As you would expect with our final unit, we're going to attempt to put it all together for you. The structures, the tunings, the rhythms, chords, soloing... Everything we have covered is beautifully demonstrated in this custom written Nirvana style track. It's a fairly big track, so Franco will break down each section for you piece by piece, before we reconstruct it at the end of the unit. Pick up your guitars, and let's get started!
Before we kick off, check out the full tab from the song in the Guitar tabs section. We'll use this as a reference and will break it up into different sections as well, so just take a quick look over it first, whilst listening to the track.
Let's talk through the main riff of this track. Before we do anything else, remember that we need the guitar in Drop C#, which as a reminder looks like this:
This is exactly the same concept as Drop D, but the difference is that the whole guitar is tuned to Eb first. Refer to Unit 2 to see this all in detail.
Let's take a closer look at the tab for this part. This is the essence and core of the track, which means it's important to get this nailed first. We won't worry too much about the rhythm for now, let's just get the notes together! However, it is important that you can sing the melody, so make sure you play it around enough times to digest the sound.
We will start by taking the riff again and looking more deeply at the rhythm, just to ensure that you are really understanding how this comes together. If you wanted to, you could count the riff like this:
Take a few minutes to notice how the chords written out are in standard tuning, rather than the drop tuning. This is simply because when we look at the guitar, it looks like a D, rather than C#, for example. The sound, however, is very much C#, A & Gb!
The final piece of this little puzzle is to add dynamics to the riff. As Franco explains, we vary the dynamics as we play through the riff, depending on what notes we want to accent and which notes we want to keep under the drums. For Franco, the first beat of the riff, the deliberate up strum on the Bb and the push to the G5 chord are clear places to add more dynamics! Play around with it and have some fun!
Just before we move onto the next lesson, don't forget about the pre-chorus, which is the part that builds into the chorus. It's super easy and a great place to add your dynamics!
Let's now take on the main chorus! The full tab is in the Guitar Tabs section. But for now, the chorus part of the tab looks like this:
So we can see that we are essentially playing 4 chords here; D5, F5, Bb5 & G5. In terms of rhythm, here is the pattern that Franco walks you through in detail.
Don't forget about that very cool single note in the first bar of this mega riff! This is a very cool part, and it's important that we learn to highlight that note whilst still strumming the 6 strings! The best way to do that is to mute the strings around it, like this:
In this lesson will fill in the final pieces of the track. We'll start with the secondary guitar part, which is this bit on the tab:
It's time to add the cherry on the top of the track with a cool Cobain style solo! Remember everything we spoke about in Unit 3 as you go through this, and we'll break down the core of the solo here.
In terms of scale shapes, we are using the D minor pentatonic boxes 1 and 4, as shown in the Fretboard Diagrams.
Let's spend our last lesson putting this whole track together. We will go over each section again to make sure you have it, and then finally put it all together to work on those finer details when crossing through sections of the track.
There we have it! You have the whole track! Not only that, but you've got through all 20 lessons of our Kurt Cobain course. Well done... Seriously well done! You've stuck with it and no matter how much has sunk in or not straight away, you will have got something out of it. Plus, next time you go over the course, you'll no doubt see things on another level and get more out of it.
As for what to do now, well, start by putting the two core songs from this unit in a playlist. I want you go over these songs as many times as you can over the next few weeks. Your aim is to gradually get them to the point where you can play the entire song confidently, switching the distortion on and off as you go! After that, be sure to try some of these ideas in your own songwriting and take a stab at some actual Nirvana songs. Think about how much easier it is to now learn Nirvana songs having worked through this course!
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