Someone commented on my Bloodstains tutorial video recently asking if I could do a video on “Fire In The Rain”. It’s one of my favorite Agent Orange tunes, and while it’s not that difficult to play, it is a bit unusual. In the video I show two ways to play the song: the way Mike Palm does it, and an easier way that uses a capo. I think the non-capo way sounds much better though, so I recommend learning that version.
Category: How to play…
#82 – 21st Century Schizoid Man
Dagnabbit was this video ever frustrating!
Not the solo… it was fairly easy compared to the SRV one, but the audio and video somehow got out of sync when I recorded it and trying to find a halfway decent video editing suite that would run on my ancient desktop took way longer than it should have.
Once I got one, the actual edit only took a minute or two…
Anyways, this one might be really easy for ya, it might be really challenging. It all depends on whether or not this style of playing is in your wheelhouse or not. For me, it was right in there. The phrasing isn’t your typical blues inspired rock phrasing, nor is it “jazzy” by any stretch of the term. I don’t know what I’d call it, but it’s quite distinct.
How to play “Yesterday” by Imagine Dragons (w/ guitar solo)
One of my students asked to learn this song recently. Whole the song itself is really simple (just 3 bars of E then a bar of A over and over again), it’s got a really cool little guitar solo. It’s a good introduction to sweep picking too!
Give it a try.
#83 – Scuttle Buttin’ – solo & tutorial
It’s been over two years since I published an entry in my 100 Greatest Guitar Solos lesson series, and I never stopped getting questions about when I’d get back around to it. I figured the new year is as good a time as any to jump back in. I actually learned this solo quite a while back. I’ve been coming back to it occasionally, slowly working it up to speed. I’m not quite there yet, but I’ll get there.
There’s lots of cool stuff going on in this solo. Not being a blues guy myself, it was interesting getting inside the mind of a legendary bluesman like SRV. He sticks entirely to the E blues scale for most of the first chorus. The exceptions being the B7#9 (well Bb7#9, since he’s tuned down) chord he bangs out and the descending 3rds near the end (which yield a b9 and b13 over the V chord)
The second chorus features a cool tritone lick that really exemplifies the blues tonality for me. Sliding between two tritones a half step apart, SRV gets the 3rd, b7th, #9th, and 13th. It’s something I’d never think to do, but I’m glad I’ve got that little trick in my bag now (in case I ever find myself in a surprise blues jam).
What fascinates me about these first two choruses is how SRV seems to really dislike the IV chord. He just sort of bullshits his way through those two bars both times, aggressively repeating the same notes as if he’s anxious for that moment to be over. It certainly works, but it’s still curious. The third chorus has a much more inspired lick over the IV chord, hitting a quick little b9 as well as a couple chromatic notes.
Probably the coolest thing about learning this solo is that you’re sort of learning the whole song when you do! The song is less than two minutes long, and the solo incorporates the main riff of the tune. I might just have to learn this whole thing!
Time Of The Preacher – solo & tutorial
I’ve always loved this song. It’s so simple, but really effective. That’s especially true for the solo, which sticks almost entirely to chord tones. This requires a bit of jumping around the neck, but moving between chord shapes is a great way to go about doing that.
It’s not a terribly difficult solo either, so it’s a good pick for folks looking to try something that doesn’t limit itself to a single position scale.
How to play “Rumble”
I probably teach this song to a new student once a week, and I NEVER get tired of playing it. There are very few songs cooler than “Rumble”. If you’ve seen “It Might Get Loud”, you may remember the scene where Jimmy Page gets incredibly giddy just listening to it. That scene just makes me love it even more. If Jimmy Page is reduced to a giggling school boy upon listening to it, you should be too.
It’s a really simple song. It’s basically a 12 bar blues in E, except you play a couple D chords every couple bars. Once you get to the turnaround, you just play a simple descending E minor pentatonic scale.
Jingle Bell Rock – chords & analysis
Somebody on Reddit was asking about this tune, specifically “how the chords worked”. It had never really occurred to me, but this tune offers several excellent examples of some very common types of non-diatonic chords! Secondary dominants, ascending diminished chords, altered dominants, even the subdominant minor!
All this, with an almost entirely diatonic melody!
“I Love Rock & Roll” – solo & tutorial
I’ve got some students working on this Joan Jett classic right now, so I thought I’d make a quick little video showing you how to do the solo.
Thinking Out Loud – solo & tutorial
One of my students is working on this song right now, so I made a video to help him work out the solo.
It’s a pretty great little solo. Nothing spectacular, but it’s just right for the song. An excellent example of major pentatonic phrasing and modesty in soloing.
#84 – Lights Out – solo & tutorial
These just keep taking longer and longer to get around to! I do apologize for that, but this one was both tricky and I was distracted with final preparations for the Fox & the Red Hares album. The second half of this one isn’t that bad. I actually learned that part first. The first half (particularly the 2nd 4 bars) is what tripped me up so much. I wanted to recreate exactly what Michael Schenker played here, and I think I’ve got most of it, but there are a couple spots where I just had to give in and say “just wing it.” Lots of people don’t like that attitude, but that’s probably how Schenker approached it in the studio, so there’s no reason doing the same thing here isn’t a valid approach.