Reggae Goes Rock: 311 Style

by Gabriel Leopardi

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  • Hi GMC!

    Welcome to my new lesson covering the reggae/rock style of 311, an American Rock band from Omaha, Nebraska formed in 1988 by Nick Hexum (Vocals & Guitar), Tim Mahoney (Lead guitar), Aaron “P-Nut” Wills and drummer Chad Sexton.

    Music Style:
    The music of 311 is a mix of rock, reggae, hip hop and funk. We could define them as an alternative rock band with strong Reggae influences. Their mix of genres helped them to have a very unique sound that influenced many other alternative rock bands that appeared in the late 90’s and 2000’s.
    In this tune you’ll find reggae rhythms based on two guitars arrangements that combine the classic reggae strumming with repetitive loops using very tasty guitar effects and modulations. Drums and bass go together and keep the groove should and go together making a very catchy rhythm. In the last section, everything explodes into a powerful riff that shows their heavier sound.

    Tonality, Chord Progression & Scales:
    As it happens on reggae music, but also on alternative rock, minor and major keys are the most used tonalities, being major the most “radio” friendly tonality for this genre. This composition starts in C major and then modulates to Am in the heavy section. The scales used to create the riffs are also C major and A minor. You will find more details about each riff and progression in the slow video parts, and all chord progressions on screen and above the tabs.

    This lesson combines some riffing with melodies and reggae rhythm. The techniques used here are:

    - Alternate Picking
    - Strumming
    - Palm muting
    - Vibrato
    - Legato.

    Tuning: I used standard 440 tuning.

    Tempo: 85 BPM

    I used LePou plugins to create the guitar tone. These are free amp emulators that are extremely recommend. The head used for this guitar tone is Poulin HyBrit which is a Marshall Emulation.
    As you can hear on the video, this lesson includes different effects and amp settings that I've programmed just after recording it. You'll find the presets to be opened on Poulin HyBrit in the link below, but to be sure that you can reproduce the sounds I'll share screen captures here to show you each tone:

    Tone 1: Intro riff (It also includes Chorus effect from Cubase)

    Tone 2: Second melody and also the melody played at 00:48 (same settings that tone 1 but with the addition of tremolo)

    Tone 3: Reggae strumming starting at 00:26

    Tone 4: Last riff distortion

    Click HERE to download the patches used.

    Ok guys - let's mix Jamaica's grooves with Californian rock.

    PS: If you like this lesson, you'll also enjoy my Sublime Style lesson and also my Reggae Style lesson.

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