Rock Lessons Course

 

Rock guitar music started as the sound of youth and energy. It was born from a young generation of musicians and performers during the 1960’s who grew up listening to Blues, Country, Jazz and Rock N’ Roll from the 1940’s and 50’s. From all those influences they made something entirely new which captured the imagination of every following generation; Rock music.

If you need a refresher, or are just starting out, head over to Guitar Fundamentals Course 1 and Rock Guitar Course 1 for step-by-step beginner guitar lessons that will show you everything from basic chords to ripping solos. Otherwise, grab your axe and learn how to play Rock guitar in the lessons below! You'll be able to apply the techniques you learn to any tunes from our Rock Song Lessons library.

Rhythm Guitar Beginner Topics

The sound of Rock music is defined by a propulsive backbeat and driving electric guitars. In the following lesson videos we’ll show you Rock rhythm guitar fundamentals including barre chords, strumming techniques, palm muting and chord embellishments so you can sound like the real deal.

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Barrett Wilson
Practicing Barre Chords In Rock 1

In this tutorial we'll take the basic barre chord shapes we learned in a previous tutorial and apply them to rock rhythm guitar playing. We'll start by adding more rhythmic subdivisions. We’ll add some rhythmic emphasis to certain strums to provide variety. We'll also experiment with strumming specific sets of strings instead of strumming all six strings every time.

Published: 04/04/2024 Upgrade
Barrett Wilson
Practicing Barre Chords In Rock 2

In this tutorial we'll take the basic barre chord shapes we learned in a previous tutorial and practice them in a rock rhythm guitar style. We'll start by practicing these barre shapes by adding more rhythmic subdivisions to our strumming. This will add to the complexity and difficulty, giving us more to think about while we play. We'll add some rhythmic emphasis to certain strums to provide variety. We'll also experiment with strumming sets of strings instead of strumming all of them every time.

Published: 04/18/2024 Upgrade
Gary Heimbauer
Open Rock Chords

This tutorial covers how to play the open A, D and E major chord voicings in a rock rhythm guitar style. These are basic chords that all beginners learn, but we’ll learn how to adapt them to be played with an overdriven rock tone and with the energy and attitude required to play them in a rock style. We’ll learn how to fret and strum each chord, and about how to mute strings with both hands so that we are always in control of which strings ring out. We’ll go over the common problems beginners run into with this technique, and how to solve them. After learning the chords, we’ll play them along with a backing track so that we can start making music with them right away and put what we learn into practice.

Published: 08/24/2023 Upgrade
Anders Mouridsen
Epic Open Rock Chords

Open chords are often overshadowed by more advanced concepts, but when used right they’re one of the most epic tools we have in our rock rhythm and riff vocabulary. In this tutorial we’ll explore three open chord voicings used in rock and you’ll see just how much stadium-worthy mileage you can get out of these relatively simple building blocks.

Published: 11/30/2023 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Syncopated Rock Rhythm Series 1

In this tutorial we will learn the basics of syncopated rock rhythm guitar playing patterns. We'll start with a few simple open major chords and learn to apply a technique that alternates palm muted bass notes on the strong beats and punchy chords on higher strings on the backbeats.

Published: 06/11/2021 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Syncopated Rock Rhythm Series 2

In this tutorial we will learn the basics of syncopated rock rhythm guitar playing patterns. This time, we'll use a few simple open minor chords and learn to apply a technique that alternates palm muted bass notes on the strong beats and punchy chords on higher strings on the backbeats.

Published: 06/21/2021 Upgrade
Barrett Wilson
Barre Chords For Beginners (Rock Style)

In this tutorial we'll learn how to play barre chords. We’ll start with the mechanics of using our index finger to barre, then learn how to move it around the fretboard as a movable capo. This idea enables us to play commonly used Major and Minor chord shapes all over the fretboard.

Published: 10/20/2023 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Strumming Patterns in a Rock Style

Rock music features plenty of power and energy, so we’ll crank it up and dive into the basics to help you achieve signature rock rhythm guitar techniques. In the following lessons, we’ll explore 8th and 16th note strumming using downstrokes and upstrokes, palm muting and accents, as well as ghost strums. We’ll play through plenty of examples, and finish up with a practice tune that combines everything we’ve learned.

Published: 09/07/2023 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Chord Arpeggiations In Rock

In the following lessons, we’ll learn about 1/4 note and 1/8 note arpeggiation, combining downstrokes and upstrokes, using palm muting, and arpeggiating in 4/4 as well as 6/8 time. We’ll play through plenty of examples, and finish up with a practice tune that combines everything we’ve learned.

Published: 02/23/2024 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Rock Riffing with Power Chords

Riffs are the very heart of the electrifying guitar-driven rock anthems that have defined the genre for decades, and the power chord is the building block. In the following lessons, we’ll dig into common 2 and 3 note power chord shapes, and some rock riffing approaches. We’ll play through plenty of examples, and finish up with a practice tune that combines everything we’ve learned.

Published: 02/04/2024 Upgrade

Rhythm Guitar Intermediate Topics

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Jimena Fosado
Palm Muting Rock Style

Palm muting is a picking hand technique that's an essential element of rock style guitar playing. In this set of lessons we'll learn all about where, how and when to palm mute with a lot of practical examples to make your rock rhythm playing more interesting and musical.

Published: 11/30/2023 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Syncopated Rock Rhythm Series 3

In this tutorial we will learn more about playing syncopated rock rhythm guitar patterns. This time we'll use open chords but add more notes to our rhythmic pattern that alternates between palm muted bass notes and punchy chords on higher strings.

Published: 07/09/2021 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Syncopated Rock Rhythm Series 4

In this tutorial we will learn more about playing syncopated rock rhythm guitar patterns. This time we'll use barre chords to play our more advanced syncopated pattern that alternates between palm muted bass notes and punchy chords on higher strings.

Published: 07/20/2021 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Strumming With Higher Chords

In the following lessons, we’ll explore steady strumming, combined strum rhythms, and add rests into our strum patterns. We’ll play through some examples, and turn those examples into a practice tune that combines everything we’ve learned.

Published: 10/26/2023 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Higher Voiced Arpeggiation

In the following lessons, we’ll learn steady arpeggiation, rhythmic variations, and adding melodies to your arpeggiation patterns. We’ll play through examples of each concept, and finish up with a practice tune that combines them all.

Published: 11/02/2023 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Next Level Riffing In Rock

In the following tutorial, we’ll enhance your rock riffing skills by seamlessly integrating single notes, diads, and pedal roots into your power chord progressions. We’ll play through examples of each approach, and finish up with a practice tune that combines everything we’ve learned.

Published: 11/22/2023 Upgrade

Rhythm Guitar Advanced Topics

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Christopher Schlegel
CAGED For Rhythm Guitar

Christopher will show you how to apply the CAGED system to rhythm guitar playing. CAGED is a method for visualizing all the integrated, interlocking patterns that any given chord forms on a guitar fretboard. The name CAGED is a mnemonic device with each letter representing a shape of the open chord forms C, A, G, E, and D. In this tutorial we'll cover how to use CAGED to play rhythm guitar.

