XXXTENTACION bares his soul on “Depression and Obsession”.

Less definitely is more when you are trying to get a message into a song. The less clutter instrumentally, the less business in the harmonies and sections the better. It enables the vocal part to stand out and brings every nuance to the forefront. On “Depression and Obsession” by the late Alternative, Hard Rock, Nu-Metal, Rap, and Hip-Hop-influenced artist, XXXTENTACION (Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy), this is certainly the case.

Take a somewhat rough acoustic guitar part, mix it with a tight beat and let the vocals do the rest. I’ve gone to great lengths to make this tutorial as close as possible to the original. This is not an “Easy Guitar” version, which serves collect views and deceives many to believe that anyone can strum along captured the vibe of a song that is far deeper than they could ever imagine. No, this version shows the rough edges and the way to play it with expression.

Screenshot 2018-06-27 22.16.02.png

You will use only three chords throughout this song. But, in these three chords be prepared to dig deep if you want to bring life into this magnificent, minimalistic expression of darkness and pain.

PERFORMANCE NOTES: I’ve decided to use Drop-D tuning for this version. The reason is that I hear the lowered sixth string ringing out in two specific places. It makes the chords slightly more difficult to play but, I feel that to be authentic in replicating other’s songs, you should attempt to get as close as possible. The only chord that may take more work is the GMaj7. For that chord try to land your pinky first. It will take slow practice but, that chord shape comes up a lot in an Am/G context in many songs.

Here is the tutorial:

Depression & Obsession Tutorial

Here is the PDF of the tab:

Tab:

Guitar Pro Tab

 

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“Youngblood” – 5SOS continue strong with their irresistible, slippery and quirky riffs and rhymes.

The new song, “Youngblood” by Five Seconds of Summer (5SOS) is one of their better offerings. The chorus riff alone is worth learning off of this one. I examine the guitars parts for you and put into perspective how effective layered guitar lines (even easy pop ones) can be.

The version I present to you here is perfect for a full-band rendering. This is not what I like to call a “strum and grin” cheese version. This is playin’ it real.

I have pulled out what I have interpreted after a once over with the song yesterday. I may tweak things a little more as I listen, especially in the bass during the chorus. When I do, I will re-send the tab and comment here on additions or changes.

Have fun!

Guitar Pro Tab

Youngblood Guitar Pro Tab

YouTube Tutorial

Youngblood Guitar Tutorial

“Fight Song” Chorus Guitar Rhythm

I’ve been asked about the strumming pattern for Rachel Platten’s acoustic version of “Fight Song”.

“Live” Acoustic Version

I discovered this version and will go with her approach to the chorus section.

Strumming Pattern

Take your time if you haven’t played this pattern yet. It is a basic strumming pattern but of course that’s relative.

You can refer to my original tutorial to learn the whole song.

“Fight Song” Tutorial

 

All the Shades of Darkened Light by Free Spirit

 

via All the Shades of Darkened Light by Free Spirit on iTunes.

-Review by Mark Jeffery Campayno

Just when you thought that technological innovations in music had eliminated the need, or even the will to look back at the past, a band from Seinäjoki, Finland, Free Spirit releases it’s sophomore effort, “All the Shades of Darkened Light”. This 11 song collection opens up with blazing guitar riffs that evoke everything that serious rock fans have been missing for decades.

Can it be that eighties melodic hard rock is still relevant? I must admit, even I had doubts. With clarity, precision, and eighties bravado, “All the Shades of Darkened Light” serves notice that high energy and good old hair metal swag can still rock hard.

Melodic Hard Rock is a tough taskmaster. With so many musical elements to produce not to mention the risk involved, it’s refreshing to see a band pull it off with such ease. The first track, “Through the Night” will have you fully engaged as the band has set the course. There’s no turning back now. With blazing anthems and refurbished vocal hooks filling each track from beginning to end there’s hardly a place to catch yfree spirit1our breath. But, if you yearn for the days of big hair, perfectly processed guitars, and fist in the air rock bravado, prepare yourself to be transformed. Yes, the decade of decadence and excess lives on!

Guitar solos? Yes, and they are imaginative and impeccably played. Marko Haapamäki and Vesa Yli-Mäenpää churn out riffs that cut through the already-dense musical landscape with arpeggiated melodies and harmonized flights-of-fancy that strike to the soul of what guitar used to be. Used to be that is, before the Seattle revolution all but muted such perceived excess. Here excess is not on display. The solo sections are measured, balanced, and exquisite.
Vocalist, Sami Alho possesses all the nuance and flair of a hard rock leading man. Passionate, controlled, and soulful, he easily soars over the layered harmonies, guitar accents, and big drums. But of course that is part and partial of what the eighties were all about. The foundational blueprint of what Free Spirit is as a unit gives a bigness to this recording that is often missed when attempting to recreate the past. The band’s rhythm section is tough and ready with Sami Hämäläinen on bass, Pasi Koivumäki on drums, and Timo Alho on keyboards. They are on point with a groove that infuses the music with a harmonic pallet that is unique and tight.

free spirit Want proof? Try “Silence”, a heartbreaking tune reminiscent of the great hard rock ballads of the past.  Using all their powers, the boys come through big on this one with a moving performance full of arpeggiated passages, gorgeous guitar breaks, and pleading vocals.

 “Storyline” wraps up the release as the 11th track. This summation in hard rock gets to the heart of what Free Spirit is all about. A hint of Def Leppard appears in the main riff, the vocals harmonize perfectly, and everything is just perfect.

Thankfully, Free Spirit is no one trick pony. There’s plenty of variation in their material and one can easily make the necessary connection between the past and the present.  Hmmm…guys? Why not an even twelve next time?

Sami Alho – Vocals

Vesa Yli-Mäenpää – guitars & backing vocals

Marko Haapamäki – guitars & backing vocals

Sami Hämäläinen – bass

Pasi Koivumäki – drums

Timo Alho – keyboards

Free Spirit Music and Website:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/free-spirit/id79913251

http://freespiritrock.com/