Rock and Roll
Everybody dreams of playing rock guitar—the screaming fans! The flashing lights!
The Spandex pants!
Today’s rock is the mainstream American music, embracing so many genres that
it’s impossible to speak of a single guitar style. If rock means anything at all,
it means a guitar-driven music as opposed to the piano- and wind-instrument-based
pop of an earlier generation. Mention a rock guitarist and you’ll probably visualize
a heavy-metal maniac, full of screaming guitar licks and extravagant stage moves.
But rock also produces anti-virtuosos who react against the musical show-offs by
using deliberately simple guitar styles.
In view of the many ways rock guitar has branched out, it’s fascinating to go
back to its roots in fifties rock and rockabilly. Let’s make rockabilly our introduction
to rock guitar—with the extra advantage that it will sound good on acoustic as well
as electric guitar. In this chapter, we’ll learn a basic rockabilly/boogie accompaniment
pattern, how to craft a rock-style solo, and then put it all together for a blazing