As a person who teaches guitar for a living, I get the opportunity to work with hundreds of people who all have a very diverse taste in music. While I do get asked to teach some pretty interesting styles of music from time to time, there is one genre that always stands out above the rest as being the most popular and sought after and that is Rock Music.
Fortunate for all those who want to learn how to rock on guitar, this is in my opinion the easiest style to get under your fingers. The biggest reason is because of the very few chords and chords shapes that you need to know how to play to get through a standard rock song.
If you’ve never played guitar before, there are hundreds of different chord types and shapes. More elaborate styles of music such as Jazz and Classical will make the most use of these different chords.
Rock, however uses only ONE main chord type and shape to sculpt out it’s sound and that is the almighty Power Chord. Now there are certainly more than just power chords in a standard rock song but even then, you are only going to be using a select few Open Chords shapes. These are usually taught first to students and are quite easy for most people to learn.
The other huge advantage that makes Rock Music so easy to learn is that a Power Chord is a movable shape. Once you are able to learn and master this shape in one position, all you need to do is play the exact same shape but start it on another fret and your good to go. Pretty Easy!
Check out this Free Guitar lesson on how to play Power Chords. “So once I know how to play a power chord, how do I learn a song”? While this might seem like a big mystery to a beginner, the answer is much easier than you think.
The most popular form of written guitar notation is what’s called Guitar Tablature or Guitar Tabs for short. While not as descriptive as reading actual music, Guitar Tabs are a very easy way for anyone to learn how to play just about any song they want. Here is another free guitar lesson on how to read and understand Tabs.
The only other thing to understand when learning Rock music is to know how the songs are put together. There are some types of music that use repetitive forms to sculpt out a songs chord progression.
A good example of this would be how Blues Music uses the 12 Bar Blues form. Simply put, there are a sequence of 3 different chords that go in a 12 bar cycle and the song will use this form over and over again until it finishes. Jazz also has similar forms.
Rock music is more based on Riffs. The song itself might use up to three or four different riffs, but usually no more. You most likely have one for the verse and one for the chorus. Both of these will usually be between two and eight bars long and repeat over and over again until its time to change to the next section.
The only other thing to look out for in a Rock song is the occasional bridge section, which will have a different riff from the verse and the chorus. Other than that, a Rock Song is a pretty straightforward and easy thing to understand.
The energy and emotions behind Rock songs are also big factors in why there so much fun to play. When you have an amp turned up nice and loud and a song that makes you feel like your on top of the world, you can easily see why so many people want to know how to rock out on guitar.
Above all, learning to play rock music on guitar should be fun and exciting. Spend some time practicing Power chords, learn how to move them around and the rest will come to you very easily.