Classic Rock n Roll 1 Backing

Animated Classic Rock n Roll 1 Backing tab by ActionTab on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This Backing Track is from the Jamzone.

Here we raise the tempo and go back in time to play some classic Rock n' Roll. As you probably already know, Rock n' Roll has it's roots in the Blues. We see that in this ActionTab. The Rock n' Roll riffs here follow the standard 12 Bar Blues progression in B. Go here to learn more about the 12 Bar Blues and how the chord progressions work in it.

This type of riff and style of playing is the keystone of Rock n' Roll. An upbeat tempo, standard 12 Bar Blues chord progression, and distinct rhythm make this style of playing instantly recognisable. Apart from swift chord changes this style of playing is fairly easy to do once you learn it!

Chords following I - I - I - I - IV - IV - I - I - V - IV - I - V (or I) give the traditional 12 Bar Blues format. This transports to Rock n' Roll very well.

For B, this gives us:

B - B - B - B - E - E - B - B - F# - E - B - F# (via turnaround)

Remember that the turnaround (V chord) will be used to sew the song parts together. Often that will be done via passing chords, just like this ActionTab shows - we play through E - F - F#. The E and F are the passing chords - i.e. we play them briefly on the way to the F#. A passing chord is just what the name suggests - a chord played on the way through to somewhere else.

When ending the song, use the I chord - in other words end on the B. This can be done instead of, or just after the E - F - F# turnaround.

This riff, and variations of it, can be found spattered everywhere so it is well worth knowing. From Chuck Berry to Status Quo, and Led Zeppelin to Motorhead you'll find this kind of classic rock n' roll riff is still the basis for many well known songs.

Although the chords follow the 12 bar blues progression, there are some important differences. The pace is much faster for a start. This means switching between chords will take some practice to avoid missing a beat. However, the good news is that the chords are easy to play and involve using just one chord shape - The E shape - to cycle through them. So your fingers don't really have to change how they play, just where they play. Once you can master the first riff (B), the rest will come faster because of this. Then the only tricky part will be switching between chords quickly.

The next notable difference is the fact that we don't just play out standard powerchords. Notice that occasionally the chord is altered by adding an extra note on certain beats. This note is always in the same place - 2 frets above the note you are already holding on the A string. This is the 6th note from the major scale for each chord.

One of the fastest ways to learn this riff is to get it in your head. Listen to it looped and pay attention to the picking rhythm. Get it in your blood, then work at just the B chord riff first. Pick the B chord in time with the rhythm, and concentrate on dropping in the extra note in the right places, and removing it again in time to play the normal B5. Once you get the hang of it slowed down, play it constantly until your fingers just know what to do. Build up speed as you do so. Once you've got the B riff down, work on the other chords. They'll come easier now.

If you are struggling with the finger stretches on the lower frets (for example, adding the extra note with your little finger to the F# chord), you may wish to use your 2nd finger to fret the note on the A string instead of your 3rd finger. This will make adding the extra note a little easier for your little finger at the expense of making the stretch between your 1st and 2nd fingers a little more uncomfortable. However, we encourage you to try the way we show you here as soon as you feel your little finger is up to it.

You should definitely try altering your rhythms and experiment with the extra note. Add / remove it at different rhythmic points, and even use other notes too, such as 1 fret higher again...many songs also use that technique to great effect.

We'll be looking at some classic Rock n' Roll solo techniques next. But for your own solos over this track a good place to start is the B major scale or B Pentatonic minor scale:

B Pentatonic Minor Scale: B - D - E - F# - A - B - practice

B Major Scale: B - C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A# - B - practice

We've taken the intro beats out of the normal speed audio (which is faster than the ActionTab speed) so you can loop and solo over it easier.

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