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"Tear It Up" - Johnny Burnette and The Rock'n'Roll Trio..

Turi

Member
Messages
9,485
..this to me is the quintessential rockabilly song, for anyone who's keen on playing this style of music - it's not my favourite rockabilly song, but the way it plays out is Rockabilly 101 for guitar work.

It's got:
  • Short, twangy, cool rockabilly intro that leads into the song perfectly.
  • Travis picked verses (not a perfect Travis pick but who cares?).
  • Rockabilly shuffle/walking bass-line styled chorus.
  • Brilliant, stereo-typical rockabilly solo - it's got the one-note spam at the start, incorporates most of the quintessential rockabilly techniques into it, has a small part at about 1:15 that is classic rockabilly - playing something that sounds a little off, and having it overstay it's welcome just a tad - that 'vibe' or 'feeling' is what it's all about IMO. Then immediately after that section, the solo ends with a beautiful melodic line that is a take on some of the vocal melody.
  • The way the guitar line wraps up during the outro/end is fantastic - mixes up the playing a bit and lets you know the song is ending.
It's only missing one thing - double stops. Double stops are really important as they're usually used to emphasise that dirty/off rockabilly sound.. this song has a part where he's sliding to achieve that same vibe though - not the same thing, but still.. he's got that "off" vibe in there regardless.
Excluding double stops - this song is awesome for learning rockabilly stuff.

There are other, more fiery rockabilly tracks, ones with more technical guitar playing, but for a beginner - this is where it's at - what do you think?

 

stevel

Member
Messages
14,766
I'll agree with you for the most part. There might be other good candidates, but this is definitely a good introduction and yes, it does have many typical elements.

I think the "off" vibe may be more difficult to learn though...in one way, it's simply, shall we call it "primitive" playing, but that kind of thing is very hard to capture for beginners who may be primitive as well, but in their own way and not someone else's way. It's kind of funny but in many cases you have to learn to play really really well to emulate authentically someone playing "off" as you put it. But if an instructor could "square it up" for instructional purposes, you'd definitely have a gem of an instructional piece.

I bought an entire JB&RRT compilation (I think it's called Tear it Up, the complete set...or something to that effect) and it's all very much like this - raw, primitive, "punk" aesthetic in many ways, but somehow captivating in its "go for it" attitude or just its attitude in general. If someone were interested in this movement this is definitely a great place to start and branch out from.

Another interesting related group is Gene Vincent and the Bluecaps - the guitar work in there has a lot of the rockabilly elements, including the travis picking, and is somewhat more slightly refined to some somewhat slight degree, but includes some jazzier elements and what we might consider "more typical" rock and roll (less overtly rockabilly) and that also is worth investigating for some basic and introductory material for the fusion of those styles.

Steve
 

steve13281

Member
Messages
440
It doesn't get any better as far as rockabilly goes than the Johnny Burnette Trio or Gene Vincent and his Blue caps. I think "Race With The Devil" is another one with great guitar work to help learn the Rockabilly style. There's also lots cool stuff in "Baby Blue". Both done by Gene Vincent.
 
Last edited:

Turi

Member
Messages
9,485
I'll agree with you for the most part. There might be other good candidates, but this is definitely a good introduction and yes, it does have many typical elements.

I think the "off" vibe may be more difficult to learn though...in one way, it's simply, shall we call it "primitive" playing, but that kind of thing is very hard to capture for beginners who may be primitive as well, but in their own way and not someone else's way. It's kind of funny but in many cases you have to learn to play really really well to emulate authentically someone playing "off" as you put it. But if an instructor could "square it up" for instructional purposes, you'd definitely have a gem of an instructional piece.

I bought an entire JB&RRT compilation (I think it's called Tear it Up, the complete set...or something to that effect) and it's all very much like this - raw, primitive, "punk" aesthetic in many ways, but somehow captivating in its "go for it" attitude or just its attitude in general. If someone were interested in this movement this is definitely a great place to start and branch out from.

Another interesting related group is Gene Vincent and the Bluecaps - the guitar work in there has a lot of the rockabilly elements, including the travis picking, and is somewhat more slightly refined to some somewhat slight degree, but includes some jazzier elements and what we might consider "more typical" rock and roll (less overtly rockabilly) and that also is worth investigating for some basic and introductory material for the fusion of those styles.

Steve
I get what you mean about the "off" thing.
I'll have to try hunt down that compilation haha. Lovin' the JB&RRT stuff that I've got.

