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#1
The Laws of Germany ~ 10 rules of punk guitar.

1. Gain is ****ing ****e. Forget about it. Remember, you?re playing trash and NOT thrash. An authentic punk sound is reached by use of volume and a lot of mids rather than gain, bass and treble on 10 and the mids set low, because we?re not looking for a saturated sound, we?re looking for a thick wall of fuzz that sounds best loud.

2. Keep it interesting. Punk and its subgenres is the busiest genre. That means interesting lines. It?s rock and roll sped up and dirtied up. This makes it easy because all the interesting things you do are compressed together due to the tempo. When you?re manically switching between lead and rhythm at superhuman speed, a la east bay ray, you?re on the right lines. That, my friends, is by far the best thing about said guitar player.

3. Play chords. Whilst power ?chords? are all in good fun, when you play a half hour set, entirely in power chords, it?s going to be a bit repetitive. That?s not maximising your ability, you don?t even have to be technically good, but get creative. Don?t worry about what you can?t do, worry bout what you can. It?s better to blind those people who told you ?you would fail and amount to nothing,? with awesome ability, rather than the more conventional pint glass round the face. Remember, in this day and age, Ramones chords ain?t gonna cut it.

4. Create dissonance. Be dark and a bit scary. Unless you take that idea in the complete opposite direction and do circus tunes, that?d be more scary. But you know what I mean, right?

5. Effects. Unless you can get it right, forget about phase, which is a sci fi thing, and leave wah to Bootsy Collins and the funk genre. Ad a bit of delay to create a professional sheen, and thicken and darken the sound. Unlike many misusers, however, do not drown you sound with it.

6. Do it on one guitar. Real punks don?t need gtr#2 coz they?re good enough and loud enough by themselves. One guitar will draw more attention to the individual instruments better. However, there are exceptions to this rule. IF you use two, make sure the guitar lines aren?t the same, or anywhere near the same, it?s ****ing boring and unimaginative.

7. Licks and fills. The only thing I will say about this is to check out the dolls? personality crisis. This, is how it is done. Also check out police truck, that?s a good starting point.

8. Solos. Not too long, interesting, no tapping and ****, remember? The dictators are great, but Ross Friedman?s solos are bit a bit overboard, despite being very ahead of their time. Minor pentatonic and major and minor diatonic all work well, take glam punk (Pistols / Dolls) advice and look at chuck berry. The guy?s a genius.


The solo can also be used to create cultural identity. Check out a live version of Cocksparrer?s England belongs to me. The studio solo has been adapted into the melody of ?land of hope and glory?, which makes it sound VERY british. It also is good for the audience, because they?ll subconsciously know the tune, so it?s good for getting a vibe with the crowd. This should be a separate point, but sound like where you come from. There?s nothing worse than an English punk band with whiny American vocals, is there? Why doesn?t the lead singer just use his Oxbridge rich boy posh voice, hmm?

9. Like any genre, you won?t get it until you develop the natural groove and feel, it?s basic, but you?d be surprised how many people I?ve met haven?t done this.

10. The most important rule of punk guitar is: don?t lose it all to drugs.

Discuss.

EDIT: Ignore posts 3 and 4, coz they were written by the retarded.
Last edited by BrianApocalypse at Sep 4, 2006,
#3
Can we now say punk is dead? I mean come on, people are now making "rules" on how to be punk...face it, its dead.
Experience is something you don?t have, until just after you need it.
#4
Quote by BrianApocalypse
Remember, in this day and age, Ramones chords ain?t gonna cut it.


I disagree. Matter of fact, I long for Ramones chords, and actively encourage their use. But then, I'm a bass player, and can't think of any punk pairing that worked quite so well as Dee Dee and Johnny.

Main thing for punk guitarists to remember, from a punk bassist's perspective, is that you're there to serve the track - this isn't metal, your rhythm section isn't just there to keep the song from descending into a formless mess whilst you indulge yourself with a solo. There shouldn't be a solo in a punk record, quite simply. Play to the rhythm, keep with your drummer and bassist, and all will be fine.
Have a nice day
#5
Quote by cheeksar
Can we now say punk is dead? I mean come on, people are now making "rules" on how to be punk...face it, its dead.


**** off.
#6
Quote by cheeksar
Can we now say punk is dead? I mean come on, people are now making "rules" on how to be punk...face it, its dead.


In the mainstream, yeah, punk pretty much died with The Germs splitting up. Dig a little deeper, however, and you'll find some damn good punk bands playing at local gigs...
Have a nice day
#7
Quote by BrianApocalypse
The Laws of Germany ~ 10 rules of punk guitar.

