definitions, inspirations:

dB: decibel, a widely used measure of sound pressure levels

Ps. 98: make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; make a LOUD noise

AC/DC: let there be rock!

October 23, 2010

CIGRG, Ch 3: Rockin' the Double Stops

It took me a while to put this post together, mainly because I was trying to figure out how to embed the sound clip.  Many thanks to my amigo Nuno from the Guitar Noise forum for helping me out!

In Chapter 3 of the CIG Rock Guitar book, you will dive deep into some of the essentials.  You'll learn how to read chord charts and tablature, and a little bit about reading music:  time signatures, quarter and eighth notes, and rests.  One of my least favorite songs of all time, House of the Rising Sun, makes an appearance, and so do the tabbed-out versions of the rock shuffles from Chapter 2.  (You didn't look ahead, did you?)

As I've said before, you really need to read the text to fully appreciate the lesson; unfortunately David Hodge isn't in the room with you to explain things, but his writing is friendly and helpful!

A couple things came to mind while I was working with this chapter.

First, I wish the book came in a spiral binder so that it would lay flat, whether on a table, a floor, or a music stand.  Of course, that's not specific to this book, but to all lesson books.  I've got a few in this format and it really helps. 

Second, I noticed that in the introduction to each track on the CD, Hodge will say "chapter 3, example 10" or something like that.  Unfortunately, the book does not denote the example numbers anywhere.  There is a track number in the book so you know which one to jump to, but these do not match the example numbers.  For instance, track 13 is introduced as "chapter 3, example 21!"   If you're going back-and-forth with the CD tracks, it can get a little bit confusing at times.

And now, the cool part:

Toward the end of the chapter, Hodge gives a terrific introduction to "double stops," an easy-to-learn technique that is very common in rock music, for both lead and rhythm playing.  The "Double Stop Rock" lesson is a blast to play, and sounds killer!  I recommend taking your time here and really nailing this play-along track before moving on to the next chapter.

Here's a recording I made of myself playing this track, using a drum machine for the backing part.  I went from the "line out" of my amp straight to a Tascam recorder, then mixed the guitar and drums together in a free program called Audacity. 

I plan to incorporate double-stops much more often in my own playing! 

October 5, 2010

CIGRG, Ch 2: Let's Boogie

In Chapter Two of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Playing Rock Guitar, David Hodge covers some of the basic elements of guitar playing, like how to hold a pick, how to tune your axe, and posture.  That doesn't mean how to strike your Rock God pose - it means not letting your playing position get in the way of your playing!  No pictures here - you have to read the text, and it's well worth it.

Then you actually get to start rocking out!  You'll start with a classic old-school rock shuffle or "boogie" rhythm, played two different ways.  Interestingly, you have to read to find out what notes he wants you to play - there's no tablature to cheat with.  Well, okay, I'll give you a secret:  tabs for these play-along lessons are in the next chapter.  But don't look!  No really, don't!  Tabs are just a crutch and you don't need them!

q:  What does TABS mean?  
a:  Timesavers, Although Basically Silly.  
So there!  Don't cheat with tabs, learn the notes!  

Anyway, the rock shuffle you'll learn in this lesson seems very basic, but it's one of the building blocks of rock guitar.  Have a listen to Satch Boogie by Joe Satriani; it's a blistering solo effort, but the underlying rhythm is the basic rock shuffle.