Learn composition, melodic soloing, chords, and licks in the styles of the classic rock guitar masters: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, The Allman Brothers, Jimmy Page, as well as modern masters Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Eric Johnson.
This course begins with a primer on the blues foundation of rock, covering minor pentatonic scales, 12-bar blues chords and rhythm, classic rock tunes that use the 12-bar form, and licks and scale sequences over the 12-bar blues. Then every week, students will study the selected works of a different classic rock master, including Clapton's "Crossroads" and "Layla," Hendrix's "Wind Cries Mary" and "All Along the Watchtower," Gilmour's "Comfortably Numb" and "Money," Beck's early blues work and later rock fusion tunes, and Page's "Good Times Bad Times" and "Kashmir," to name a few.
Through this analysis, students will learn methods of improvisation, phrasing, scales, chords, rhythms, fretboard mastery, and sound conception that are essential classic rock guitar techniques. The course will also explore modes and their use in rock improvisation.
Lesson 1: The Minor Pentatonic Scale, Basic Solo Technique, and the Blues Influence on Classic Rock
- The Minor Pentatonic Scale
- Minor Pentatonic Scale Rhythmic Groupings
- The Blues Progression
- Real World Blues Examples
Lesson 2: Eric Clapton: Bluesbreakers through Cream
- "Steppin' Out"
- "White Room"
Lesson 3: Eric Clapton: Derek and the Dominos and Solo Work
- "I Shot the Sheriff"/The Natural Minor Scale
- "Old Love"/Aeolian Mode
- "Cocaine"/Mixolydian Mode
Lesson 4: Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin
- "Good Times Bad Times"
- "What Is and What Should Never Be"
- "The Ocean"
- "Ten Years Gone"
Lesson 5: Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin—Open Tunings and Acoustic Work
- "Dancing Days"
- "Over The Hills and Far Away"
- "The Rain Song"—Original Page Open Tuning
Lesson 6: The Allman Brothers and the Major Pentatonic Scale
- The Major Pentatonic Scale in Five Positions
- Combining Major and Minor Pentatonic
- "Blue Sky"
- "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed"
- "One Way Out"
Lesson 7: Modes for the Rock Guitarist
- What Are Modes?
- Modes in Position (Vertical)
- Modes Up and Down the Neck (Horizontal)
- Sequences—Triplets and Sixteenth Note Patterns—In Position and Up and Down the Neck
- Modal Jam Recipe/Create Your Own Modal Jam
Lesson 8: David Gilmour and Pink Floyd
- "Another Brick In The Wall" (Part 2)
- "Comfortably Numb"
Lesson 9: Jeff Beck
- "Rock My Plimsoul"
- "Freeway Jam"
- "Cause We've Ended As Lovers"
- "Come Dancing"
Lesson 10: Jimi Hendrix
- "Purple Haze"
- "Red House"
- "Little Wing"
- "The Wind Cries Mary"
Lesson 11: Jimi Hendrix
- "All Along the Watchtower"
- "Spanish Castle Magic"
- "Bold As Love"
- "Voodoo Chile"
Lesson 12: Modern Masters
- Joe Satriani: "Flying In A Blue Dream"
- Eric Johnson: "Cliffs Of Dover"
- Steve Vai: "For the Love of God"
Joe Musella is a guitarist and music educator active in the Boston music scene. His rock quartet, the Joe Musella Group, performs internationally. Musella's recent collaborations include recording with Joe Vitale, the current drummer for Crosby, Stills and Nash, and with their bass player, David Santos. Other guitar work includes playing for theater productions and with the bands Freestyle and the Ginamark Band. As Assistant Professor of Guitar at Berklee, he developed and teaches the popular Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin course, and is developing a course on Eric Clapton. He is also a Berklee alumnus, and studied with Charlie Banacos and Mick Goodrick.
Kevin Belz is a versatile and well-rounded musician with years of playing experience, including extensive touring both internationally and nationally. Some of the names he has recorded with and/or played with include New Orleans piano great and legend Henry Butler, Susan Tedeschi from the Derek Trucks Tedeschi band, Blues great Duke Robillard, Ellis Hall of the Tower of Power band, Mighty Sam McClain, and Handy Award nominee Toni Lynn Washington, to name a few.
Along with his full schedule at Berklee as Assistant professor in the Guitar Department teaching Jazz, Rock and Blues styles, he also has a full schedule of playing live shows and records in and around the New England area. He has been a regular faculty member at Berklee College for the past 11 years.
Completion of Guitar Chords 101 and Guitar Scales 101 or equivalent knowledge is required. Students should have at least one year of playing experience and the ability to play some scales and chords on the guitar. Guitar tablature and some chord blocks, in addition to traditional notation, will be used throughout the course.
- OS X 10.9 Mavericks or higher (click here for system requirements)
- Latest version of Chrome (recommended), Firefox, or Safari
- Windows 7 or higher (click here for system requirements)
- Latest version of Chrome (recommended), Firefox, or Edge
A recording tool is provided within the course that will allow students to record videos of themselves playing for assignment submission. Alternatively, students can use a digital camera, smartphone, or tablet to record assignments.
- Electric or acoustic electric guitar with a basic amp chord and a 1/4 to 1/8 adapter for recording directly into the computer
- A built-in microphone or an external microphone plugged directly into your computer (via built in ports or an external audio interface)
- 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
- 500 MB hard drive space
- Speakers or headphone
- Internet connection with at least 4 Mbps download speed (http://www.speedtest.net to verify or download the Speedtest by Ookla app from your mobile app store)