Rage Against the Strat

by Darius Wave

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  • Welcome to the Rage Against the Strat lesson !

    Lesson inspired by Rage Against the Machine and it's great guitar player - Tom Morello.
    Tom's style is one of my favorite since he combines solid, powerfull riff playing with some really cool, fancy stuff.
    I tried to separate a few, his characteristic playing methods, that would be enjoyable to play and at the same time possible to execute for beginner and intermediate players. There are of course some of his essential tricks not involved in this lesson, but they would demand modified guitar electronics or specific stomp-box devices. I decided to use things that are reasonable reachable among popular gear, such as wah-wah and pitch shifter/whammy. Most of multiple fx devices (such as boss guitar processors, axe fx, amplifire, line 6 processors etc) do have expression pedal, that can be assigned to both - wah or pitch modulation. Easiest way to prepare tones for this lesson is to set two presets that have exactly the same amp, eq and cab settings, but for the first we'll assign wah to expression pedal, and for second we'll assign pitch shift (set 2 octaves up range, 100% wet signal).

    You can get similar effect with analog devices or vst software. I was experimenting with second option but it really takes some time and knowledge to make it work. Side-profit of using software is You can program precise moments when a single pedal turns on and off with particular function. It means I don't have to use two separate pedals, or even switch between two presets. With analog devices you would need to launch them manually, but that's none of a problem - just the way things work on stage.

    Gear used (in order of connection chain placement):

    1. SX SST57 guitar
    2. Presonus Inspire 1394 firewire audio interface (input gain 40%)
    3. Cubase VST Amp Rack wah wah plug-in (controlled with Behringer FCB1010)
    4. Audio Rammer WhamDrive v2.3 - Whammy/Pitch Shifter plug-in (+ 2 oscatave mode, drive off)
    5. Poulin LeXtac vst plug-in:
    - Channel - blue
    - Input 50%
    - Gain 70%
    - Pre EQ - brighter
    - Bass 50%
    - Middle 40%
    - Treble 50%
    - Contour 100%
    6. Kefir impulse loader (mix 100%)
    7. Impulse - Catharsis s-preshigh

    Tuning - Standard E

    Backing track progression:

    ||: Em | Em | Em | Em E9# | Em | Em | Em | Em E9# :||
    ||: Em | Em | C/E | C/E | A/E | A/E | D/E | D/E :||
    Em | G | Em D | D | Em | G | Em D | A/C# |
    Em | G | Em D | D | Em | G | Em D | D ||

    Tempo: Main song tempo is 160 bpm. There are backing tracks available at 80, 90, 100, 120, 140 and 160 bpm.

    Time signature: 4/4

    Scales used in this lesson:


    E-dorian mode

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