Your Daily Dose of Guitar News & Reviews
Learn a Country Guitar Barnyard Bending Lick
For this week's installment of Free Lesson Friday, instructor Chad Johnson teaches a Barnyard Bending lick using sequences of oblique bends in D. For more licks like this one, check out the complete lesson Country Licks Around the Bend.
Top 10 Rock Guitar Outros of All Time
There's nothing like a monster rock guitar solo to close out a killer tune. And though it's always been a fairly common device in rock 'n' roll, there's no denying that the examples in the following list rank among the most epic endings of all time. Which is your favorite?
Click on the titles below to get the note-for-note guitar tab or song lessons for each.
"Rosanna" by Toto
The main guitar solo on this Toto smash is one of the greatest ever laid down on a pop song, but what you didn't hear on pop radio—due to song time constraints—was Steve Lukather's wailing outro solo. In fact, in February of this year, on the morning show of L.A.'s KSWD, upon hearing an iso track of Luke's outro solo, one of the deejays described it as "like 53 guitar solos in one."
"The Ocean" Led Zeppelin
To quote Robert Plant's closing lyrics, "Oh, it's so good." "The Ocean" is built on a a rather progressive 15/8 main riff and features some pretty dissonant 7ths intervals in places, yet for the outro, the band transitions to a 12/8 doo-wop shuffle. This ending may not be as "epic" as other entries here, but it's certainly crafty and memorable.
"Fade to Black" Metallica
Inspired by the relentless repeating licks of "Free Bird" and "Sultans of Swing," guitarist Kirk Hammett crafted a metal maelstrom for the ages with his high-octane outro guitar solo for Metallica's ode to hopelessness and death.
"Layla" Derek & the Dominos
For such a classic rocker, "Layla" is actually a rather heart-wrenching tell-all of Eric Clapton's unrequited love for Patti Boyd—wife of his best friend, George Harrison. And man did guitarist Duane Allman capture that anguish in his poignant outro slide guitar solo—with an indispensable assist from drummer Jim Gordon's gorgeous piano part.
"Starship Trooper" Yes
Recognized primarily for the spotlight strumming of a sliding C-chord shape with the 5th on both the low and high E strings, this Yes epic goes out riding the fleet fingers of guitarist Steve Howe in the section titled "Würm." This is a textbook example of how a rock guitarist should "play the changes," much like a jazz guitarist does.
"Comfortably Numb" Pink Floyd
This outro gem, along with Gilmour's mid-song solo, composes what is widely considered one of the greatest guitar solos ever recorded. But interestingly, Gilmour says this solo was pieced together from about six different takes. Still, there's no denying Gilmour's deft touch and his flair for musical drama and dynamic.
"Let's Go Crazy" Prince
Channeling his inner Jimi Hendrix yet making it all his own, Prince went from R&B pop star to guitar god with the searing outro to "Let's Go Crazy," mixing scorching pentatonic-based licks with jazzy bebop lines. The Afterworld is rockin'.
"Sultans of Swing" Dire Straits
Two words: "Those arpeggios!" Guitarist Mark Knopfler is one of the tastiest guitar players in rock history, known more for making his guitar "cry and sing" than for screaming fits of virtuosity. But like all great musicians, Knopfler knows just when to turn up the heat and burn an indelible mark into the fabric of classic rock guitar, as he does in the outro of this Dire Straits classic.
"Hotel California" Eagles
Elegantly simple and precisely composed to follow the chord changes, Don Felder's masterpiece is arguably the most melodic and memorable outro guitar solo of all time.
"Free Bird" Lynyrd Skynyrd
Though Gary Rossington has forever been the face of the Lynyrd Skynyrd guitar team, it was Allen Collins that blast out this epic bad boy. "The whole long jam was Allen Collins himself," Rossington told Guitar World magazine. "He was bad. He was super bad! He was bad-to-the-bone bad." Truth!
"Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses
Talk about a tour de force! Building on the song's main riff, Slash absolutely shreds this double-time outro, combining blues scale runs, pentatonic licks, chromatic climbs, wild bends, and nasty double stops to create what is best described as controlled chaos.
