Watch the Pop Guitar Survival Guide online guitar lesson by Massimo Varini from Pop Guitar Survival Guide

I still remember, when I was young, that I thought that pop music was so easy to play that I could play it in my spare time. So after years of speed picking, sweep, alternate, skipping, shred etc., I've been involved in a pop production. After some hours we didn't record anything!

So I went home and I thought the producer, arranger and sound engineer are crazy, or I am missing something! I started listening to pop music in depth and I discovered a lot of guitars in the pop arrangements of the songs that I used to listen to only in the top hits radio. I can say, in a provocative way, that I know how to use effects, when and what to play, simple voicing and effective rhythm can be more important than knowing super-fast scales, skipping and sweep! In pop music all the parts, or almost all, are very easy to play and so easy to listen to!

But the boundary between simple and trivial is very thin. Also the acoustic guitar in pop is underestimated or considered a bit beach guitar, for the most cultured called strumming, but is rarely taken into account in terms of the ability of those sounds and implementation difficulties, if not for the great songwriters overseas, who are accompanied by their own (see J. Taylor and others). Just the simplicity of the harmonic texture, rhythmic divisions and singable melodies, pop is often snubbed - but this means that the musicians - see myself - who, rather appreciate the work of the rhythm, can find great satisfaction and hard work.

In reality lies in its apparent simplicity connotations mentioned above the difficulty of finding a good balance! Working on the details, on quality rather than quantity, the technical difficulties are different from those expected on the guitar or on the same sound when used in fingerstyle - not easier or more difficult - it is a different job. We will explore many aspects: rhythm fundamental, rhythm applications, harmony fundamental, harmony applications, sonic quality, electric guitar sounds and three whole arrangements! I'd like to help you to discover this differences and achieve skills to play pop guitar! And to achieve a good result we need to explore all of those aspects and more!

Let’s go.