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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've played guitar for years, but for the past two years I've focused pretty much exclusively on jazz. I can read music, work my way through chordal melodies and leads and have no issues playing in all the keys in all the positions.

In truth though, I'm ready for a change of pace. I'd really like to get my arms around playing a few classic rock/metal tunes. Before I just sit down with youtube and try to work them out, I'm curious if there is an online guitar school focused on rock/metal that'd help me progress toward playing some rock stuff like:

- Panama
- Blackened
- Cliffs of Dover

I think it'd be useful to actually learn this stuff in context rather than just working out the riffs -- which can get tedious and is a bit empty in terms of improvising and moving beyond. In fact, I'd much rather learn how to play and be comfortable with this style versus rip these tunes note for note. When I study jazz, I don't transcribe Joe Pass (although it's certainly a worthy cause), but rather I spend my time trying to understand his songs, what pitch collections work where and so forth (and then do it in all keys).

So with that in mind, is there an online guitar school or series of lessons available online where I can chip away at this stuff on my own time? Any recommendations appreciated!
 

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Is Actually Recording
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Honestly, if you're comfortable with relatively harmonically complex jazz stuff, I wouldn't worry about taking "lessons" to learn how to play rock.

Instead, just go out, watch a few Stevie Ray videos, and focus on beating the shit out of your guitar while you play, like he does. The thing I listen for in a good blues rock player is their "attitude" that comes through the playing, in their pick attack, vibrato, and the way they come together to make the strings scream.

Honestly, spending an evening with a bottle of Jack Daniels and a cranked up amp playing over blues backing tracks, trying to see how many picks and strings you can destroy in one night, may be the single best thing you can do here. :lol:
 

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I don't know much theory, but I can say, with some amount of confidence, that rock/metal don't require the same level of aptitude as jazz. Grab some tabs for the songs you want to check out, and I'm sure you'll be reading between the lines in no time, to see what makes them tick, certainly to a greater understanding than me, and I play that shit all the time :lol:
 

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Its not good advice unless you're doing it while giving it :lol: :drew:

If you're that familiar with jazz, it shouldn't be too hard to get into that stuff. Might take a while to get your head around the style changes, but musically it shouldn't be an issue.
 

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:lol: Fixed that.

But, really, it's kind of a cliche, but rock is more about the attitude and "feel" of a piece, and to an extent that's true of jazz, it's way less cerebral than jazz is. Just focus on hitting the strings hard. The rest will come.
 

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I will say, however, that getting the right feel for something like "Blackend" will be difficult initially when coming from a jazz background - the technique involved isn't something you really would have used before (all downstrokes for 8th note parts, heavy palm muting, etc.)

Harmonically it shouldn't be difficult. Stylistically it will be challenging.
 

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^To get the hang of the style you just imagine your guitar is a gun and every chug/palm muted gallop is a bullet you are spraying from the automatic rifles you are inexplicably and completely unrealistically dual wielding on your badass 80s action hero rampage.
 

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I will say, however, that getting the right feel for something like "Blackend" will be difficult initially when coming from a jazz background - the technique involved isn't something you really would have used before (all downstrokes for 8th note parts, heavy palm muting, etc.)

Harmonically it shouldn't be difficult. Stylistically it will be challenging.
Yeah, I think Mike's about right. Metal is typically harmonically and melodically a lot less varied and challenging on a per song basis. It's usually the rhythm that has the complexity, and that's usually almost exclusively just some synchronised syncopation for kick drums and rhythm guitars/bass.

It sounds like you have an excellent foundation to build on, and I think any course you'd find would be padded out with a lot of stuff you wouldn't need to worry about/have already covered. And a lot of the techniques are pretty much tacit knowledge (down strokes, galloping, palm muting, etc.), and so I'd question how effective a course that claims to teach it can be. You've just got to experiment and see if you can create the sounds you're trying to make. I'd guess you can get what you need just by watching a few videos on YouTube and then replicating the sound and experimenting a little until you've got it. But if you really do need some help with some of the basic techniques, like palm muting, galloping, down strokes, muting, I'd happily help out.
 

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You're going to find it hard to learn this stuff from formal sources because of a fundamental problem I run into: most "________ for beginners" education assumes that not only are a you a beginner at _______, but you are a beginner at music in general. Like, I have a degree in music theory; I don't need to learn what a quarter note is, or Every Good Boy Does Fine. But I know nothing about playing bossa nova, for example. When I was taking piano lessons, it was difficult to find beginner piano music that wasn't Mary Had A Little Lamb and didn't waste time teaching me how to read music, but also still had easy and effective piano curricula.
 

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^I had a militant piano teacher that was so bad in college that one of my classmates forced himself to vomit while an exam so that he could plead sickness instead of receiving her brutal grading.

When I had to get her signature drop her class she gave me a look like I had failed at life.

She was a 5 foot tall asian, and I am a 6'1" dude, but the time she grabbed my hand with her piano claw and repeatedly smashed it into the keys until I demonstrated correct triad fingering is the only time in my life I have ever felt violated on a personal level.
 

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She was a 5 foot tall asian, and I am a 6'1" dude, but the time she grabbed my hand with her piano claw and repeatedly smashed it into the keys until I demonstrated correct triad fingering is the only time in my life I have ever felt violated on a personal level.
I'm married to a 5-foot-tall Asian and I dig the abuse and the fact that she makes me do things until I get it right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the thoughts.

I really don't want to lose my jazz chops as I embark on this journey, so I've committed to about 20 minutes of solid jazz each evening and 20 minutes of metal/rock.

So far, I've been working through getting my picking technique precision uptempo and some basic tapping. In general, I'm finding the music to be (as others have noted below) simplistic from a theory perspective, but complex from a rhythmic and technique perspective. I've found that GuitarLessons365 videos on youtube are right in the sweet spot for me (he has one for Blackened intro and for Cliffs of Dover). I also have checked out his premium lessons and his series on technique is spot on.

Oh... I did indulge a bit and bought a guitar too..



I managed to score a USA Custom Shop Charvel San Dimas with a ridiculously birdy/flamey maple neck off CL for a steal. Now... if I can keep the kids from knocking it over (oh well, that's what my Schecter is for).

I'll keep you guys updated. Lots of fun so far.
 
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