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.

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)


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.


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.



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