M75 Super Badass Distortion  

 MXR distortion pedsl

This highly responsive Distortion pedal covers a full spectrum, from early ’70s low gain overdrive to modern “scooped” metal distortion and every shade of dirt in between.

Electro Harmonix Nano Big Muff Distortion

Big Muff distortion

The Nano Big Muff Pi works and sounds identical in every way to our classic NYC Big Muff Pi.  Crushing distortion, singing sustain, and true bypass.  As you can see, very similar to the DS1.  A three knob sound creation option as well as working with a 9-volt battery or an AC adapter.

Boss DS1 Distortion Pedal Review Conclusion.

There are many more options when it comes to distortion pedals.  These are just a couple.  I recommend you check them out as well as others at your local music store.  Look at reviews online and find the one that is right for you.  What’s great about guitar pedals is that the variety is so, that you will find one that fits your personality and style of playing.  If you look hard enough.

In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the Boss DS1 distortion pedal.  It has stood the test of time for a reason.  I personally use one and have for over 20 years.  It has been consistent, reliable and held up over many gigs, recording sessions and guitar lessons.

Thanks for reading my review and if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email.  If you haven’t already, be sure to join my guitar club for insider tips to improve your guitar playing.

Best of luck in finding your sound with a distortion pedal.

Sincerely, Dwayne.

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