How to Play Rock N Roll Guitar

I love Rock N Roll!  So how to play it?  Just put another dime in the jukebox baby!

There are some common Principles of Rock Guitar that, if approached with the right rock spirit, will get you rockin pretty awesome!

I’m talkin power chords, the minor pentatonic scale, how to play the f chord, how to play a C chord, and the everything inbetween chord!

But remember, it’s not enough just to know these, you gotta Rock them!!!

You gotta have the will, the yearning, the Spirit to appease the Rock Gods!  You have to hear The Call, and ride without fear straight into the misty gates of Valhalla!

Now!  Are you ready?

Let’s Rock!!

Shredding Riffs

First off, you need to know how to make and play some shredding riffs!

So start with some killer intros that shred!!!

I’m talkin “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne, “Thunderstruck” by ACDC, and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N Roses!!!

“Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne TAB

E ---2--2-----2------2------2------5--4--5------5--4--0-------
Shred it and let us hail onwards!

Power Chords Guitar


Hail the almighty Power Chord!  It is but root and fifth, but it’s Power knows no bounds!!!

Grab your Axe in hand, crank up your distortion and partake of this legendary gift of pure rock ferocity…

As you can see, one must only find the root note, and then play the shape (as you see me holding) above, and you can move them around anywhere… on any fret!

You can, also start your power chord from other strings, such as the A String:

Pick some songs that use power chords and rock them out!!

A few examples are anything from Nirvana, most Metallica songs, at least half of 80’s rock… you got options…

Here’s a taste for you:

This is the tab for the main riff of “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by Scorpions

It rocks!  And so should YOU!

Pick up your Golden Ax  gifted to you by the Rock Gods and Rock.. It.. Out!!

“Rock You Like a Hurricane” by Scorpions TAB

E -----------------3---3------5---5----------------------

Alright!!! The Fire Rises!!!

Now let’s look at a Rock Hit that uses power chords for the entire rhythm of the song..

It’s time for you to achieve some Rock N Roll Justice!

“I Wanna Rock” by Twisted Sister TAB

Chorus: x2
E --5----5----3--3-3-3----------------0----3----5----5----3--3-3-3---------------------------

          Verse: x2

E --3------3----3----3----3------------------------3----3----3----3----------3--3---5--

Bridge: x2
E --5----5----5----0----3------5----5----5-------------

Order of Song:
Chorus x2
Verse x2
Pre Chorus
Chorus x2
Verse x2
Pre Chorus
Chorus x2
Bridge x2
Solo over Chorus x2
Chorus x4 (Fade out)

Palm Muting

Behold Palm Muting! Yet but another awesome technique forged from The Fire!!

Palm muting is a pick hand technique: put the side of your hand (between the wrist and pinky) on the strings just inside of the bridge where the strings start, while you pick or strum.

How to Get Good at Palm Muting

Let’s get rocking with palm muting!

I use this with my students and they quickly grow into being able to palm mute correctly.

So here’s a free guitar lesson for you!  Saddle your steed:

Let us Ride On!!!

Basic Chords

You also need to know your basic chords, as these are widely usually in rock:

(Save this page if you’re new to chords…)

These are your common open chords.  Plenty of beautiful songs from any era of Rock using these basic chords!

Especially if you’re into Rock Ballads!!

Like “I Remember You” by Skid Row!

“I Remember You” by Skid Row TAB

   G                                           Cadd9

And We Ride On!!!

The Lessons Fundamentals

These are a few of your basic common Principles used in playing Rock Guitar.

You’ve got rhythms using single notes, rhythms using power chords, and rhythms using chords.

Get used to rocking these out!

When learning rock n roll guitar, it’s good to know how to play electric guitar, and how to play acoustic guitar; your rhythm guitar elements like: how to play power chords, how to play basic guitar chords, how to read guitar chords, rhythm guitar vs lead…

You also want to learn your lead guitar elements: the minor pentatonic scale, and even the major pentatonic scale; and as you get used to jamming them learn the full minor scale, and the full major scale.

To go deeper I advise you to learn the Chords in the Major Scale, and for purposes of shredding the entire fretboard, get down the major scale modes for guitar.

I’ll go into some of these Rock Lead Guitar elements in the next blog…

The Deeper Lesson!

The time is Nigh!!!

It is time to put your Divine Sword, Nay Your Golden Ax, to work again, thrashing away the demons of this world with your harnessed Power of Rock! 

Never forget that it is a gift of the Gods! 

Go now Warrior, you must take up your own quest and earn your place among the Gods of Rock and the great ancestors that came before you!  Their sweat was shed and their blood was spilled in the name of something greater than themselves!

We ride for Victory!  We ride for Glory!  We ride for Triumph over the forces of evil! 

For the sake of all that is good in this world! 

Now hold your head high… For Rock N Roll!!!

Ride straight to the Misty Gates of Valhalla and forever BE GLORIOUS!!!

Virtual Guitar Lessons

These are all fun things I teach my students!

If you want to learn how to Rock feel free to connect with me!

I teach virtual guitar lessons so anyone anywhere can learn how to shred in the comfort of their own home!

Have fun!
Coren Smith
Divine Guitar Lessons