Published: 06/10/2020 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Single Note Riffing

In the following lessons, we’ll explore how to craft single note riffs using a variety of scales and rhythmic subdivisions. We’ll play through some examples, and turn those examples into a practice tune that combines everything we’ve learned.

Published: 01/26/2024 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Suspension Embellishments

In the following lessons, we’ll learn about sus2 and sus4 chords, and how to add them to open and barre chords, as well as outline them with double stops and triads. We’ll play through examples of each concept, and finish up with a practice tune that combines them all.

Published: 01/25/2024 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Advanced Rock Riffing

In the following tutorial, we’ll up the ante of your rock riffs by integrating palm muting, syncopation, hammer ons and pull offs, and bending. All the while, we’ll be mindful of the dynamics of an arrangement, and how we can tailor each riff with various dynamic levels. These techniques are sure to add more excitement and creativity to your riffs! We’ll play through examples of each approach, and finish up with a practice tune that combines everything we’ve learned.

Published: 05/02/2024 Upgrade

Lead Guitar Beginner Topics

Rock guitar lead playing is high octane! In the lessons below you’ll learn how to achieve that energy through your guitar. You’ll learn how to apply the Pentatonic scale, bending and vibrato, plus CAGED system guitar techniques and alternate scales to use in your lead lines. While there might be some lite theory needed, this will allow you to play killer guitar solos.

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Christopher Schlegel
Pentatonic Scales: Boxes & Frameworks

In this tutorial series we will discuss pentatonic scales, patterns & shapes. We will use them to build pentatonic "frameworks" (or "box shapes") as a visual aid to see familiar patterns on the fretboard. And then use them as a springboard to understanding scale degrees and why scales sound the way they do.

Published: 02/11/2007 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Pentatonic Scales For Rock Lead

The Pentatonic Scale is the cornerstone of rock soloing, serving as an essential tool for crafting memorable melodies, and expressive licks. In the following tutorial, we’ll dive into the Major and Minor Pentatonic Scale Boxes and learn how to start creating licks with them. We’ll learn to play a few simple licks with each scale, and finish up with a practice tune that combines everything we’ve learned.

Published: 01/26/2024 Upgrade
Jimena Fosado
Hammer-Ons And Pull-Offs

In this tutorial Jimena will show you the basics of hammer-ons and pull-offs. This covers the basic exercises to get used to the techniques, then applies them to some scale patterns in order to create some stereotypical rock lead licks.

Published: 05/01/2023 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Bending & Vibrato In Rock Style

In the following lessons, we’ll learn bending and vibrato technique, and how to use them. We’ll play through some examples, and turn those examples into a practice tune that combines everything we’ve learned. We’ll dive into the essential skills that form the backbone of expression when riffing and soloing. These techniques are not just about playing notes; they're about injecting emotion, character, and a personal touch into your playing.

Published: 01/04/2024 Upgrade
Anders Mouridsen
Basic Rock Lead Vocabulary #1

In this tutorial Anders will show you some basic but classic rock style lead guitar licks that form the foundation of all rock lead vocabulary.

Published: 01/11/2024 Upgrade
Anders Mouridsen
Basic Rock Lead Vocabulary #2

In this tutorial Anders will show you a basic pentatonic lick that is widely used in rock style lead guitar solos and how to play variations on the basic lick to build your rock lead guitar vocabulary.

Published: 01/18/2024 Upgrade

Lead Guitar Intermediate Topics

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Anders Mouridsen
Melodic Soloing

Anders will show you how to use the diatonic minor scale to create melodic lead guitar licks in a rock style.

Published: 02/04/2024 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Connecting Pentatonic Patterns: Series 1

In this tutorial we will learn 2 basic fretboard patterns that integrate all 5 pentatonic minor scale positions or boxes. The idea is to play a simple repeating 5 note pattern in 3 octaves in order to cover the fretboard.

Published: 08/11/2021 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Connecting Pentatonic Patterns: Series 2

In this tutorial we will learn another way to integrate 5 fretboard patterns or shapes that form the pentatonic minor scale. The idea is to play a simple repeated phrase on two adjacent strings, then move the pattern up to the next pentatonic pattern or box until all 5 patterns are used. Using this little pattern we can cover the entire fretboard with a variety of little lead lick phrases.

Published: 08/24/2021 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Major Scale Patterns Series 1

In this tutorial you will learn to visualize and play the major scale in the multiple patterns and positions it forms on the guitar fretboard. We will start with the A major scale as an example and eventually play the major scale in all 12 keys. Backing track play alongs are included for practice.

Published: 11/20/2020 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Minor Scale Patterns Series 1

In this tutorial you will learn to visualize and play the minor scale in the multiple patterns and positions it forms on the guitar fretboard. We will start with the A minor scale as an example and eventually play the minor scale in all 12 keys.

Published: 12/10/2020 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Pentatonic Major Scale Exercises

Christopher will show you all five major pentatonic boxes, how they form an interconnecting pattern across the entire guitar fretboard and how to systematically practice them. You will use each pentatonic box to play 2 types of scale exercises, at two different tempos along with backing tracks.

Published: 02/10/2017 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Pentatonic Minor Scale Exercises

Christopher will show you all five minor pentatonic boxes, how they form an interconnecting pattern across the entire guitar fretboard and how to systematically practice them. You will use each pentatonic box to play 2 types of scale exercises, at two different tempos along with backing tracks.

Published: 03/15/2017 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Connecting Pentatonic Patterns: Series 3

In this tutorial we will learn a lick that incorporates all 5 fretboard shapes/positions that form the pentatonic minor scale. This simple 4 note lick is very widely used in solos of many genres. The lick involves a hammer-on and a pull-off. Using this little pattern of 4 notes we can wind our way through connecting the pentatonic boxes.

Published: 09/08/2021 Upgrade

Lead Guitar Advanced Topics

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Christopher Schlegel
CAGED For Lead Guitar

Christopher will show you how to apply the CAGED system to lead guitar playing. CAGED is a method for visualizing all the integrated, interlocking patterns that any given chord forms on a guitar fretboard. It can also be used as a guide to locate scale degrees near the chord tones.

Published: 06/19/2020 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Major Scale Patterns Series 2

In this tutorial you will learn to expand the major scale patterns to visualize and play the major scale in multiple octaves across all 6 strings. We will start with the A major scale as an example and eventually play the major scale in all 12 keys.

Published: 12/21/2020 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Minor Scale Patterns Series 2

In this tutorial you will learn to expand the minor scale patterns to visualize and play the minor scale in multiple octaves across all 6 strings. We will start with the A minor scale as an example and eventually play the minor scale in all 12 keys.

Published: 01/11/2021 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Modes of the Major Scale

Christopher will show you the seven modes of the major scale. He'll show you each mode, how to play it, why it is unique, how it fits into the overall pattern of modes. There will also be play alongs and backing tracks to get a lot of practice at using all the modes.

