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Free Jam Tracks - Brought to you by Nick Cresswell
Time/size: 4 mins 22 secs/6.2mb. 140 beats per minute/bpm
Punk backing track: A no frills 80s punk style backing track.
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, fretless bass and drums.
Progression: Rotten Punk uses four power chords. Power chords use the Root, 5th and Octave (i.e. the root again, just one octave higher) of the chord.
The progression is: D5, G5, D5, C5, A5, D5, A5.
Chords: The guitar tab for the power chords is shown below. Notice that the shape of the chords is the same for each chord. You are just moving the chord around the neck. In saying this, I have just effectively told you how to play pretty much every Nirvana and Green Day song ever written. In fact, if Green Day had a 'formula' - then this is definitely it.
Note: there ain't nothin' wrong with having a formula. If you worked out a way to hit a home run every time you stepped up to the plate you wouldn't change anything. If you couldn't work out how to hit home runs, then you might decide to go back to playing for The Bulls!
I want to be like Mike. Did you ever see the game where...
Suggestions: Well, you could start off by playing around with a D minor pentatonic scale over all four chords. Although this doesn't fit the chord structure perfectly/that easily. Mainly because of the C5 chord that's being played. Experiment with the C Major Pentatonic scale over the C5 chord and see what you come up with.
Bass Players: The bass in this backing tracks is following the root notes of the chords very closely. See if you can come up with some more melodic bass lines. Start with the Root and the 5th notes of each chord and try working in the b7th (flat 7th), the 3rd and maybe even the 2nd and 6th. Keep in mind though that you want the rhythm to keep pumping.
Drummers: Make sure the rhythm is tight with the bass player but use all of your drums. Especially your floor tom and bass drum instead of just playing a straight beat like you can hear in the guitar backing track.
Below is the guitar tab for the D minor pentatonic and C Major pentatonic scales.
The above just a basic frame work so you can start improvising over the chords. You should try everything you can think of. This includes ignoring the guitar tab and scales that you know and just playing around with notes on your guitar; anywhere on your guitar. Use your ears to do some exploring. That's where you'll find you have some of the best fun and get the most creative. You don't have to 'know' what you are doing to be doing something right; especially when it comes to playing punk music.
As always, have fun!