Scroll through the lesson and click on notation/video/audio links to load the interactive players.
Please subscribe to get full access to all lessons for only $7.95/month PLUS 1 week free trial.
Riff Interactive lessons are LESS
expensive and MORE
interactive than alternatives!
Teacher: Nirvana was built on the incredible
songwriting talent and voice of Kurt Cobain. Their album Nevermind is considered
the landmark recording of the 1990's alternative
Teacher: Here is our opening riff.
Teacher: It is pretty much power chord rock here.
The heaviest 3 strings of each chord are the primary notes with the 3rd finger
barring all but the root. The note on the lightest string, in parenthesis, is
more or less implied.
Teacher: The feel here is loose so fretting an
extra note under the 3rd finger on the next string is part of the sound were
after. Don't necessarily try for it but if it pops out, cool.
Teacher: The next tab is
pretty much the same.
Riff 1 with muted notes
Teacher: Adding to the loose feel, mute
the strings by lifting of pressure in the left hand between chords. Continue
strumming to get these clicked, muted strings.
Teacher: To get these to fall in time each chord
should be strummed down - down up in this sixteenth note
Teacher: Notice the change
in guitar tone as the drums and bass kick in. Simply set up with a
distortion tone, then roll the volume knob back about half way for the intro.
Then full volume when the band kicks in.
Teacher: Nirvana will employ the same riff but
with different tones and dynamics to form song structures. A common songwriting
Teacher: Here is our same riff with a tag on the
Teacher: The ending bar
alternates an F5 chord with open 6th string below. Then moves chromatically up
Teacher: The same chords, new 8th note feel
strumming pattern. Simply down on the beat and up off the beat. The catch is to
keep the strum going but hit only the desired strings. Fret the full chord from
Teacher: Here is a looping track
to practice the 8th note strums to.
Looping Track 8th note feel (Drum+Bass only)
Teacher: Here is another similar part. Same root
notes, different chord voicings.
And a layering lick over this 'clean' section.
A couple of scale choices work here. I treat it as a minor key center,
'borrowing' major chords from the parallel G major key.
It's got the Rock "major/minor" sound. The melody defines it more, and it tended
to be minor. Let your ear be the guide here. Notice the pattern is written out
on a single string. Kurt tends toward more melodies and less guitar
Keeping things on a string or two will force you to be less pattern focused and
more focused on melody.
Teacher: And a final rhythm
variation on these chords. Using two string power chords this
Try struming this with all downstrokes. Then try alternating down and
Teacher: Finally try alternating between the two.
Down-down-down-up. These are two different 8th note feels you want to be able to
switch between at will
Teacher: Also notice the open strings between
chord moves for more purposeful 'looseness'.
Teacher: Here is our bridge
E5 then C5 and then moving power chords chromatically down to the A5
Looping Track - Bridge
Teacher: The fingering shown is an alternate one
to the '3rd finger barre' shown earlier. Either will work
Teacher: A simple filling riff on top
And then back to our starting part. Here are a couple final solo
Track - Main Riff
Teacher: Cobain might make a solo a
quote of the vocal melody line. Liberal use of hammer-on, pull-offs and slides
give a more 'vocal' sound
Teacher: The last riff for
tonight. All out of the G minor pentatonic scale
MoeFugga: how acurate is the transcription?
Teacher: Remember, this
isn't a Nirvana song but a composed lesson sample to represent their
Teacher: Listen to Nirvana with this lesson's
topic points in mind.
Teacher: Email me at email@example.com for a
private lesson on particular songs.
<< load notation from left
<< load audio from left
<< load audio from left