Published: 07/10/2020 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Practicing Major Modes

Christopher will discuss and demonstrate the major modes: ionian, lydian and mixolydian. We'll review the unique interval formula of each major mode and how to play them. We'll play each mode on the same root note to use them in an ornamental manner. We'll get a lot of practice playing and hearing the unique characteristics of each mode.

Published: 07/21/2020 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Practicing Minor Modes

Christopher will discuss and demonstrate the minor modes: dorian, phrygian, aeolian and locrian. We'll review the unique interval formula of each minor mode and how to play them. We'll play each mode on the same root note to use them in an ornamental manner. We'll get a lot of practice playing and hearing the unique characteristics of each mode.

Published: 08/10/2020 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Altered Minor Scales

In this tutorial we will learn how the minor scale can be altered to make different scales, chords and harmonies. We'll build a minor chord progression and learn how to play the natural diatonic minor scale as melodic lines along with those chords. Then we'll alter the chords and scales to show the different possible minor sounding flavors that are used in music.

Published: 10/15/2018 Upgrade
Dave Celentano
Using Triads

In music theory the word triad refers to a group of three specific notes from a scale that form a chord. There are four basic types of triads in music. In this tutorial series we will take an introductory look at how to play all of them. Then we'll mix & match them in some musical examples.

Published: 10/19/2015 Upgrade

Essential Rock Songs

Let’s make a quick distinction; Rock and Rock And Roll guitar are two different genres. Rock N’ Roll is the precursor to Rock music. Rock N’ Roll took its influence from Jazz and Blues, distinguished by its swinging rhythmic feel. Rock N’ Roll also most often uses the standard 12-Bar Blues song form. Rock on the other hand tends to have a straighter rhythmic feel, and the song forms in this style tend to vary widely, allowing for more freedom of expression in the songwriting itself. Here are some easy rock songs to play on guitar.

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
The Rolling Stones image
Honky Tonk Women The Rolling Stones

Mike will show your both guitar layers. Guitar 1 is the rhythm guitar tuned to open G that gives the song its distinctive country flavored sound. Guitar 2 is the lead guitar that adds some exciting solo blending major and minor pentatonic sounds, combining rock and country flavors into to the arrangement.

Published: 11/05/2015 Upgrade
The Rolling Stones image
Brown Sugar The Rolling Stones

Mike will show you both electric guitar layers. Guitar 1 plays the main rhythm with that iconic country-ish guitar riff played in open G tuning that gives this song its distinctive sound. Guitar 2 adds to the arrangement with single note fills.

Published: 11/05/2015 Upgrade
ZZ Top image
Tush ZZ Top

In this set of lessons, Anders Mouridsen will teach you "Tush", by ZZ Top. After giving an overview of the song and talking about the gear and tones, Anders will dive right into the main intro riff and the verse. The we're on to the slide solo in two parts, followed by solo #2. The we'll look at how to play all the parts using one guitar, to help in playing this song live. We'll end with a play along, then you take over and jam by yourself with the backing track.

Published: 10/11/2012 Upgrade
ZZ Top image
Sharp Dressed Man ZZ Top

Anders will teach you all the fantastic rock guitar playing in this tune. First there's the call & response based main riff, then a rocking rhythm guitar part, then a slide solo followed by a standard blues-rock licks solo.

Published: 06/25/2015 Upgrade
Blink-182 image
All The Small Things Blink-182

In this set of six song lessons, we'll examine the simple, catchy, fun "power pop punk" song "All The Small Things" as made famous by Blink-182. We'll take you through the power chords used throughout the song, the elements of the verses, the octaves used in the chorus, the bridge breakdown, and then rock it out with a play along!

Published: 01/01/2011 Upgrade
Bachman-Turner Overdrive image
Takin' Care Of Business Bachman-Turner Overdrive

In this group of lessons we'll be learning the classic party hit "Takin' Care Of Business", by Bachman-Turner Overdrive. We'll look at the main riff which is such a classic guitar hook, the gear and tone, the rhythm guitar parts, the song form, the solos, the breakdowns, and the jam outro. Then we'll take of business and play it all through with our custom backing track.

Published: 06/06/2011 Upgrade
Blue Oyster Cult image
Don't Fear the Reaper Blue Oyster Cult

In this nine lesson tutorial, Tom Finch will guide you through the various parts of the classic rock hit, "Don't Fear the Reaper" as made famous by Blue Oyster Cult. We'll examine the gear and tone, the classic hook, the pre-chorus and chorus chords and structure, tasty fills in the chorus, the intriguing form in the song and solo, the final chorus, and a play along at the end. Get out your cowbell!

Published: 10/20/2010 Upgrade
Alice In Chains image
Man In the Box Alice In Chains

Mike will show you the 2 guitar layers in this song. Guitar 1 plays rhythm riffs with a high gain tone. Guitar 2 handles the soloing and a recurring single note melody. The tune kicks right into a heavy mid-tempo groove that becomes the verse. The chorus opens up the dynamic level with blasting open and power chords. There's also a solo section filled with killer licks.

Published: 12/18/2018 Upgrade
The Knack image
My Sharona The Knack

Mike will show you the 2 electric guitar layers in this song. Guitar 1 has a gritty rock tone for playing the rhythm riffs throughout. Guitar 2 uses a beefier tone for the leads. The song opens with the iconic, bouncy single note main riff punctuated by powerful chord stabs. The prechorus ramps up the energy and dynamics with a rising chord progression that eventually crashes back down to the main riff. There's also a bridge that features some great licks, and an extended interlude section that features the main solo of the tune.

Published: 01/22/2018 Upgrade
Chuck Berry image
No Particular Place to Go Chuck Berry

In this series of song lesson, Mike Olekshy will teach "No Particular Place To Go", by Chuck Berry. Mike will introduce the song and talk about gear and tone, then break down the Chuck in and verse groove. Rhythm lessons for the verse and solo are next, then the main solo followed by the outro solo. We'll do a full performance play along and a single guitar performance, and finish with a jam along.

Published: 06/12/2013 Upgrade
Eric Clapton image
Cocaine Eric Clapton

There are 3 electric guitars in this song. Guitar 1 is the main rhythm guitar that plays simple riffs throughout the tune. Guitar 2 is the lead guitar that digs into plenty of bluesy solos, while Guitar 3 is a clean electric guitar that plays some single note lines and diad riffs throughout. This song uses barre chords and power chords, funky diad riffing and single note lines, and some textbook bluesy rock soloing.

Published: 11/02/2023 Upgrade
Nirvana image
Come As You Are Nirvana

There are 3 electric guitars in this song. Guitar 1 is a clean guitar that plays the iconic single note riff as well as some strummed barre chords. Guitar 2 is an overdriven electric guitar that ups the dynamic of the arrangement. Guitar 3 plays the simple but effective guitar solo. This song uses a whole step down dropped tuning, single note riffing, aggressive strumming approaches, power chords and suspended chords, and dynamics.

Published: 05/25/2023 Upgrade
The Rolling Stones image
You Can't Always Get What You Want The Rolling Stones

Mike will show you both guitar layers: an acoustic guitar that plays the basic chord progression throughout the song and a clean electric guitar that adds an additional layer of licks and rhythms that build the arrangement.