I dig the Gene Vincent and the Bluecaps - excellent guitar work there, I feel like it's a bit too advanced for a noob like me though.
"Tear It Up" is easier than basically every Bluecaps song I've heard, yet it still has so many elements of rockabilly guitar in it.
Brilliant stuff though.

It doesn't get any better as far as rockabilly goes than the Johnny Burnette Trio or Gene Vincent and his Blue caps. I think "Race With The Devil" is another one with great guitar work to help learn the Rockabilly style. There's also lots cool stuff in "Baby Blue". Both done by Gene Vincent.
"Race With The Devil" is too hard for me haha... would love to get that one down, that song has been stolen from so much LOL.
"Baby Blue" is a good one but man it sounds like "Heartbreak Hotel".

You can definitely hear the influence on the Stray Cats, for one.
Yeah, it's undeniable.
 

steve13281

Member
Messages
440
Lithsp, hope you don't mind me making a recommendation for education material but I've learned lots of cool licks and tricks from Jason Loughlin's courses on Truefire. He's got a couple rockabilly and country courses that cross over similar material. For the record I have no affiliation with Truefire or mr Laughlon. Also I have a great app on my phone called Anytune that slows down and loops parts while keeping the correct pitch. It is an excellent learning tool. Good luck man!

PS-Brian Setzer has a hotlicks video which you can watch on YouTube which has lots of neat stuff in it. Check it out if you haven't seen it.
 

bgmacaw

Member
Messages
8,083
If you haven't heard of Ronnie Self, check him out as well...


And don't forget Larry Collins...


And certainly James Burton...

 

steve13281

Member
Messages
440
James Burton is the man. I think he's definitely one of the unsung hero's of the guitar world. Not only is he great rockabilly guitarists he's also one of the greatest country pickers that ever lived.
 

Gallus

Member
Messages
1,287
..this to me is the quintessential rockabilly song, for anyone who's keen on playing this style of music - it's not my favourite rockabilly song, but the way it plays out is Rockabilly 101 for guitar work.

It's got:
  • Short, twangy, cool rockabilly intro that leads into the song perfectly.
  • Travis picked verses (not a perfect Travis pick but who cares?).
  • Rockabilly shuffle/walking bass-line styled chorus.
  • Brilliant, stereo-typical rockabilly solo - it's got the one-note spam at the start, incorporates most of the quintessential rockabilly techniques into it, has a small part at about 1:15 that is classic rockabilly - playing something that sounds a little off, and having it overstay it's welcome just a tad - that 'vibe' or 'feeling' is what it's all about IMO. Then immediately after that section, the solo ends with a beautiful melodic line that is a take on some of the vocal melody.
  • The way the guitar line wraps up during the outro/end is fantastic - mixes up the playing a bit and lets you know the song is ending.
It's only missing one thing - double stops. Double stops are really important as they're usually used to emphasise that dirty/off rockabilly sound.. this song has a part where he's sliding to achieve that same vibe though - not the same thing, but still.. he's got that "off" vibe in there regardless.
Excluding double stops - this song is awesome for learning rockabilly stuff.

There are other, more fiery rockabilly tracks, ones with more technical guitar playing, but for a beginner - this is where it's at - what do you think?

Cool.

I'm in a similar situation to you in that I've just joined an established rockabilly band. I'm not exactly a noob, but, by the same token, I've never exactly sat down and study this stuff in depth before, so I'm learning a lot of new stuff simply by having to get on top of the setlist.

For mine, I'm really digging the Carl Perkins stuff. Apart from the ace songs (Matchbox, Boppin' The Blues, Your True Love etc.), he's got this great style where he goes the hack on all those horn-inspired rockabilly chords. Chuck it through a low watt valve amp and it totally cooks!
 

steve13281

Member
Messages
440
Oh yeah, James stuff with Gram and Emmylou is outstanding! I love his banjo roll picking in "Ooh Las Vegas". I love the Ricky Nelson stuff as well. All around great stuff. I picked up a CD James did with steel guitar god (and my personal fav steel guitar picker) Ralph Mooney. Lots of good pickin' on that!
 

Turi

Member
Messages
9,485
Lithsp, hope you don't mind me making a recommendation for education material but I've learned lots of cool licks and tricks from Jason Loughlin's courses on Truefire. He's got a couple rockabilly and country courses that cross over similar material. For the record I have no affiliation with Truefire or mr Laughlon. Also I have a great app on my phone called Anytune that slows down and loops parts while keeping the correct pitch. It is an excellent learning tool. Good luck man!

