Magazine article Guitar Player

Brian Setzer's Bop-a-Billy Basics. (Guest Guru)

Magazine article Guitar Player

Brian Setzer's Bop-a-Billy Basics. (Guest Guru)

Article excerpt

IF YOU COULD POUR Brian Setzer's explosive mixture of rock, country, jazz, and rockabilly into the gas tank of a muscle car, you'd win any drag race. But while Setzer's riffs sound like pure spontaneous combustion, they're fueled by a strong understanding of theory.

Hotwired Scales

"Once you learn scales and chord progressions, you can make up your own versions," offers Setzer. The tattooed guitarist loves teaching young players how to escape the diatonic doldrums. "Watch this," he offers. "Instead of playing a regular A major scale like this one [plays Ex. 1], I'll turn it into something like this." [Plays Ex. 2, which adds chromatic notes and slides.]

[ILLUSTRATIONS OMITTED]

Changing Lanes

While Ex. 2 surfs an A7 vamp nicely, the next step is adjusting to shifting harmonies. "Once you learn how to change with the chords, you can fill in the spaces," says Setzer, demonstrating with Ex. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.