Hardcore Punk II: Black Flag

by Gabriel Leopardi

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    THE PROFESSOR With a focus on Power Chords, Black Flag and other Punk bands created some of the most memorable riffs and hooks in the genre. But, as Gabriel expertly demonstrates, these classic Punk bands often branched out beyond the standard power chord sound and embraced the major scale and other modes in their writing. 

    Learning how to play, build and use the Major Scale and related modes is not only something shredders and jazzers should check out. As you saw in this lesson, Punk Rockers such as Black Flag and others have used these modes to create memorable riffs and solos over the years as well. 

    Hi GMC!

    Welcome to my new lesson in which I continue covering Hardcore Punk bands. As we said in the previous lesson, “Hardcore Punk” is a punk rock genre that started in the 70’s and the difference in comparison to punk is that it’s generally faster and heavier. In the early 80’s, there were many underground scenes in the United States, particularly in Washington, California, New York and Boston. Be sure to check the first lesson based on “The Dead Kennedys” style. In this new lesson I will cover the band “Black Flag”, an American band formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California.

    Music Style:
    Black Flag sound is defined as a mix of the simplicity of the Ramones with atonal guitar solos and frequent tempo shifts. They also have melodic and rhythmic influence from Heavy Metal music. In this lesson I tried to recreate their fast, dirty, full of power chord changes style in 1 minutes of pure Hardcore Punk.

    Tonality, Chord Progression & Scales:
    This tune starts in C major, but then modulates to Cm and to F major. There is a short riff in the beginning composed with C major scale and then we will basically use power chords. I shared the chord progression on screen in the main video and also over the tabs and guitar pro file.

    Techniques:
    This is basically a rock rhythm lesson so we will use strumming and palm muting. The tempo is very fast and that makes the chord changes fast too. This can be the tricky part behind this lesson so it you are a beginner be patient and concentrate on making the chord changes smooth.

    Sound:
    I used my Pod HD 500 to record this lesson. I used the Brit J-45 Amp Model with a 4x12 Greenback 25 Cab Model.
    My guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Studio. I gave the overall mix a tape saturation effect to make it sound vintage as The Dead Kennedys albums.

    Click HERE to download the POD HD500 Patch.

    Tuning:
    I used standard 440 tuning.

    Tempo:
    200 BPM

    Homework included - check out video part

    Ok guys – it’s time for hardcore!





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