Published: 06/15/2015 Upgrade
Eric Clapton with Cream image
Crossroads Eric Clapton with Cream

Tom will show you all the licks and riffs to "Crossroads" as recorded live by Cream in 1967 for the Wheels of Fire album. This song is effectively a rocked out 12 bar blues full of timeless Clapton riffs and licks. The guitar alternates between rhythm playing, melodic playing and full on soloing. This is a great example of how one guitar and a rhythm section can create a full and rocking sound. Behold, the power trio!

Published: 09/04/2014 Upgrade
Pink Floyd image
Wish You Were Here Pink Floyd

Learn Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here chords as Dave will show you the iconic acoustic intro, the great lead work and the slide section using the electric guitar. Included in this guitar lesson are the Wish You Were Here tabs and lyrics. You'll also learn how to play this song using a single guitar. Pink Floyd's iconic song "Wish You Were Here" is more than just a melody with memorable chords; it's a poignant reflection on absence and the personal struggles within the band during the mid-1970s. When you strum the Wish You Were Here chords by Pink Floyd on your guitar, you're not just playing notes; you're evoking the spirit of a poignant era for the band. The song is central to the album also titled Wish You Were Here, which serves as a tribute to Syd Barrett, the original frontman and founding member of Pink Floyd. Barrett's deteriorating mental health had led to his departure from the band in 1968. The lyrics and emotional delivery of Wish You Were Here directly address the sense of loss and disconnection from Barrett, whose absence was deeply felt by his former bandmates. The chords for Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here are particularly striking for their simplicity and effectiveness in conveying the song's nostalgic and introspective mood. Playing the Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here guitar chords can feel like stepping into a conversation with an old friend, discussing paths taken and those left behind. Learning the Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here chords allows guitarists to connect deeply with the song’s themes of distance and reflection. Each chord resonates, evoking the somber realization of change and the impact of Barrett's absence on the band. The acoustic intro, blending seamlessly into the iconic riff, is as haunting as it is beautiful, perfectly setting the tone for a song that is both a lament and a tribute.

Published: 05/02/2019 Upgrade
AC/DC image
Highway To Hell AC/DC

Mike will show you the 2 guitars in this song. Guitar 1 is a crunch guitar that plays rhythm guitar throughout the song. Guitar 2 is the lead guitar that digs into some scorching licks in the solo section.

Published: 03/14/2019 Upgrade
AC/DC image
Back In Black AC/DC

Mike will show you the 2 guitars in this song. Guitar 1 is a crunch guitar that plays rhythm guitar throughout the song. Guitar 2 is the lead guitar that digs into some blistering licks throughout. The arrangement features an iconic riff that becomes the verse. There's also a grooving chorus section, solo, and interlude that features a double time boogie riff. In the following lessons, we'll talk about open position power chords, syncopation, and some killer rock lead approaches. We are in the key of E minor, with a 4/4 time signature, at a tempo of 92 BPM. The Back in Black chords are as iconic as the song itself. The guitar chords for Back in Black are a masterclass in rock guitar riffs, delivering a punchy, unforgettable sound that has inspired air guitarists worldwide. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to play Back in Black on guitar, you’re not alone. This song is on the bucket list of nearly every rock enthusiast who picks up a guitar, thanks to its irresistible blend of simplicity and power. The genius of "Back in Black" lies in its straightforward yet potent riff, making the AC/DC chords for "Back in Black" a perfect starting point for guitarists looking to dive into the realm of hard rock. Alright, let’s rock into the electrifying world of AC/DC and the legendary anthem "Back in Black." This track isn’t just a song; This song is a monumental piece of rock history, wrapped in power chords and drenched in resilience. Released in 1980 as the title track of their album, "Back in Black" is a thunderous tribute to the band's former lead singer, Bon Scott, who had tragically passed away earlier that year. It marked a new era for the band, with Brian Johnson stepping in as the new frontman, and boy, did they come back with a bang!

Published: 07/18/2019 Upgrade
AC/DC image
You Shook Me All Night Long AC/DC

Mike will show you the 2 guitars in this song. Guitar 1 is a crunch guitar that plays rhythm guitar throughout the song. Guitar 2 is the lead guitar that digs into some killer licks.

Published: 03/14/2019 Upgrade
Deep Purple image
Smoke On The Water Deep Purple

Dave will show you all the parts to this classic tune from the iconic opening riff, to the verse & chorus riffing to the climatic solo.

Published: 08/17/2015 Upgrade
The Beatles image
Let It Be The Beatles

The Let it Be chords in this guitar lesson are fairly simple, which makes this Beatles song approachable for any intermediate guitar player. Anders will show you how to play the song's piano part on acoustic guitar and also show you how to play this song using just a single guitar. Once you're done with the lesson, sing and play along with the Let it Be lyrics located right below the video.

Published: 11/10/2013 Upgrade
ZZ Top image
La Grange ZZ Top

There are 2 electric guitars in this song. Guitar 1 plays the rhythm riffs throughout, while Guitar 2 handles the iconic boogie rock lead solos. This song uses an eighth note shuffle feel, diads and power chords, hybrid picking, dynamics, pinch harmonics, and some killer blues-rock soloing approaches.

Published: 02/10/2023 Upgrade
The Rolling Stones image
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction The Rolling Stones

Mike will show you the two guitar parts that make up this classic early rock tune based on R&B and the blues. There is an electric guitar that plays one of the most iconic rock riffs of all time, as well as some cool R&B influenced rhythm guitar. Guitar 2 is an acoustic guitar that plays a steady strumming groove throughout.

Published: 01/08/2015 Upgrade
AC/DC image
Hells Bells AC/DC

Mike will show you the 2 guitars in this song. Guitar 1 is a crunch guitar that plays rhythm guitar throughout the song. Guitar 2 is the lead guitar that digs into some blistering licks throughout.

Published: 07/18/2019 Upgrade

Learning To Improvise

Below we go deeper and wider into the world of lead guitar with a series of improvisational lesson videos. As well as a section for harmony guitar leads so you can play along with your fellow Rock guitarists.

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Christopher Schlegel
Introduction to Improvisation For Beginners

Christopher will introduce the concepts needed for the beginner to understand and learn how to improvise a single note melody, lead or solo over a major key chord progression. This includes key signature as the scale that relates all chords in a progression, rhythmically targeting chord tones, building melodies and musical phrases from the scale and chord tones as a basis for improvising over the chord progression.

Published: 10/15/2017 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Improvisation in a Major Key

Christopher will show you the concepts required to improvise. You will learn how to improvise a single note melody, lead or solo over a major key chord progression. This includes finding the key signature as the scale that relates all chords in a progression, rhythmically targeting chord tones, building melodies and musical phrases from the scale and chord tones as a basis for improvising over the chord progression. You will also gets a lot of practice applying those concepts.

