The Kills Style

by Gabriel Leopardi

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  • Hi GMC!

    Welcome to my new lesson in the style of The Kills, a British-American indie rock band formed by American singer Alison Mosshart ("VV") and English guitarist Jamie Hince ("Hotel").

    Music Style:
    The band plays a minimalist style that combines sounds from punk, post punk, noise, garage and grunge bands. Their music in albums is based on electronic drums, and a very interesting guitar work, based on riffs and melodies similar to the ones played on this lesson. They sound can be related to bands like The White Stypes, that has that vintage tone but at the same time sounds very modern. The use of uncommon guitars and vintage tube amps are essential in their music.

    Tonality, Chord Progression & Scales:
    Their songs tends to sound dark and that’s why they mostly use minor scales and tonalities. This tune is in D# minor, and the chord progression is typical for styles like the ones cited before. Their harmonies don’t move too much, creating a modal feel that makes their music static, and most focused on sound and textures than chord movements.

    The guitarist has a very unique guitar style. He usually plays both bass notes and melodies with a right hand finger picking technique based on thumb for bass, index and major for melodies. He also uses his left hand thumb to play the fretboard bass notes in 6th string, like Jimi Hendrix. In this lesson I apply all those tricks to get a closer tone to him.

    I used Fractal Ax8 with a Mesa Boogie amp emulation with the following settings:

    I used Cubase to record audio and midi, superior drummer for drums and Trillian for bass.

    Tuning: Drop C#

    Tempo: 120 BPM

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