Punk rock 101 – Lesson #1

Punk rock 101 – Lesson #1

Hello there fellow punkrockers (or anyone who relates to this music). This lesson will not be genre specific, nor you will have to follow every word of it. It will just serve as a guide. Where should we begin?

Anyone who wants to start out playing punkrock (or anything related) will ask themselves: “What do I need to have or know to start playing?” Well the answer is – you don’t need a thing. First off find out what your role would be in your dream band, maybe it’s singing, maybe it’s drums, guitar, piano, kazoo, … whatever. Todays lesson will be focusing on a basic punkrock trio band (guitar, bass guitar, drums). By punkrock trio you are probably thinking of Green Day or something simmilar, but that doesn’t matter (also Green Day hasn’t been a trio since like 10 years ago). Lets start shall we.

Guitar
Most people think they just need to have the gear everybody else or their idols use. But that is not the case here. For example, many people believe that hollowbody guitars are definately not a punk instrument, but Tim from Rancid can prove you otherwise. He has been rocking hollowbody Gretsch guitars since the early 90’s and now the company even has a model named after him. Stratocasters (we will be referring to them as strats) were also meant to be softer instruments, but they have been used since the early beginnings of punkrock ( ex. Billie Joe from Green Day, Tom Delonge from Blink-182, Mathias and Erik from Millencolin, ..). It doesn’t really matter what kind of shape, color or type of guitar it is, as long as it’s accesible and feels good to you, it is the perfect instrument to play punkrock.

Lets just quickly go through some typical guitar models and comment a bit on them.

Les Pauls

Any rockers typical instrument. These guitars are ready to play this type of music any day of the week. Since they are popular and are available in any price range, this could be the guitar for you. Smaller scale neck is a good plus for any beginner, but the weight might turn you off, so you might want to try it before you buy it (that goes for every instrument, have someone who knows about guitars try it first)

Stratocasters

Typically used for softer genres, they have also been a big part of the punkrock scene. Players are usually turned off by the twangy sound of single coil pickups (more on pickups in the future), but with some slight modding, you can easily fit in a humbucker that will drive your strat crazy! You might also want to check some strat styled guitars such as Ibanez, Jackson, ESP,… but those guitars might look a little too “metal” for you.

SG’s

Ever heard about AC/DC? This guitar has been the main instrument of Angus Young (guitar player of AC/DC) since the beginning. Designed by Gibson (same as the Les Paul), it is a guitar that will be ready to play right from the start.

So here you have it. A quick basic guide to buying your first punkrock guitar. Don’t worry, anything is good for your first guitar, as long as it keeps you comming back to it. In the next part we will be looking at bass guitars and drums. If you have any questions that you would like them answered in the next lesson, please leave them below.

~chargerbandit

Advertisements

Is music dead?

We’re in the year 2013 and to a lot of people, music is dead. But is it really? Most people (including me) when saying that music is dead areĀ referring that the music they like isn’t in the mainstream anymore. But does that matter at all? We still have our old CD’s and Vinyl’s of course and we listen to them day in and day out. To us it will always be that way. But why is it important for a new band to start being mainstream? To create a new movement I would say. To start something new or to revive something long forgotten, something that’s been pushed underground by the current success of pop music, dubstep and other varieties. What a lot of people don’t realize is that this had happened before many times over. The hippies lost and punk rock came to life. Glam rock sneaked it’s way in and soon the most manliest thing you could do is to steal your girlfriends make up kit. With the success of grunge, that was destroyed. So it continued to about the end of ’99 when everything stopped. All the good bands broke up for various reasons or went on long breaks and once returned, never got their popularity and success back. What I’m trying to say though, is that every generation had what I like to call Heroes. In the 70’s there were Sex pistols and the Ramones. Then came others like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and so on. Every generation had its own type. Sadly Kurt Cobain died in ’94 and Layne Staley in 2002.
It’s 2013 and I don’t see anyone making a difference anymore. Sure we have huge punk rock concerts, but they’re not in the mainstream. There isn’t a movement anymore. The people who saved us with their music and their words are gone. There are no more rockstars today. No more Heroes. Just veterans in their own art, and by the time we grow up, they’ll already be dead. How many people wished that they’d be born a few years earlier and get to fully enjoy the music that was going on back then? A lot. Me included. But over the years I changed my mind. We’ll always have their music and yes, we feel cheated that we will never see them live ever again.
But this time, it’s our turn. We know what we have to do and we should do it. Make music that would touch people’s harts. Make it as raw as you can, let it all out and don’t hold back. You can’t let people stop you. Everyone has the right to an opinion of their own, just as how I have the right to tell you to go fuck yourself. I won’t accept cute songs. I won’t accept songs about my girlfriend/boyfriend. I won’t accept songs about money and bitches and whatever the hell else turns you on.
There are no rockstars today. Only musicians. But who can make that change and prove me wrong?

~Dante