Published: 11/15/2017 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Improvisation in a Minor Key

Christopher will show you the concepts required to improvise. You will learn how to improvise a single note melody, lead or solo over a minor key chord progression. This includes finding the key signature as the scale that relates all chords in a progression, rhythmically targeting chord tones, building melodies and musical phrases from the scale and chord tones as a basis for improvising over the chord progression. You will also gets a lot of practice applying those concepts.

Published: 12/15/2017 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Improvisation in a Major Key Series 2

Christopher will show you more ideas on how to improvise. You will learn how to improvise a single note melody, lead or solo over a major key chord progression. In this tutorial we'll learn more about finding the key signature, rhythmically targeting chord tones and building melodies and musical phrases. We'll also practice alternating between playing the chord progression and the lead melody.

Published: 01/15/2018 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Improvisation in a Minor Key Series 2

Christopher will show you more ideas on how to improvise. You will learn how to improvise a single note melody, lead or solo over a minor key chord progression. In this tutorial we'll learn more about finding the key signature, rhythmically targeting chord tones and building melodies and musical phrases. We'll also practice alternating between playing the chord progression and the lead melody.

Published: 02/15/2018 Upgrade

Harmony Lead Guitar

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Christopher Schlegel
Harmony Guitar Series 1 Part 1

This tutorial series is about creating and playing two part harmony guitar lines in rock style music. This is often one guitar part playing a melody, lead or solo part that is harmonized by a second guitar. Major scale harmony will be used to explore the basic types of contrapuntal motion.

Published: 09/24/2014 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Harmony Guitar Series 1 Part 2

This tutorial is part two in a series is about creating and playing two part harmony guitar lines in rock style music. This is often one guitar part playing a melody, lead or solo part that is harmonized by a second guitar. Major scale harmony will be used to explore the basic types of contrapuntal motion: similar, oblique and contrary.

Published: 01/15/2015 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Harmony Guitar Series 2 Part 1

This tutorial is part one in a series is about creating and playing two part harmony guitar lines in rock style music. This is often one guitar part playing a melody, lead or solo part that is harmonized by a second guitar. Minor scale harmony will be used to explore the basic types of contrapuntal motion: similar, oblique and contrary.

Published: 02/19/2015 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Harmony Guitar Series 2 Part 2

This tutorial is part two in a series is about creating and playing two part harmony guitar lines in rock style music. This is often one guitar part playing a melody, lead or solo part that is harmonized by a second guitar. Minor scale harmony will be used to explore the basic types of contrapuntal motion: similar, oblique and contrary.

Published: 01/08/2016 Upgrade

Lead Guitar Building Speed

Are you trying to keep up with your Rock riffs? Here we’ll show you how to increase your speed with picking styles and fingering techniques to get you moving! There are many ways to get your fingers moving faster with the following pentatonic scale and major/minor scale lessons. We’ll also go over the impressive sweep picking technique which will be sure to impress. And don’t forget tapping! Tapping on the fretboard creates and incredible sound and allows for incredible speed and soloing insanity.

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Ben Lindholm
Pentatonic Speedster

In this tutorial we will look at six very useful ways of playing the pentatonic scale fast. We will limit ourselves to using ONLY the standard pentatonic scale so that we're forced to stay within the patterns and fingerings that the pentatonic scale offers.

Published: 09/15/2014 Upgrade
Ben Lindholm
Speed Building

In this tutorial, I will show you a series of methods that are very useful when it comes to building speed. With each method, I included an example of me playing, so you can see how it can be used. At the end of this tutorial, you will find practice tracks that gradually increase in tempo.

Published: 04/05/2011 Upgrade
Ben Lindholm
10 Ways To Play Arpeggios

In this series of lessons, I will show you ten of my favorite ways to use arpeggios in a musical context. In the first lesson I'll introduce you to the tutorial, and in the lessons that follow I will teach you examples covering many styles of music, from classical, to rock and metal, with backing tracks of course. At the end of the tutorial you'll find slower versions of the backing tracks, so you can gradually build your speed up.

Published: 09/20/2011 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Speedy Ideas Series 3: Minor Scale Patterns

Christopher will show you how to expand on building speed at playing linear single note melodic lines. We will use the E minor scale on two adjacent strings covering a complete octave in three note per string groupings.

Published: 11/22/2021 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Speedy Ideas Series 4: Advanced Minor Soloing

Christopher will show you how to expand on building speed at playing single note melodic soloing lines. We will apply the skills and ideas taught in the previous speedy idea tutorials to a chord progression in a minor key. We'll learn linear lines, pedal point lines and arpeggio lines.

Published: 11/07/2022 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Speedy Ideas Series 5: Advanced Major Soloing

This tutorial expands on building speed at playing single note melodic soloing lines. We will apply the skills and ideas taught in the previous speedy idea tutorials to a chord progression in a major key. We'll learn linear lines, pedal point lines and arpeggio lines.

Published: 11/21/2022 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Sweep Picking Series 1: The Basics

This tutorial covers the basics of sweep picking technique. We'll apply the technique to an exercise involving 3 note triads in major and minor key chord progressions. We'll also get a lot of practice playing these examples along with backing tracks.

Published: 01/10/2022 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Sweep Picking Series 2: Expanding The Sweep

This tutorial expands on the basics of sweep picking technique. We'll apply the technique to an exercise involving chord tones on 4 adjacent strings in major and minor key chord progressions. We'll also get a lot of practice playing these examples along with backing tracks.

Published: 01/24/2022 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Sweep Picking Series 3: Basic Applications

In this tutorial you will learn to apply sweep picking technique to some basic chord progressions in a pop rock, R&B and country style setting using major and minor chord tones and scale notes.

Published: 02/08/2022 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Sweep Picking Series 4: More Applications

In this tutorial you will learn to apply sweep picking technique to some basic chord progressions in a blues and jazz style setting using major and minor chord tones and scale notes.

Published: 02/21/2022 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Sweep Picking Series 5: Advanced Applications

This tutorial covers advanced applications of sweep picking technique. We'll apply the technique to an exercise involving multiple voicings of major, minor, augmented and diminished chords and chord progressions. We'll also get a lot of practice playing these examples along with backing tracks.

Published: 07/11/2022 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Sweep Picking Series 6: More Advanced Applications

This tutorial covers more advanced applications of sweep picking technique. We'll apply the technique to an exercise involving 4, 5 and 6 string voicings of major, minor, augmented and diminished chords and chord progressions. We'll also get a lot of practice playing these examples along with backing tracks.

Published: 07/20/2022 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Speedy Ideas Series 2: Major Scale Patterns

Christopher will show you how to expand on building speed at playing linear single note melodic lines. We will use the E major scale on two adjacent strings covering a complete octave in three note per string groupings.

Published: 11/09/2021 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Speedy Ideas Series 1: Building Speed

Christopher will show you a method of building speed at playing scale sequences on one string. We'll start with a focus on efficient picking hand technique and control. Then we'll add a focus on fretting hand positions to play both the minor and major diatonic scales linearly on one string. Finally we'll combine these techniques into several exercises designed to help gain and improve speedy scale line playing.

