Did you know Pop and Rock had their own “Renaissance?” That’s right! “The Space Age,” another fitting name for the ’50s and ’60s, was a time of reimagining music. And, the electric guitar just so happened to be at the forefront of these changes. Players such as Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton were all trailblazers for different unique ways to play this long-beloved instrument.
In his course, Space Age Rock ‘n Roll Guidebook, BJ Baartmans explores the stylings of these artists and the techniques you can use to replicate their sounds.
Here are 6 free space age rock guitar lessons from the course. For the full course, check out BJ Baartmans’ Space Age Rock ‘n Roll Guidebook on TrueFire!
F# Slow Train: Performance
The main riff of this song is a typical 2 step “train” groove played to a half-time beat. It’s based on the traditional Travis picking style, like Scotty Moore and James Burton would use on Elvis Presley records. However, the new beat gives it a whole different sound.
F# Slow Train: Breakdown
I’m also using a simple Ernie Ball phaser pedal here that sort of lives its own life as a tone tweaker. It makes the riff pop out stronger and gives the whole song a bit of a spacier sound. The other typical thing in this track is that it’s in the key of F#. This give it a cool open string dominant 7 flavor.
Sally A Train: Performance
“Sally Why” is a tune more than a bit related to Dale Hawkins’ “Suzy Q”. More precisely, the riff that James Burton played on the original recording from 1954. He played it with a very clean Telecaster sound, but these kinds of riffs are also great with a good deal of overdrive.
Sally A Train: Breakdown
The Gibson guitar I’m using here pushes amps easily into distortion. It’s a bit more demanding to not let it get too messy. But, if you find good control with your hands it can drive a band pretty hard. Just think of Mark Knopfler playing “Money for Nothing” or the great ZZ Top.
Come On Eddy 2: Performance
Here’s another straight rocker where Eddie Cochran and Duane Eddy meet with a country picker in overdrive mode. The rhythm guitar and the lead guitar really have to work together here if you want to avoid chaos. That’s because I’m using a very similar overdrive sound for both parts. That is, if you don’t want chaos…
Come On Eddy 2: Breakdown
Anyway, the lesson is divided in two again. First, there’s the rhythm track that combines typical single note rock and roll lines with rhythmical accents on the higher strings. There’s also some piano like triads in the bridge. The lead part of the song is a combination of styles that even has a few Django inspired arpeggio riffs in it. Not quite what you’d expect here, but nice anyway.
Digging these free space age rock guitar lessons? Check out the full course, Space Age Rock ‘n Roll Guidebook.