Jude Gold Teaches Slap Guitar Technique in New Lesson Series
As the former Musicians Institute guitar department head, a contributing editor at the renowned Guitar Player magazine, and current touring guitarist for Jefferson Starship, Jude Gold is an incredibly versatile player and instructor. If there's one niche he's carved out for himself, however, it's the art of slap guitar. Borrowed from legendary funk and rock bassists like Larry Graham and Flea, the technique, when used properly, sounds downright amazing on electric guitar. And Jude, above most all, knows how to use it properly.
In our newest lesson series, taken from his recent book/video release Solo Slap Guitar (Hal Leonard), Jude teaches all of the essential skills, rhythms, and even gear that you need to master this eclectic technique for guitar. In all, these nine video lessons offer over 3-1/2 hours of instruction and playing examples. Plus, each lesson comes with guitar tab for all of the examples Jude presents in the video.
To see and hear Jude's slap guitar prowess in action, check out his cover of the Lipps Inc. smash hit "Funkytown."
Part 4 of Troy Stetina's Alternate Picking Control Lesson Series Now Available
If you've been working on Troy Stetina's excellent lesson series on achieving total picking control, your alternate picking chops should be beginning to soar. In the newly released Part 4 of the lesson series, Troy works out your three-notes-per-string picking technique using a variety of sequences and scale patterns, giving you the tools necessary to set your fretboard on fire.
And if you haven't checked out Parts 1-3 of this lesson series yet, what are you waiting for? Whether you're new to alternate picking or a seasoned vet, these lessons will improve your technique!
Check out Troy's instrumental tune "Kaleidoscope," several parts of which he uses in this lesson series to help you work on your alternate picking technique.
Free B Phrygian Dominant Shred Lick Guitar Lesson
In this week's installment of Free Lesson Friday, instructor Greg Harrison offers a crash course in Shredology and attempts to set your fretboard on fire. This free excerpt is taken from Greg's Phrygian Dominant Shred Licks lesson, available here.
Eric Johnson Releases First All-Acoustic Album
Thirty years after his breakthrough solo release Tones brought him national recognition, Texas guitar legend Eric Johnson is releasing his first all-acoustic guitar and piano album, titled EJ, on October 7th. "Ever since I was young, I've played piano and acoustic guitar in my private life," Johnson says. "This type of music has always been a part of me, but I never showcased it on any kind of bigger level, like a full acoustic record. With EJ, I just decided to be more honest with myself and everybody, and show more of my personal side."
EJ brings listeners as close as possible to hearing Johnson in his own living room, performing songs on piano and steel-string and nylon-string acoustic guitars. "Almost all of that material was cut live," Johnson explains. "Some of the songs I actually sang and played at the same time—just live in the studio. Recording this way gave it more of an honest realism and organic emotion. Especially on the acoustic, you just have to get in there and play."
Eric Johnson guitar tab, song lessons, and play-along tracks
Eric Johnson guitar video lessons
On the original compositions "Wonder," "Fatherly Downs," and "All Things You Are," Johnson frames his voice with his prized 1980 Martin D-45, a gift from his late father. He plays the steel-string on his superlative instrumentals "Once Upon a Time in Texas," "All Things You Are," and "Song for Irene." He conjures the beautiful, pensive tones of "Serinidad," another original instrumental, on a Ramirez nylon-string guitar. A spirited steel-string arrangement of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" rounds out the solo guitar tracks.
Johnson recasts another Simon and Garfunkel favorite, "Scarborough Fair," for voice and piano, and plays piano on the originals "Water Under the Bridge" (see below), "November," and "Wrapped in a Cloud," an ensemble track with acoustic bass, cello, drums, and percussion. In a move that's sure to surprise his fans, Johnson rearranged Jimi Hendrix' "One Rainy Wish" for guitar and piano, capping the performance with a jazz-inflected piano solo. Rounding out the record is Johnson and guest guitarist Doyle Dykes' superlative cover of Les Paul and Mary Ford's 1951 classic, "The World Is Waiting for the Sunshine" (hear it below).
You can pre-order EJ here.
Learn How to Play "Owner of a Lonely Heart" by Yes
With their 1984 release, 90125, prog-rock legends Yes successfully revitalized an already iconic career, led by the #1 smash hit "Owner of a Lonely Heart."
In our latest G-Plus Song lesson, instructor Doug Boduch breaks down all of guitarist Trevor Rabin's delightful fretwork, from the opening power-chord salvos through the finger-twisting verse riff and the quirky 5ths-harmonized guitar solo. Check it out!