1. Gain is ****ing ****e. Forget about it. Remember, you?re playing trash and NOT thrash. An authentic punk sound is reached by use of volume and a lot of mids rather than gain, bass and treble on 10 and the mids set low, because we?re not looking for a saturated sound, we?re looking for a thick wall of fuzz that sounds best loud.


Damn straight. I keep my Bass and Treble at 5, my gain at 2 and my mids cranked all the way.
#8
Quote by pinheadslts75
Damn straight. I keep my Bass and Treble at 5, my gain at 2 and my mids cranked all the way.


Pretty much my settings actually. I have my mids all the way, bass just under half and treble just above half. I do have my gain about halfway most the time though - but that's cos my amp is too loud to crank it for distortion.
Super Leeds and Classy Cas!
#10
Woohoo, you did it at last! Brian could you give us about ten chords maybe even just 5 that are interesting?
#11
If people had stuck to these rules, punk would not have died.

Yes, there should be a ****ing solo. Shut up.

---------------

Some chords:

I?m sorry if the names are wrong. The theory might be off, 
but who cares. In the right hands these chords are great.

------------------7---------------------
----5-------8-----7--------15------4----
----5-------9-----8--------14------4----
----4-------8-----7--------14------5----
----5-------7-----9-(11)---12------6----
------------------7---------------------
    C9     Emb5  B7w/ext.  Amaj+   Mystery Chord (B?)?


Notes:

Emb5 - the ?lociran note?

The B7 has a chord extension, which I understand to be a minor 7th.

The Amaj+ (sharp 3rd) might be an Aadd9 or something

I don?t even know the mystery chord?s name, I think it?s a B? though.

How to use:

C9 - we?re in rockabilly territory. It?s good for chord substitution

Emb5 - dark and dissonant, overtly sexual as well. use as a passing tone between the major and minor chord, for example the C# in teenage kicks by the underdrones.

B7w/extension - rock and roll chord, a bit rockabilly too. You get power chords with these too, but if the 7th fits, it?ll add more definition.

Amaj+ - East bay ray uses this on Kill the Poor (pre-solo) and the intro to Moon over Marin. It?s a great way to play D then A because it?s got more flavour and character. Oh yeah, plus your pinky does all the work, which is nothing. Play this chord, then remove your pinky. Job well done.

Mystery Chord - used by James Cotton in ?Stormy Monday?, this is a blues chord that adapts well to punk. Who are the mystery chords?

I dunno some of the chord names coz I went to some blues guitar thing and the guy didn't say what the chords were called.

Yeah, I'll see if I can come up with more.
Last edited by BrianApocalypse at Sep 4, 2006,
#14
Quote by ss311
how do you play mystery chord:p


It's really cool to play it in like an arpeggio, because it's like a revelation in music terms.
Last edited by BrianApocalypse at Sep 4, 2006,
#15
thanks a lot sir, well done you should submit this to a lesson on punk
#16
I agree with all of these "rules". I think everyone should listen to more Bent Outta Shape to see the majority of these rules done right.

Also, to the kid who said the guitar is the center of punk rock... I disagree, I think the cool thing about punk rock is not one instrument stands out from another and it's really equality in music.
HELP ME I'M TRAPPED IN A HUMAN BODY!
#19
Quote by BrianApocalypse
EDIT: Ignore posts 3 and 4, coz they were written by the retarded.


Gosh. I have a different opinion to you. I must be retarded! Prat...

Quote by whyvern
Also, to the kid who said the guitar is the center of punk rock... I disagree, I think the cool thing about punk rock is not one instrument stands out from another and it's really equality in music.


See, I follow this guy's logic - not one instrument should stand out. Solos are self-indulgent, and step outside the song. They work in other genres, but not in punk. In punk, you're there to play the song, not to say "OMGZ look how individual my solo is!!!!11!eleventy!!"...
Have a nice day
#20
You have testicles instead of a brain. Listen to early punk like the Dolls, thunders or the pistols and a bunch of others I can't think of at present due to it being early in the morning. Punk used rock n roll solos dirtierd up. Just feck off.

And in Punk all the instruments are given level playing fields, but remember, guitar solos in punk are anarchinc and quick, no indulgence.

Listen to some punk first.
#21
Quote by Thy Brad
I disagree. Matter of fact, I long for Ramones chords, and actively encourage their use. But then, I'm a bass player, and can't think of any punk pairing that worked quite so well as Dee Dee and Johnny.

