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Lesson Topic

Pearl Jam Lesson Sample  

Solo Section Looping Track

Teacher: Pearl Jam took classic blues-rock influences like Hendrix, Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones and mixed in punk tinged influences for their own take on 90's Hard Rock.

Teacher: Stone Gossard and Mike McCready are the guitar players.

Teacher: All of the riffs tonight can be navigated with your familar 5 open string chord shapes.

Song Chords

Teacher: The opening riff is a C-G-D progression. We'll see how to spice up these chords, grunge-style.

Riff A Open Chords

Teacher: The following riff lays on top, the same chord progression but voiced in triads down the neck.

Riff A

Teacher: After the each D chord voicing a Dsus2 voicing is alternated with the D major. Sus voicings are often employed by Pearl Jam.

Teacher: Sus stands for 'suspended', meaning replace the '3rd' of the chord, major or minor, with the named scale tone.

Teacher: Here is a loop for practicing each riff. The next section uses a sus chord as well.

Riff A Looping Track

Riff B

Teacher: This second section uses an extended time on the A chord, with D and E chords voiced up higher on the neck

Teacher: The nice voicing for Asus4 adds interest on the extended A vamp.

Teacher: On top of this is some classic Hendrix influenced R&B style licks. McCready does this well.

Lick 1

Lick 1

Riff B Looping Track

Teacher: To get the Pearl Jam sound, remember they layer guitars expertly. McCready takes most solos and Gossard is more rhythm work. Their tones are fairly dry, really classic rock tones. McCready tends to favor Fender Strats and Gossard Gibsons. Mostly Marshall amplifiers

Teacher: McCready will employ effect pedals such as wah, or a Uni-Vibe, MXR effect pedals. I have heard him use an E-Bow, which is a sustainer type device.

Teacher: Stone Gossard uses open G tuning a lot to get textures and chord voicings you cant get in standard tuning. I think he is a big Keith Richards guy to and that is one of Richards' favorites

Lick 2

Lick 2

Teacher: The next riff uses a wah pedal as a filter, slowly changing the effected frequency range as the riff goes on.


Lick 3

And the last riff, our 'solo' section.

Riff C
Riff C

Riff C

Riff C Looping Track

Teacher: Here is the loop of that part again.

Teacher: This next lick is the type of layered rhythm guitar part Pearl Jam might incorporate. Part rhythm, part lead lick.

Lick 4

Teacher: The lick uses the Dorian Mode.

E Dorian Mode

Teacher: E dorian has the same notes as D major, starting on a different note (2nd scale degree)

Teacher: And finally some McCready style solo licks

Lick 5

Teacher: Most of the licks come out of the Minor Pentatonic scale.

E Minor Pentatonic - Open Position

Teacher: The next lick uses a nice extension pattern of the Minor Pentatonic. McCready knows 'em all.

Lick 6

E Minor Pentatonic - Extension Pattern

Teacher: The next lick uses a unison bend. Note that as it moves up it also follows along notes of the chord progression

Lick 7

Lick 7

Lick 8

Teacher: This lick is out of that same extension pattern, one octave higher.

Lick 8

Teacher: Just more blazing pentatonic scale stuff.

Lick 9

Lick 9

Teacher: OK. Practice hard in the style of these icons of '90's rock.

Teacher: If you want to learn specific Pearl Jam songs, catch me for a private lesson.

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