Sublime Style

by Gabriel Leopardi

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  • Hi GMC! 

    In this second Ska Punk lesson I decided to cover the style of a band that can be also considered dub, reggae and alternative rock. I’m talking about Sublime.

    "Sublime was an American ska punk band from Long Beach, California, formed in 1988.[1] The band's line-up, unchanged until their breakup, consisted of Bradley Nowell (vocals and guitar), Eric Wilson (bass guitar) and Bud Gaugh (drums and percussion). Michael 'Miguel' Happoldt also contributed on a few Sublime songs, such as "New Thrash". Lou Dog, Nowell's dalmatian, was the mascot of the band. Nowell died of a heroin overdose in 1996. In 1997, posthumous songs such as "Santeria", "The Wrong Way", "Doin' Time", and "April 29, 1992 (Miami)" were released to U.S. radio." - Wikipedia.

    Music Style: 

    Sublime was frequently defined as a Ska Punk band, and they made this style popular in the whole world thanks to hits like "Santeria". They also included elements in their music from many other styles like  dub, reggae, ska, punk rock, hardcore punk, rockabilly, improvised dance hall, hip hop, psychedelic rock and acoustic rock. In this lesson I tried to recreate their sound and style so I composed a tune inspired by their most popular songs.

    Tonality, Chord Progression & Scales:
    This tune is in C Major and the scales used for the solo are C major and C pentatonic major. The progression is very pop oriented like most of their hits. The whole lesson has 3 sections, an introduction (also can be considered the verse), a chorus and a solo.


    Groove and timing is everything in this style. This lesson combines rhythm and solo so it’s a great lesson for working on your timing and lead guitar. We will use a reggae rhythm and some solo phrases very inspired by the song Santeria.


    I used my Pod HD 500 to record this lesson. I used a clean amp emulating the old fender combos.
    My guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Studio. 


    I used standard 440 tuning. 


    85 BPM 

    Ok guys – let’s start grooving! 

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