Main thing for punk guitarists to remember, from a punk bassist's perspective, is that you're there to serve the track - this isn't metal, your rhythm section isn't just there to keep the song from descending into a formless mess whilst you indulge yourself with a solo. There shouldn't be a solo in a punk record, quite simply. Play to the rhythm, keep with your drummer and bassist, and all will be fine.



Ramones chords these days are boring if they are the only thing in a song.
Brian isn't saying stop them completely, but use in moderation.
#22
God... am I not allowed to have my own opinion on the subject? All I've gotten for it so far is abuse...

Personally, I'm not a fan of guitar solos in punk records. I think they detract from the music. There's probably a lot of the bassist in me speaking here, but that's my opinion - punk should be very simple, very dirty, and, preferably, very fast. Putting in a solo puts a bit of a sheen on it, overcomplicates matters, and needlessly increases the length of the song. I don't object to it in other genres, but I like my punk pure...
Have a nice day
#23
Dude, it isn't a solo as such it's a piece of music epitomizing the anger and sloppiness of it all and taking the mick of the long ones.

If you don't like solos, you hate a lot of punk bands. The Dead Kennedys is another band with solos.
#24
Oh and bassists and drummers and even singers can have solos in punk.
#25
Quote by ss311
If you don't like solos, you hate a lot of punk bands.


That's generalising a bit, isn't it? Seeing as you used Dead Kennedys as an example - yeah, they do use quite a few solos. I happen to prefer stuff like Ill In The Head, When Ya Get Drafted and Funland At The Beach to Holiday In Cambodia, California Uber Alles etc. I can appreciate where people are coming from with the solos, they're just not my cup of tea. I'd much rather they weren't there, personally, but I don't find them unlistenable, which appears to be the impression you have.

Tis probably why Ramones are my favourite band - love the style there. Just a quick "1234!", then blaze through the track without stopping for a solo. All done in less than two minutes. Wonderful way to go about things. The few times they did stop for a solo, it followed the logic you guys are applying. As I say, I don't much care for them, but I don't refuse to listen to them either...
Have a nice day
#26
I get why you like the simplicty of the Ramones, I'm not a morning person I guess. However, it just seems ridiculous that you'd like all punk punk to sound the same like that. The first punk bands had solos and even the ramones do in latter work particularly.
#27
Like I say, I'm not overly keen. If a band wants to put a solo in, more power to them. I can't really change that. Just happens you'll never hear me write a punk song with a solo in it...
Have a nice day
#28
Can you make interesting punk songs though? I'm not saying you can't, but it certainly helps in one or two songs.
#29
Depends on your taste, really. I find what I write to be interesting because it's so simple, yet it still makes people go nuts when we play it. I'm more interested in how it sounds than how difficult it is to play, to be honest. But hey, one man's JD is another man's poison...
Have a nice day
#30
That's the beauty though, a simple solo we can actually learn!
#31
Meh. Agree to disagree, and all that jazz....
Have a nice day
#33
Quote by RockThe40oz
It's meant to be facetious, tard.



I doubt he knows what facetious means.
#34
Quote by RockThe40oz
It's meant to be facetious, tard.


Isn?t an insult at the end of that sentence rather pointless?
Experience is something you don?t have, until just after you need it.
#36
^ A slightly crunchy James Cotton tone that is neither too bassy or trebly.

It can be a bastard to play low gain overdrive when practicing depending on your rig because without the volume you won't get the sound, so what I do is practice with a 70's marshall amp, which is a bit more crunchy without being saturated, and when it's time to play louder, switch to my trusty Vox AC15.

That way, you'll always have those classic tones.
#37
I usually can't play loud enough in my house to get the good sound with low gain, but i can switch to less drive, then turn the gain to about 7, which gives me a good 70's dolls, stooges type sound.
Jizz is where it is
#40
Quote by BrianApocalypse
^ A slightly crunchy James Cotton tone that is neither too bassy or trebly.

It can be a bastard to play low gain overdrive when practicing depending on your rig because without the volume you won't get the sound, so what I do is practice with a 70's marshall amp, which is a bit more crunchy without being saturated, and when it's time to play louder, switch to my trusty Vox AC15.

That way, you'll always have those classic tones.


Got my punk tone pretty much down now, but what would you suggest for getting a 'heavier' Black Flag-type sound from a single-coil guitar? The single note lines just sound a bit weedy at the minute, unless I jack the gain way up.

Cheers.
Super Leeds and Classy Cas!
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