Pop Punk

by Gabriel Leopardi

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  • Hello guys! Welcome to my new punk lesson! Continuing with the Punk Sub-styles saga that started with the “Skate Punk Lesson”, in this one I’m covering the Pop Punk Style based on bands like Yellowcard, Simple Plan, Paramore, and New Found Glory.
    This is a great rhythm lesson for beginners and it’s also a good lessons for every level to learn how the bands of this style arrange the songs.

    Music Style:
    The sub style Pop Punk is just a combination of speed , dirty sound and attitude of the classic punk rock and the melodic and commercial side of the Pop music. The term has been used for many years but it was redefined in the mid 90’s when bands like Green Day and Offspring followed by Blink 182 appeared. After that lots of Pop Bands appeared and continue appearing until today. The bands use distorted guitars that are frequently generated by Marshall JCM (800 & 2000) or Mesa Boogie amps, semi dirty Bass sound (Ampeg and Gallien Krueger are the most used amps) and clean and melodic vocals. Perfectly tuned backing vocals and memorial choruses are other of the most distinctive characteristics.

    Tonality & Chord Progression:
    This lesson is in D Major tonality. Most of the Pop Punk bands are also labeled as “Happy Punk” bands. That “happy” sound is given to their music by the use of Major tonalities. Most of the Green Day’s songs or Yellowcard songs are in Major tonalities or at least have the chorus in major tonality. Check some songs from them at youtube.com and try to notice if it’s a Major or minor song. You’ll find mostly Major songs but there are also some minor songs (the darkest or the sad ballads). The chord progression in this one is a “this is surely a hit” progression which is very often used in pop music.

    The progression is: I – V – VIm – IV

    Another exercise that I’ll give you is to play a loop of this progression and try to sing melodies over it. When you find a cool one try to incorporate it in the chord progression that you are playing creating weird chord positions like I did in the intro and the chorus of this lesson.

    This is basically a rhythm guitar lesson. The rhythm is the most important aspect in Punk Guitar. We will use “only down strokes” strumming and palm muting on this lesson. I use “only down strokes” in some parts to make the part sound stronger and more aggressive. If you are a beginner it will be a bit difficult in at first but you’ll get it with some practice. Pay attention to your timing, you must be precise.

    I used my Pod X3 Live to record this lesson. Nowadays I notice that most of the Pop Punk bands are using Marshall JCM800 or JCM2000. That’s why I used a Marshall JCM800 emulator with a Marshall 4x12 cabinet. If you want the Line 6 Tone, you can ask for it in my personal board. My guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Studio. The drums are Ez Drummer and the bass sound is from the Hyper Canvas.

    I used standard 440.

    I hope that you enjoy the lesson!



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