Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Style

by Gabriel Leopardi

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  • Hi GMC!

    Welcome to a new lesson in the music style of Black Rebel Motorcycle, an American rock band from San Francisco, California. The group consists of Peter Hayes (vocal, guitar, harmonica), Robert Levon Been (vocal, bass, guitar), and Leah Shapiro (drums). Former drummer Nick Jago left the band in 2008 to focus on his solo project.

    Music Style:
    Their music is a unique mix of classic hard rock with noise pop, phsichodelic rock and space rock. Some of their influences are Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, T. Rex, The Velvet Underground and The Jesus and Mary Chain. In this lesson I’ve composed a tune that recreates the style of their most recent albums full of noisy riffs, and spacy atmospheres. I’ve done a two guitars arrangement on this one and both guitars are included and explained along the lesson.

    Tonality, Chord Progression & Scales:
    This tune is in D major. I combine two modes Ionian and Mixolydian which gives that bluesy feel that reflects the classic rock influence to create the riffs, melodies and chord progressions. The slow tempo, fuzz guitar tone, and pentatonic riffs are essential in their style. The riff section keeps in D chord, then the chord progression moves around the I, VI and bVII.

    This lesson has all the elements and techniques used on a regular BRM song so we will cover elements like riffing, arpeggios, strumming, picking, sliding and legato.

    I used Poulin plugins to create the guitar tone. These are free amp emulators that are extremely recommended. The cabinet used for this guitar tone is LexTac, and I've added a Waves Fuzz Pedal emulation. Check out the settings:

    I used Cubase to record audio and midi, superior drummer for drums and Trillian for bass.

    Tuning: Drop D

    Tempo: 132 BPM

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