Published: 09/21/2021 Upgrade

Tapping Technique

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Dave Celentano
Two-Handed Tapping 1

In this first of a two part series you'll learn single finger tapping ideas with arpeggios, sliding, string bending, pentatonic scales, diatonic scales, pedal points, and tapping harmonics.

Published: 03/04/2019 Upgrade
Dave Celentano
Two-Handed Tapping 2

In this second of a two part series you'll learn playing independent ideas with left and right hands, fast legato shred lines, percussive tapping, jazzy bass lines with independent chords tapped on top and acoustic banging and tapping harmonics.

Published: 04/05/2019 Upgrade
Ben Lindholm
Tapping: Level 1

This tutorial will be very beginner friendly. Over the course of seven lessons I will teach you the basic tapping technique, and we'll practice it over a few backing tracks. Let's go!

Published: 05/18/2012 Upgrade
Ben Lindholm
Tapping: Level 2

In this tutorial consisting of 9 lessons, I will get you started with learning your fretboard horizontally, so you know what notes to pick for your tapping licks. We'll start with scales and then move to arpeggios. As usual, there are 4 examples with backing tracks so you can put theory into practice.

Published: 05/25/2012 Upgrade
Ben Lindholm
Tapping: Level 3

In this tutorial, I will teach you how to tap harmonics, and we will work on three fairly advanced tapping examples over backing tracks. At the end of the tutorial, I included slower versions of the backing tracks that gradually increase in tempo, so you can take your time and build speed.

Published: 07/04/2012 Upgrade
Ben Lindholm
Tapping: Level 4

In this tutorial, we will leave triad arpeggios behind for a bit, and focus on licks where the notes are closer together, as well as tap sliding.

Published: 01/31/2013 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Connecting Pentatonic Patterns: Series 4

In this tutorial we will learn to connect the 5 pentatonic patterns using tapping technique. This is another tutorial in the overall series of connecting pentatonic patterns in rock style lead guitar.

Published: 10/11/2021 Upgrade

Rock Artist Studies

Learn from the legends and pick up real-world techniques from the masters in these artist study lessons. From Rock gods like Jeff Beck and Eddie Van Halen, to Rock pioneers like Pete Townshend, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix, you’ll learn everything there is to know about how to play Rock guitar.

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Mike Olekshy
Billy Gibbons Artist Study

This tutorial will cover his gear and tone over the years, his rhythm playing, his approach to lead guitar, the 80s-era Eliminator style, and his take on slide guitar. So let's dive on in and check it out!

Published: 05/08/2016 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
70s Arena Riff Rock

In this tutorial we will learn some rocking riffs in the style of 1970s arena rock bands. I grew up in the 1970's listening to and learning the music of Deep Purple, Montrose, Kiss, Van Halen, ACDC. These bands were well known for their powerful, energetic, melodic take on rock music. They played, sounded (and often performed) in a way that was larger than life!

Published: 06/13/2011 Upgrade
Nick Kellie
Wired for Truth: The Jeff Beck Style

Within this set of lessons you'll learn some elements of the Jeff Beck style: how to choose notes and bend them, technique and phrasing, how to manipulate your guitar's hardware, and what hardware to choose to get the style of the master's tone. The ability to fight off fans afterward is not taught in this tutorial!

Published: 01/20/2010 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Brian May Artist Study Brian May

Mike will show you Brian May's playing style by breaking it down into several key factors, learn what makes it special and then learn to play some riffs and licks in his style! This tutorial will cover his gear and tone, his melodic approach to riffs, major scale licks, guitar harmonies, and using a delay effect to create a guitar orchestra.

Published: 05/01/2017 Upgrade
Anders Mouridsen
David Gilmour Style Artist Study

In this artist study, Anders Mouridsen will show you some techniques and approaches in the style of the great David Gilmour. Anders will talk about tone and effects, and then examine triads. He'll then show how to use delay, and also look at a funkier side of Gilmour's style. Next, you'll learn ways you can make your guitar sound like a pedal steel. We'll look at an acoustic style example, then delve into some epic soloing!

Published: 10/05/2011 Upgrade
Dave Celentano
Dickey Betts Artist Study

Betts plays with a clean to sweetly rounded sustained tone using mostly pentatonic major scales with a country flavor adapted to the Allman Brothers rock style. He plays mostly simple, but flowing phrases that emphasized melodic devices of repetition, variation, and rhythmic displacement. Along with Duane, Dickey's style is a key component of the unique, instantly identifiable sound of the early Allman Brothers Band. Their sweet as sugar twin harmony leads are an iconic sound of rock and roll guitar vocabulary.

Published: 11/17/2017 Upgrade
Tom Finch
Eric Clapton Artist Study

Tom will show you the essential ingredients of Eric Clapton's style ranging from his early fiery Blues with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, to Cream, to pop rock to acoustic blues work.

Published: 01/13/2017 Upgrade
Tony Lee
The Eric Johnson Style

In this tutorial, Tony Lee will teach you elements of the Eric Johnson style. Tony will introduce the tutorial, then talk about EJ's gear and tone. Then it's time to learn the two rhythm riffs in this mini-composition; after that we'll learn the different licks that make up the full solo that's played over the rhythm riffs. We'll finish with a play along performance, then you'll take over in the jam along.

Published: 06/19/2013 Upgrade
Prashant Aswani
George Lynch Style Artist Study

George Lynch has been called one of the most influential guitarists of his time. In this artist study we're going to look at some of the elements of his style: solo motifs, slide vibrato, resolving licks, pick tapping, and tone.

Published: 04/15/2010 Upgrade
Dave Celentano
George Lynch Artist Study

George Lynch's legendary playing formed the foundation of Dokken's hair metal sound. His rhythm riffing held their songs together and his solos were often the high point of the songs. Like many 80s guitarists, Lynch was among the first generation directly influenced by Van Halen's innovative playing. This included hot-rodded, humbucker loaded guitars with locking vibrato bars, high gain tones, lots of heavy rhythm and speedy fretwork for solo lines!

Published: 08/28/2018 Upgrade
Lawrence Katz
In The Style of The Edge

The Edge has a style that lays a foundation for one of the most popular bands in history. In this artist study we're going to look at some of the elements in his style: delay settings, rhythmic approaches, chord voicings, and harmonic techniques. The finale is a play along to a custom backing track.

Published: 09/25/2009 Upgrade
Joe Delia
The Jimi Hendrix Style

Even though the style of Jimi Hendrix was based on blues and rock techniques, he may have been from another planet. His style - a combination of melodic and rhythmic tools - made him stand out from other players of his time period. This tutorial will explain some of the core "tricks" in the Hendrix style that influenced the future of guitar playing.

Published: 12/16/2008 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Jimmy Page Artist Study

Mike will cover the essential aspects of Jimmy Page's gear and tone, his single note bluesy rhythm riffing, blues solo licks, epic riffing, and acoustic playing.