PS-Brian Setzer has a hotlicks video which you can watch on YouTube which has lots of neat stuff in it. Check it out if you haven't seen it.
Hey cheers mate - yeah I've done all the rockabilly ones on Truefire.
Well, haven't done the 50 rockabilly licks one yet. Really should though.

The Setzer hotlicks one is awesome.
Definitely not for noobs though..
He basically just melts your face and says play whatever you want.

Cool.

I'm in a similar situation to you in that I've just joined an established rockabilly band. I'm not exactly a noob, but, by the same token, I've never exactly sat down and study this stuff in depth before, so I'm learning a lot of new stuff simply by having to get on top of the setlist.

For mine, I'm really digging the Carl Perkins stuff. Apart from the ace songs (Matchbox, Boppin' The Blues, Your True Love etc.), he's got this great style where he goes the hack on all those horn-inspired rockabilly chords. Chuck it through a low watt valve amp and it totally cooks!
Yeah I need to get more into his stuff.
Also this James Burton guy.
 

steve13281

Member
Messages
440
Yeah that Setzer one isn't the best instructional video out there but I managed to pick a few things up watching it and rewatching it a bunch of times. Cherrs man!
 

dhdfoster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,108
I really liked the Setzer Hot Licks video when I saw it years ago. It's kind of a mess as an instructional video, but it's really entertaining. I always wondered if he did a couple shots of whiskey before they rolled the camera.:)
 

Turi

Member
Messages
9,485
Check out Paul Pigat.

*snip*
Yeah man that's a great one, I've got it and done it already but would go back over it again sometime.
Not sure how great it would be for a total beginner though - there's extensive use of the pinky finger in it, the Travis picking section is straight up "too hard" and there's a fair bit to remember for most of the solos.
It's awesome but I'd recommend it for someone slightly more comfortable with playing guitar.. maybe not so much for someone who's new to guitar in general.
There's also a diminished lick that'll trip most people up and the open string solo is pretty tough too since.

I loved it. I'm not new to guitar though and I found some of it pretty tough.
I can play all of what's in that DVD now though! Just not up to speed.

Brilliant DVD but yeah.. maybe not for a beginner..

Big fan of Grady Martin's work with the Trio.
Same here. He's kind of on another level though compared to most of the rockabilly guitarists of that same era.
Not to say he's "better" than everyone else, but he's so freaking precise and his note choices are spot on.
I think that Grady Martin firing off those rapid-fire double stops and laying down some perfect guitar work has a lot to do with why rockabilly is so cool.

I really liked the Setzer Hot Licks video when I saw it years ago. It's kind of a mess as an instructional video, but it's really entertaining. I always wondered if he did a couple shots of whiskey before they rolled the camera.:)
Ha, yeah, it's entertaining for sure! It's worthy of just a casual watch rather than just a "lesson", the guys hilarious.
Setzers playing is the only rockabilly guy who catches my fiances attention - she's done it multiple times, whether its licks I've learnt and play or whether I've just got some music on in the car - I swear she knows it's Setzer, every time.

I was watching the Setzer hotlicks one a couple of days ago, and his intro solo has some incredibly fast section in it - as soon as that bit's done, my fiance goes "that guys just showing off isn't he?" - she hadn't made a comment about any of the other lessons or solos I'd watched during the two or so hours I was doing them. But Setzer plays a solo, always gets her attention.

After he done the solo he sorta puffs his chest out a bit and goes "hu!" - right here she goes "did that guy just make some cocky noise? seriously?" I said "yeah he kinda went hu!" - and she cracked up laughing.

That Setzer DVD is a blast. He must've had something before recording unless he was just cocky and hilarious back then.
I can't keep up with it yet, he's in another universe to where I'm at, great watch though.

I like how he goes through the first solo in G, basically tears you a new one and then he's all "oh yeah I was kinda finger picking and using a pick indiscriminately, you do what works for you" BOOM. Next.

That part right there destroys most guys dreams. He doesn't explain in detail how to palm the pick like he does, he kinda shows you and just say he palms the pick sometimes.
Cool - that's like weeks worth of practice for some guys.

Also "kinda fingerpicking" - yeah this part is also weeks or months or years worth or practice too for some people haha and pretty much all of them would no doubt need to be shown what to do in detail.
"kinda fingerpicking" haha. Lesson in fingerpickin' OVER.
 




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