The second half of the '50's was a very special time for music. Chicago Blues was at its peak, Rock & Roll was in its infancy, and Rockabilly and Surf music were right around the bend. Of course, all of these new and exciting styles of music were powered by the electric guitar. BJ Baartmans’ Slapback, Billy & Twang Guitar Guidebook will take you on a learning journey back to the heydays of Rock and Roll, Rockabilly, and Surf instrumentals.
"I discovered a lot of the material that we'll explore together by reading what other legendary guitar players had to say about their own influences. Jeff Beck credited Cliff Gallup and Hank B. Marvin, George Harrison talked about Carl Perkins, and Keith Richards was heavily influenced by Chuck Berry.”
You’ll start the course by digging into several key concepts and techniques. BJ will be using the guitars, amps, and effects that were used to create the distinctive sound of these instrumentals.
BJ will then guide you through 10 Performance Studies, all of the original songs composed and performed in the late 50’s guitar style.
You’ll play your way through the 10 studies using hybrid picking, twangy double-stops, jazzy chord voicings, whammy bar techniques and Big Band breaks. For each of the 10 Performance Studies, BJ will first solo over the track and then provide a detailed breakdown emphasizing the concepts and techniques in play.
F# Train - ”This is a tune based on the picking style of Scotty Moore in Elvis' Mystery Train. I've recorded it in the key of F#. There are some really cool open-string licks that are possible this way and it's a bit of a challenge!”
Rip It Off - ”This is a tune that combines some Les Paul trickery and fast riffs in the style of Cliff Gallup. The groove's a bit similar to Eddie Cochran's Tear it Up."
251 With A Twist - ”This is a tune that channels Eddie Cochran again. A simple riff that both the electric guitar and the bass play makes for a very strong song frame. The tricky thing in this song is the main chord progression and the jazzy turnaround at the end of it."
The Late Pretender - ”Here's a song in a different time signature; we're in 12/8. I've used a Fender Strat for this song, in the memory of Buddy Holly. He was one of the finest songwriters, singers and players of the 50's. The groove is related to Fats Domino. The guitar riffs loosely follow the original vocal lines."
Adventures In The Shadows - ”A surf tune paying homage to the great Hank B. Marvin. He's a major influence on some of my heroes like Jeff Beck and Mark Knopfler. There's also quite a bit of the surf band The Ventures in this tune. This type of the early 60's guitar instrumental seems to be a logical step after all the sounds and riffs from the 50's. I managed to put some Django Reinhardt half step lines in the song. And there's an echo of Dick Dale in here too."
Midnight Bop - ”This tune is based on the kind of songs Carl Perkins wrote. The fingerpicking pattern has that kinda vibe. In the typical breaks there are some cool 6/9 voicings and a harmonically rich chord riff leading to the 4 chord. The solo is a variation on Scotty Moore's solo in Good Rockin Tonight. This is a tricky one to play here though because there's no open F string on the guitar and the tune's in F."
Billy Minor - ”This song could be on the soundtrack of a crime comedy movie. It's a fun tune to play, not so easy though. I love the fats rhumba dance groove! The two-octave riff is based on what rockabilly legend Paul Burlison played on the Johnny Burnette trio records. The solo has elements of the big band swing era and some typical rockabilly riffs. The final chord is one of my very favorites: a big minor/major 7 voicing. 007 that is!"
Come On Eddy - ”Here's a little song to get you through the summertime blues. I'm using a nice trick to emulate a whammy bar effect on a guitar that doesn't have one. The solo is classic rock and roll. It sounds even better when you dance as you play it. Or walk like a duck."
House Cats - ”A free take on Hit The Road Jack and Stray Cat Strut. I was completely knocked out and still am hearing Brian Setzer's Stray Cat Strut in the early 80's. The tone of the big Gretsch guitar, the minor swing riffs, the whole vibe of the song. I spent hours trying to figure out what he was playing. I've recorded this tune in the key of F minor: not the easiest one! But it gives you some very cool harmonic open string options."
Rumble Jets - ”Brian Setzer and The Stray Cats where a direct link back to the future for me. Setzer opened a lot of doors. I tell myself, this little tune could be one of theirs. Playing this kind of music live is great fun. I love the energy. People dance to it. Playing fast riffs is just cool here.”
BJ will explain and demonstrate all of the key concepts and approaches along the way. You’ll get standard notation and tabs for the key examples and performance studies. Plus, BJ includes all of the jam tracks for you to work with on your own. In addition, you’ll be able to loop or slow down any of the videos so that you can work with the lessons at your own pace.
Grab your guitar and let's trip back to the 50’s with BJ Baartmans!