Since I started Six String Recess I've struggled with being able to share with you the things I really want to teach. The question that started this whole enterprise was “wouldn’t it be cool if I could share how much I know about playing the Van Halen catalog?” But copyright and licensing being what they are, I can't just show you how to play Hot for Teacher without a license from the publisher, and these are difficult (and expensive) to acquire. I’m really proud of the two premium lessons I’ve produced so far, but they didn’t quite nail the core stuff I really wanted to get into about seriously rocking the guitar.
Then one day I was noodling around with this riff that that had a real nice classic VH sound to it. About twenty minutes later I had a few other parts worked out and had 90% of a song. “Cute” I thought to myself, but now what do I do with it? So it sat on the back burner for awhile, but I couldn’t get the song out of my head. It was such a prototypical Van Halen-sounding song that I couldn’t imagine putting it on an EP.
Then I started thinking about how to turn it into a vehicle for teaching. I thought to myself, “what if you could pack this song so full of Van Halen-isms that it became the perfect way to learn some of Eddie's style?” Once I hit on that idea I hit the ground running. I fleshed out the rest of the song, worked out various transitions (particularly key changes), some very Eddie-like fills and of course, a top-notch EVH solo.
The final result is a new premium lesson titled Class Dismissed! It focuses on the signature Van Halen “power shuffle” style inspired by songs like Hot for Teacher, I’m the One, The Full Bug, Ice Cream Man and a whole bunch more.
This lesson covers a ton of great stuff in detail:
- Van Halen style song arrangement and structure
- Managing the fast tempo
- Learning the secrets of Eddie's killer (and vastly underrated) rhythm playing
- Mastering the “swing” feel of these tunes
- Classic EVH fills and learning where he will and won't put them in a song
- A signature EVH face-melter of a solo
This project has been a massive effort, but it’s been so fun to out this together. If you’re a Van Halen fan and a guitarist who wants to learn more about King Edward’s style, I have the perfect lesson for you!
The “backbone” of the lesson will be the HD video that shows how to play each and every note of the tune. You’ll also get full standard and tablature notation of the song as well as a lesson PDF that’s chock full of extra juicy tidbits like performance notes and practice tips. The lesson will also include full backing tracks to playing along with in both standard and ½-step flat tuning .
Class Dismissed! will be out later this summer. Stay tuned for details! For now, here’s a little teaser: