How to play Roxanne by The Police

roxanneIf you want to learn how to play “Roxanne,” by The Police, this is a great place to get started.

This time we take a look at the song “Roxanne” by The Police. This song was written by Sting in 1978 for their debut album “Outlandos d’Amour.” This was the first single and it helped make The Police a household name. You can hear Sting accidentally sit on a Piano and laugh in the very beginning. With only two main sections to learn, this is a very easy song to play.

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How to play Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones

gimme shelterIf you want to learn how to play “Gimme Shelter,” by The Rolling Stones, this is a great place to get started

This time, we are going to take a look at the song “Gimme Shelter,” by The Rolling Stones. It was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for the 1969 record “Let It Bleed” and it is the opening song on that record. This song features an Open Tuning on the Guitar, meaning that the strings are tuned to an open chord, instead of the standard tuning.

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How to play You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC

You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DCIf you want to learn how to play “You Shook Me All Night Long,” by AC/DC, this is a great place to get started

This time, we are going to have a look at the song “You Shook Me All Night Long,” from the Australian Rock & Roll band AC/DC. This song was released in 1980 for the album “Back In Black” and as their first single, which featured Brian Johnson as lead singer, replacing Bon Scott, who had passed away earlier. This is a very well known song that is pretty straightforward and easy to play, making it great for beginners.

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Evil Ways by Santana – How to Play

evil waysEvil Ways is played in the key of G Minor Dorian, a mode of F Major, and both scales share the same notes.

This time, we are going to learn how to play Evil Ways, as performed by Santana on their self-titled debut album in 1969. The song was written by Clarence Henry and was originally recorded by Willy Bobo in 1967. It has been said that Carlos Santana detuned his guitar one whole step to play the chords in an open position for the recording.

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Under My Thumb by The Rolling Stones – How to Play

under my ThumbIf you want to learn how to play Under My Thumb by The Rolling Stones, this is a great place to get started

Under My Thumb was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for the 1966 record Aftermath. This record was the first to be recorded in the United States and is notable for the instruments not usually associated with the Rolling Stones, such as the Marimba. BIll Wyman uses (most likely) a Maestro Fuzz pedal on the Bass guitar for this song.

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Cocaine by Eric Clapton – How to Play

CocaineIf you want to learn how to play Cocaine by Eric Clapton, this is a great place to get started.

Cocaine was actually written by J.J.Cale in 1976 and Eric Clapton made it popular in 1977 on his record “Slowhand.” I chose Cocaine because it is very easy to play and dissect, while still containing many of the important points to remember when writing a great song.

Cocaine – Key And Scale

This song is in E Minor Aeolian, which is a mode of the G Major scale.

E Minor Aeolian = E, F#, G, A, B, C, D
G Major = G, A, B, C, D, E, F#

Eric Clapton uses the Blues scale for all of his guitar playing in this song. The Blues scale is a modified Pentatonic scale and we build a Pentatonic scale by using the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th notes of the Aeolian scale. We omit the second and the sixth notes, leaving us with five notes to choose from and the name “Pentatonic.”

E Minor Aeolian = E, F#, G, A, B, C, D
E Minor Pentatonic = E, G, A, B, D

We create the Blues Scale by adding a Blue note that is outside of the Aeolian scale — a note between the fourth and the fifth (a flatted fifth) — to the Pentatonic scale. This Blue note is the only note that is outside the Aeolian scale that is used in this song by any instrument.

E Minor Aeolian = E, F#, G ,A, (A# Blue), B, C, D
E Minor Pentatonic = E, G, A, B, D
E Minor Blues = E, G, A, A#, B, D

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How to Play Soul Sacrifice by Santana

soul sacrificeIf you want to learn how to play Soul Sacrifice by Santana, this is a great place to get started.

This is the start of a new series of articles in which we choose a song and then break it down harmonically to look at the theory behind it. Though we will show you how to play the song, and there will be tabs and music notation, these are not meant to be note-for-note tabs of the songs. These articles are meant to show you how to play the song, introduce you to music theory, and show you how you might apply it to your own music. This series might also be good for guitarists who are in a cover band and need to play these songs, but want to do it while retaining their own identity and originality. This time we are going to look at the song Soul Sacrifice by Santana.

Written in 1969, Soul Sacrifice was one of the band’s first songs. They performed it the same year at the Woodstock festival in Bethel NY and it was considered by many to be one of the highlights of the entire three day festival. The live performance of this song turned Santana into an instant success. This is an instrumental song loaded with powerful drums and guitars. We are going to look at the studio version of Soul Sacrifice from their debut album “Santana.”

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