In The Lead. Rock N Roll Lesson for beginners (Full)

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In The Lead. Rock N Roll lesson for beginnersWell it’s one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready now go cat go! With luck you’ve been busy working on Working it out.  Rock n Roll rhythms lesson, because this time I’m going to show you a really cool solo you can play over the top of it. The solo contains lots of classic licks and phrases from that era and should provide you with enough of a springboard to develop some ideas of your own, as well. Before we make a start, though, try holding your pick as illustrated in the main picture above and use downstrokes for everything.

This isn’t the most economical or energy efficient way of playing the piece but it sounds great for this type of high-energy track. If you try to play the tune with alternate picking, you’ll find that it doesn’t have quite the same impact.

Rock N Roll Lesson. Performance notes

The initial phrase is performed using the first finger to execute a quick slide into the first double-stop, as shown in Picture 1. The slides, apart from sounding good, also help to accentuate the rhythmic displacement of the intro (ie the three-over-four feel). Begin with the first finger a semitone (one fret) lower, strike the top two strings and immediately slide up to the seventh fret. Once you get used to this you can slide from a tone (or more) away from your target pitches. Experiment to see which you prefer. The rest of the phrase continues the double-stop idea onto the G and B strings with the third finger barring across both strings (the notes E and G#)… (see Picture 2) …before returning to the first position, placing the the second finger down for the D# (G string 8th fret) and fretting the B note (D string 9th fret) with the third finger, as in Picture 3.

Bars 3 and 4 are similar to 1 and 2 except with a different ending. Use the fingering shown in Picture 4 to avoid getting in knots.

For the second beat in bar 5, barre the third finger across both strings again as in Picture 5, then fret the G and B strings with the first finger at the seventh fret and bend just the G string slightly sharp. Here’s how: start by fretting the G and B strings with the first finger, making sure that the side of the first finger is resting against the side of the neck (see Picture 6). Then twist the forearm in a clockwise motion, as shown in Picture 7. You should find that the G string will go slightly sharp while the B string stays pretty much where it is. It may take a bit of work and it doesn’t really matter if the B string goes slightly sharp as well. This is rock’n’roll, after all!

Rock N Roll Lesson. One last trick

The last tricky part of this piece can be found at the end of bar 8 and into bars 9 and 10 as well. Try Picture 8 as a basic starting position for the hand. Bend the G string with the third and second fingers while the first finger barres the top two strings. This is probably the most awkward part of this lesson but when you master it you won’t be able to stop doing it!

Rock N Roll dorian mode

For the final run I combined the B Dorian scale

Rock N Roll lesson for beginners photo 1

1) Stop me! Slide into the double-stop with the first finger

Rock N Roll lesson for beginners photo 2

2) Fingers Three. Use your third finger to barre the G and B strings

Rock N Roll lesson for beginners photo 3

3) Up at the ninth. Hit the B with your third finger

Rock n Roll lesson for beginners photo 4

4) Get knotted. Using this fingering will avoid tangled digits

Rock N Roll lesson for beginners photo 5

5) Sharpening Up. Prepare to bend the G string slightly sharp

Rock N Roll lesson for beginners photo 6

6) Take a rest. Rest the first finger against the side of the neck

Rock N Roll lesson for beginners photo 7

7) Doing the twist. Bring your forearm round in a clockwise direction

Rock N Roll lesson for beginners photo 8

8) Getting started. Bend the G string with the third and second fingers


(above) with the flat 5 (F natural) from the blues scale, all finished off with a major third (D#) and a flat seventh (A natural), which is really a lot of words to describe something that just sounds good! As an experiment, try improvising over the backing track without worrying too much about shapes and patterns. It’s good to throw out the rule book now and again – that is, after all, the spirit of rock’n’roll. And who knows, you may even surprise yourself…

Further listening

Listen to any old rock n roll records such as those by Elvis and Bill Hailey and the Comets and you’ll hear this type of thing, although Chuck Berry is generally acknowledged as being the father. Also check out old Status Quo records and, for a more modern approach, try the Stray Cats or Brian Setzer’s rather fab orchestra. Very cool.

Rock N Roll for beginners Tab

It’s a full lesson In The Lead. Rock ‘N’ Roll for beginners.

Below you can download a full transcription with tabs and notes of

Free Rock ‘N’ Roll lesson for beginners with backing track


21 November 2012 0 comments
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