The late 50’s and early 60’s (aka 'The Space Age' ) triggered what many people consider a renaissance of pop and rock music. In turn, the sonic qualities of electric guitar also experienced a revolutionary shift from clean, relatively un-effected sounds to a fresh new range of sounds including vibrato, phasing, echo, distortion and fuzz. These effects greatly influenced guitarists right and left-hand techniques and overall creative approaches to both soloing and rhythm playing.
BJ Baartmans’ Space Age Rock 'n Roll Guidebook celebrates the innovative “Space Age” techniques and approaches pioneered by players like Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Steve Cropper, Alvin Lee and other artists leading the charge in rockabilly, blues, and surf music.
You’ll play your way through the course with BJ guiding you through 11 performance studies. BJ will first perform the study over a backing track and then he’ll break it down for you detailing all of the critical techniques and sonic qualities in play. F# Slow Train - "The main riff of this song is a typical 2 step "train" groove played to a half time beat. It's based on the traditional Travis picking style, like Scotty Moore and James Burton would use on Elvis Presley records. The new beat gives it a whole different sound though. I'm also using a simple Ernie Ball phaser pedal here, that sort of lives its own life as a tone tweaker. It makes the riff pop out stronger and gives the whole song a bit of a spacier sound. The other typical thing in this track is that it's in the key of F Sharp. This makes for a cool open string dominant 7 flavors.”
Goodnight Again - "Here's a classic rock and roll song even though it's an original. It's in the key of B flat like a lot of jump and jive songs that originally had horn sections. Only problem with that is that you'd better be pretty precise in what you play. I've divided the learning parts in two sections. First there's the rhythm guitar part, played with a vibrato pedal that resembles a Leslie speaker effect. Plus a fair amount of overdrive. It creates a bit of an organ sound. Then there's a classic P90 rock and roll solo inspired by Chuck Berry inspiring Keith Richards.”
Phoneline - "Phoneline has a real sixties flavor. It's a surf tune that brings acts like The Ventures and The Shadows to mind. It is based on a simple but very recognizable guitar riff and a chord progression that's only a small departure from rock and roll and blues. In the solo I've incorporated a few nice tricks to give it a bit of a gypsy swing. The second line of the solo is straight out of the Dick Dale school.”6131 Special - "This song owns its title to the guitar that Bo Diddley used in the mid fifties: a Red 6131 Gretsch Firebird. My hero Cliff Gallup used a similar guitar with Gene Vincent. The song is also based on a typical Bo Diddley groove and the effect he would use a lot: he tremolo effect that some amplifiers of the day provided. It's a fast or slower change of volume that almost creates a rhythm of it's own. And it gives the beat a real swampy vibe. The solo is once again a nice mixture of all kinds of styles."
Sally A - "Sally A is a tune more than a bit related to Dale Hawkins Suzy Q. More precisely the riff that James Burton played on the original recording from 1954. He played it with a very clean Telecaster sound, but these kinda riffs are also great with a good deal of overdrive.” Come On Eddy - "Here's another straight rocker where Eddie Cochran and Duane Eddy meet with a country picker in overdrive mode. The rhythm guitar and the lead guitar really have to work together here if you want to avoid chaos. First there's the rhythm track that combines typical single note rock and roll lines with rhythmical accents on the higher strings. There's also some piano like triads in the bridge. The lead part of the song is a combination of styles that even has a few Django inspired arpeggio riffs in it.”
Summernight Serenade - "This song's a ballad in a typical instrumental style, where the lead vocal is replaced by a guitar. It would lend itself really well for a big band arrangement. Think of Ray Charles or Elvis or Sinatra or Roy Orbison. Without the frustration of not being such a great singer. The chord arrangement of the rhythm part contains some nice jazzy voicings and patterns that create their own melody. I'm not letting the notes ring out too much to leave room for a lead part with a nice - almost clean sustaining sound.”
Credit Card From Tennessee - "This song was inspired by Chuck Berry's Memphis Tennessee. It's the kind of groove you can hear on soul records, early 70's Elvis Presley or Tony Joe White I think. I've adapted a simple vocal melody to a guitar arrangement. Bending strings is a good way to get a bit closer to a vocal melody. There's some double stop bends here, that sound familiar right away, but are not so easy to play.”
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 launch yourself into a new Space Age with BJ Baartmans!