Published: 06/14/2016 Upgrade
Dave Celentano
Joe Perry Artist Study Joe Perry

Dave will show you Joe Perry's playing style by breaking it down into several key factors, learn what makes it special and then learn to play some licks in his style! His style was a key component of the unique, instantly identifiable sound of Aerosmith. Perry's playing was a great combination of powerful, but always grooving rhythm playing, electrifying lead lines that were informed by early 50's rockers up through his own 60's guitar heroes & blazed a path of his own to the future of rock guitar.

Published: 07/07/2017 Upgrade
Anders Mouridsen
The Keith Richards Style

In this tutorial we're going to break down some of the key elements in Keith Richards style of rhythm guitar playing. His style of playing is inspired by everything from early rock 'n' roll and blues to country and gospel music. In these lessons we'll break down some rockin' vocabulary in an open G tuning, adapt it to standard tuning, and finally play through a series of musical examples in the style of this true rock legend.

Published: 08/09/2010 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Pete Townshend Artist Study

Mike will show you Pete Townshend's guitar style by breaking it down into several key factors to learn what makes it special and then learn to play riffs & licks in his style!

Published: 10/25/2018 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Ritchie Blackmore Artist Study

In this set of lessons we'll learn some essentials in the style of legendary rock guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, starting with a look at his tone. We'll then lay out finger-plucked riffs, blues licks, and minor triad sweeping followed by a play along. Next up is octave riffing, scale sequencing, and 2-string arpeggio pull-offs and a play along; then we'll look at "snake charmer" riffs and licks and phrygian triads, and another play along! His unique blend of rock, classical, and blues through his guitar work catapulted the band to stardom. Blackmore's knack for creating intricate melodies paired with a formidable power on his guitar carved out some of the most enduring riffs in rock history. The hallmark of Blackmore's guitar playing includes his distinct use of the minor harmonic scale, the iconic tone of his signature guitar, and his precise, aggressive picking style. Beyond his prowess as a guitarist, Blackmore's contributions as a songwriter were instrumental in fusing rock with classical music elements, showcasing his vast musical interests and his command over his instrument. His solos, often laden with classical motifs and swift arpeggios, set new standards for guitar playing within the genre. Throughout his projects he delved into a more neoclassical vein, merging hard rock with medieval and baroque music elements. This underscored Blackmore's continuous evolution as a guitarist and composer, producing work that would influence the neo-classical metal and power metal movements significantly. The legacy of Ritchie Blackmore in rock music is profound. His innovative guitar techniques, from his rocking riffs to his progressive guitar sounds, have made a lasting mark on music.

Published: 05/18/2012 Upgrade
Dave Celentano
Van Halen Artist Study

Dave will show you the signature licks and tricks including two VH inspired mini-songs and a stand alone guitar solo, fast boogie rhythms, two hand tapping, a solo using the MXR Phase 90, hybrid picking, and palm muting triads.

Published: 06/19/2015 Upgrade
Dave Celentano
AC/DC Artist Study

In this tutorial we're going to study the guitar tone and playing style of the legendary classic rock band AC/DC. AC/DC's legendary sound is built on the foundation of brothers Angus and Malcolm Young's playing. Angus played lead, while his older brother Malcolm handled the rhythm guitar parts. Combined they were the perfectly blended one-two punch of all the classic AC/DC rock tunes! Their playing styles were firmly grounding in the early rock & blues rock of the 60s bringing those traditions to the present and expanding on them into the future!

Published: 08/14/2018 Upgrade

The sections below delve into the finer details of Rock guitar playing. Learn how to dial in your amp and guitar knobs to get exact sounds. Check out the whammy bar and slide guitar techniques. Also, some additional finger exercises to ensure you’ve got it all under control. Guitar rock, as it is sometimes referred, developed during the 1960’s and hasn’t stopped since.

 

Today the genre of Rock can encompass a wide variety of sub-genres such as classic rock, hard rock, punk rock, Grunge, soft rock, surf, prog-rock, Metal and others. The genre is continually expanding and developing and will keep growing as long as people still love playing Rock guitar. Check out the subgenre lessons to understand how they derived from the Umbrella of ‘Rock.’ With the rest of this course you’ll round out your skillset to become an experienced player in the Rock genre.

Rock Musicianship

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Anders Mouridsen
Making Good Decisions

If you make good decisions when you play, people will love playing with you and listening to you, almost regardless of how much or how much or little you may know. So in this tutorial we're going to explore this concept by composing an elaborate practice from from just two basic chord progressions: one for the verse and one for the chorus. This could be similar to what a songwriter may bring to a rehearsal with the band. From thereon we'll use some good musical decision making to come up with cool and effective lead and rhythm parts for the different sections, and we'll also add an intro and an outro riff as well as a solo section.

Published: 12/10/2013 Upgrade

Rock Special Topics

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Christopher Schlegel
Whammy Bar from the Beginning

In this tutorial, we'll learn some rock whammy (or "vibrato") bar techniques. I'll start by looking at some basic techniques and licks, then talk about how the whammy bar works and some insights into tuning issues. Then I'll teach you a rock riff with whammy, some "divebombing", and some ornamental dips. Next up are a few lessons using hammer-ons and pull-offs, followed by "harmonic dipping and screaming". We'll end with a play along.

Published: 05/04/2011 Upgrade
Ben Lindholm
10 Ways To Play Arpeggios

In this series of lessons, I will show you ten of my favorite ways to use arpeggios in a musical context. In the first lesson I'll introduce you to the tutorial, and in the lessons that follow I will teach you examples covering many styles of music, from classical, to rock and metal, with backing tracks of course. At the end of the tutorial you'll find slower versions of the backing tracks, so you can gradually build your speed up.

Published: 09/20/2011 Upgrade
Ben Lindholm
The Connecting Game

In this tutorial I will introduce you to a great exercise called The Connecting Game. At the end, I will show you the common chord progressions, and how to apply the exercise to these chords.

Published: 10/27/2011 Upgrade
Hanspeter Kruesi
Drop D Slide Guitar

Here you'll learn many tricks so you can play great blues in the style of Ry Cooder with your bottle neck, using a drop D tuning. You'll start from the basics, go through several examples, and at the end you'll be able to create your own version.

Published: 05/25/2008 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Alternate Tunings In Rock

In the realm of rock music, innovation and creativity have always pushed the boundaries of what the guitar can do. One of the most intriguing and inspiring ways to achieve this is through the exploration of alternate tunings. In this tutorial, we'll dive into 3 alternate tunings that will open the door to a whole new host of sonic possibilities.

Published: 04/25/2024 Upgrade

Rock Subgenres

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Anders Mouridsen
Guitars From Outer Space

The guitar players in this sub-genre often get extra creative with their tones and effects, note choices, and riffs, and it can be really fun to explore all the other-worldly guitar sounds you hear from players like Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai and many others. I personally love bare-bones guitar playing, but I hope this tutorial will show you how many other, alternative cool sounds you can get out of the guitar when you get really creative with your gear and your playing.

Published: 12/04/2013 Upgrade
Anders Mouridsen
Modern Country Rock

In this tutorial we'll explore an example of a more recent country sound. This variation of country is very rock-oriented, and we'll get to dig into some really fun riffs and soloing tricks throughout it. As always we'll start out going through the basic harmony for each section and then we'll use all of our knowledge as well as a few new tricks here and there to come up with a cool electric rhythm part for it all.

