The late 50’s and early 60’s (aka ‘The Space Age’ ) triggered what many people consider a renaissance of pop and rock music. In turn, the sonic qualities of electric guitar also experienced a revolutionary shift from clean, relatively un-effected sounds to a fresh new range of sounds including vibrato, phasing, echo, distortion and fuzz. These effects greatly influenced guitarists right and left-hand techniques and overall creative approaches to both soloing and rhythm playing.

BJ Baartmans’ Space Age Rock ‘n’ Roll Guidebook celebrates the innovative “Space Age” techniques and approaches pioneered by players like Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Steve Cropper, Alvin Lee and other artists leading the charge in rockabilly, blues, and surf music.

Here are 3 free guitar song lessons from the course!

<h3>F# Slow Train – Performance</h3>
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Download the tab, notation and jam track for this 60’s rock ‘n’ roll lesson on TrueFire.

F# Slow Train – Breakdown

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.

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 – Performance

Download the tab, notation and jam track for this 60’s rock ‘n’ roll lesson on TrueFire.

Sally A – Breakdown

“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.

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 – Performance

Download the tab, notation and jam track for this 60’s rock ‘n’ roll lesson on TrueFire.

Come On Eddy – Breakdown

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…

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.

Dig these free guitar song lessons? Check out the full course, Space Age Rock ‘n’ Roll Guidebook, for more including tab, notation, and jam tracks!