Nirvana Made Easy

by Gabriel Leopardi

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  • Hi GMC!

    Welcome to a new lesson in the style of Nirvana for beginners who want to get into more complex punk rock rhythm. If you like this lesson please check also my Grunge Series where I cover many bands in this style.

    Music Style:
    Nirvana has its own style influenced by Punk, Indie Rock, Alternative and Noise rock. Their main influences have been Sonic Youth, Pixies, The Melvins and many Punk rock bands. This lesson covers their most aggressive and faster side that can be found mostly on their first 2 albums. This tune starts with a fast riff based in power chords followed by some guitar arrangements that show how Kurt used to arrange songs in a simple but very creative way.

    Tonality, Chord Progression & Scales:
    The song is basd on power chords and as it happened with Kurt's music, it's based on a minor key (F#m), however you'll find many "guest" chords that are used to give the tunes a weirder darker sound. You surely wonder, so which are the power chords that can be used? and the answer is: any power chord you like, here your ear and mind are the only restriction, as it was for Cobain. Experiment!

    Techniques:
    This lesson covers both rhythm and solo techniques. The rhythm section is based on power chords and strumming, while the solo parts include vibrato, alternate picking, bending and double stops.

    Sound:
    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 HyBrit which is a Marshall amp emulation and before it a tube screamer emulation. Check out the settings:





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

    Tuning: Standard 440

    Tempo: 160 BPM
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