Published: 08/27/2018 Upgrade
Anders Mouridsen
Grunge Rock Style

In this tutorial we’re gonna explore a super cool type of Rock known as Grunge Rock. This sound was a musical tsunami when it first came out, and it pretty much defined the sound of rock bands in the 90’s with iconic riffs, unpredictable harmony, cool effects and loads and loads of attitude. In this tutorial we’re gonna explore this sound within a practice tune that I’ve written to incorporate all my favorite Grunge elements.

Published: 05/09/2024 Upgrade
Anders Mouridsen
Punk Rock Style

In this tutorial we’re gonna explore one of the most energetic and infectious types of rock music, known as Punk Rock. This style is a ton of fun to play because it’s defined by a fearless attitude, high tempos and explosive energy! We’ll explore this sound within a practice tune that I’ve written to include some of my favorite elements from this iconic sound.

Published: 02/09/2024 Upgrade
Anders Mouridsen
New Wave Style

In this tutorial we'll explore a super fun subgenre of rock, known as New Wave. This sound is a lot less guitar-centric than other types of rock, but the guitar is still very much a part of the sound and it’s a ton of fun to play around in this musical universe. Today we’ll break down a New Wave practice tune that I’ve written to incorporate all the best elements of this iconic sound.

Published: 04/25/2024 Upgrade

Rock Gear & Tone

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Andy Gurley
Rock Tone: Guitars

How can you try guitars in your local music store when that kid keeps butchering Smoke On the Water next to you? Let us do the dirty work for you and help you think it through before you get there! We'll give you a good listen to what the most common guitar models sound like - SG, Les Paul, Strat, and more - and how an amplifier can effect that tone subtlely or drastically, so you can make informed choices.

Published: 08/11/2010 Upgrade
Andy Gurley
Rock Tone: Amplifiers

This tutorial is better than trying to fight your way through the crowd of weekend window shoppers at your local music store. We take a look at how different models of amplifiers sound. These amps are a good cross-cut of the main models your will choose from in the market today. Also, we pair each model with the main guitar models you probably own to show how this choice changes the amp tone. This is what you want to know in designing your rig and purchasing your gear!

Published: 08/10/2010 Upgrade
Andy Gurley
Rock Tone: Effects

In these lessons we'll give you an overview of several FX pedals commonly used in rock. We'll start with overdrive and stacking overdrives, then examine distortion. Next we'll compare overdrive, distortion, and fuzz. After that we'll look at delay, chorus, and the wah pedal; followed by compression, the phaser, and the octave pedal and volume pedal. We'll finish with the ring modulator.

Published: 03/30/2009 Upgrade
Andy Gurley
Rock Tone: Miscellaneous

In these 5 lessons, we'll learn how other miscellaneous factors influence your rock guitar tone. We'll first hear how using a pick affects your tone, then the contrast from playing with just your fingers. Next we'll hear how a slide affects your tone in a rock context. A capo is sometimes used in rock, and we'll learn how that affects your tone as well. Lastly, we'll take a look and listen to the eBow.

Published: 04/03/2009 Upgrade
Andy Gurley
Rock Tone: Setups

This is a series of non-playing lessons that give you a look at the guitar/amp/effects setups that make rock actually ROCK. You'll be surprised at how simple most setups are (some literally guitar and amp only). Most legendary players use a "less is more" principle. By using the models we give you here, you'll be able to build a great tone from the ground up.

Published: 09/22/2010 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Performing With Pedals

Christopher will show you how to use effects pedals in a live performance situation. He will cover setting up a simple pedal board with several effects for tone options to use in various parts of a song. Then he'll show you how to dial in the effects. Finally he'll show you how to use the effect pedals in real time along with an easy pop rock style song with multiple sections requiring tone changes on the fly!

Published: 05/20/2020 Upgrade

Finger Exercises

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Christopher Schlegel
Building Pinky Strength & Dexterity

In this tutorial we will learn an exercise that will help you build strength and dexterity in your pinky finger. This is a very simple and obvious exercise that can help beginners get their pinky in shape and ready for fretboard action!

Published: 08/01/2011 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Trill Drills

If you combine a hammer-on and a pull-off you've got the beginning of a trill. A trill is a musical ornamentation technique hat consists of rapidly alternating between two notes. In this tutorial you'll learn some exercises that can help building your trilling technique. We'll systematically work each finger into the routine.

Published: 01/09/2014 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Warmup Stretches

Before playing or practicing guitar everyone can benefit from the basic hand, wrist and shoulder stretches in this tutorial. If done properly, these simple exercises can help build strength and loosen tight muscles.

Published: 09/09/2012 Upgrade

Guitar Maintenance

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Christopher Schlegel
Changing Strings & Basic Maintenance

Christopher will show you proper, basic maintenance and how to restring an electric guitar, acoustic guitar and classical nylon string guitar. Keep your machine clean and when it's time for a brand new set of strings, then you'll know how to change them!

Published: 03/21/2022 Upgrade

FAQ

Is it easy to learn rock guitar?

It definitely can be. Some rock guitar techniques, including power chords, will get you started playing hit songs right away. Like any style of guitar playing, rock guitar can go as deep as you’re willing to take it.

How long does it take to learn rock guitar?

It varies a lot from person to person. If you practice regularly, you could start playing easy guitar songs within a few days. Getting really good, though, might take a few years of dedicated practice.

How hard is rock guitar?

Rock guitar can be challenging due to its fast-paced riffs and power chords, but it's also super rewarding. The difficulty also depends on the songs and bands you're trying to emulate since rock has a wide range of styles.

How much do guitar lessons typically cost?

The cost of guitar lessons on average might be between $20 and $50 for a 30-minute lesson. Online guitar lessons like these are a great option since a monthly subscription could only cost as much as on 30-minute in-person lesson!

Is it worth paying for guitar lessons?

Absolutely. A good guitar lesson program can provide personalized feedback, help you avoid bad habits, and keep you motivated. Plus, with additional tools, tabs and notation, video playback controls like looping, and other added features, online guitar lessons are usually the best way to go for most people learning how to play guitar.

What is the best age for guitar lessons?

There's no "best" age, you can start learning guitar any time. Kids can typically start guitar lessons around the age of 6 or 7 when their hands are big enough.

Is 70 too old to learn guitar?

Not at all! You're never too old to start learning guitar. While younger players might find it easier to pick up some physical aspects, older learners often have better focus and patience.

Is 30 too old to start guitar?

Definitely not! Thirty is a great age to start guitar. You're still plenty young enough to learn and enjoy many years of playing. Plus, you might have more discipline and motivation than you did when you were younger.

Need Extra Help with your playing?

Book A Private Lesson

Schedule a 30 or 60 minute lesson with a coach who can offer advice and guidance to improve your playing.

Request A Custom Lesson Plan

Whether you’re just starting to play or returning from a long break, a guided practice plan can get you to where you want to be sooner.