Watch the Classic Hard Rock online guitar lesson by TrueFire from Play Rock Guitar 4: Rhythm Principles
Classic Hard Rock - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Angus Clark and is sourced from Hard Rock Survival Guide: Rhythm.
As noted in the course outline, we're going across all decades - so here's a little bit of that 70's classic, blues-based hard rock, with some mild Beatles-esque aspirations. I'm pulling from Trapeze, Free, Zeppelin, etc. which means it's pretty similar to anything Joe Bonnamassa or the guys in Jet might play. The main part is still just a G, D, and A chord, but the treatment is totally different than in the first performance. We're using some funky muting and some riffs from the pentatonic scale to connect the chords. Still fairly simple stuff, but you've got to play it right. Stay in the pocket. If you need to slow it down to clean up the riffs, take some time with it. The arpeggiated section utilizes the open G string in a style you hear on records by everyone from Def Leppard to Yes, the Beatles to King's X. The open G serves as the minor 3rd on the E chord, the sus 4 on the D chord, and the 5th of the C chord. It creates a static voice while the chords are moving. When the C chord changes to a C minor chord at the end we are using chromatic voice leading to create tension. The third of the C chord (an E), moves down chromatically to an Eb (making the C chord minor), and then resolves down to the fifth of the G chord (D). Now aren't we clever. As a friend of mine once said, "If you want people to think you're a serious songwriter, just use that minor IV chord to I resolution". So I'm putting you on the fast track. You're welcome.