Rhythm Guitar: 80's Rock

by Guido Bungenstock

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  • Hi GMC!

    This third lesson is for every player who likes the Rock Guitar Riffs from the 80's & 90's. Steve Stevens & Andy Timmons (who I really like) are also known for their great rhythm work. So I decided to do something similar here.

    The lesson has five song parts: INTRO, A, B (as Interlude), C and OUTRO.

    Gm7 | Gm7 Gm6 | Gm7 | Gm7 Bb5 F5|
    Gm7 | Gm7 Gm6 | Gm7 | Riff |

    In the Intro Section I'm playing the low G with my thumb while alternating between the low G and the upper fourth chords on the G & D strings. It ends with a cool G Minor Blues run to start the following main riff.

    A PART
    G5 | % | % | %|
    Eb5| % | C5|F/A|

    A typical chord progression with a heavy 8th notes Rhythm (think Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" here!) with some nice accents.

    Bb F Bb | F C F Bb | F Bb | Csus4 C|

    All these chords are played over the root note G with heavy accents in G Dorian.

    A PART
    G5 | % | % | %|
    Eb5| % | C5|F/A|

    The Main riff comes back again but this time with higher power chords. And now the similarity to Steve Stevens' guitar on Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" is unmistakable :-D

    C PART
    C5 ||: D5 F5 | G5 Bb5| C5 | Riff :|| 3x

    The modulation to D minor gives this little extra. On the last part the unison with bass, keys & guitar fills the small space on the last bar by adding some C mixolydian stuff.

    The last unison part on C mixolydian has some strong accents, a fast 16ths run and a modulation from C mixolydian to Db Lydian and back again to G Dorian.

    Final words
    Before you play this tune at the original tempo BPM 160 you should start slower (80/100 BPM) of course. There are some little tricky things that look easy first but need a little time for practise. Specially the punchy 8ths with downstrokes should be played very accurately. So be patient ;-)

    Cheers - Guido

    Technical specifications
    Guitar: Music Man Luke II
    Strings: D'Addario EXL 120
    Amp: Peavey JSX Top with Marshall 4x12" V30
    Effects: T.c. electronic G-Major
    Sound-deflection system by DEEFLEXX

    Shure SM57 & Rode NT1000
    Audio Interface: Focusrite Saffire PRO 24
    Recording SW: Logic 9, several plugins

    Standard tuning: E, A, D, G, B, E

    Tempo: 160 BPM

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