Michael Elsner's Guitar Lessons

Michael Elsner

Michael Elsner has carved out a career as a top session player in television and film in Los Angeles. He specializes in rock and has a slew of rock, acoustic, and metal songs on the site. Michael also has an insightful study into Exotic Scales, a topic that can provide a great way to expand your lead vocabulary.Check it out!

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Fuel image
Bad Day Fuel

In this series of guitar lessons, Michael Elsner will take you through the parts to the song "Bad Day", as made famous by Fuel. We'll examine the tones and chords used, the main rhythm for the verses and choruses, the pre-chorus, and the outro and solo. You'll learn the solo and lead melodies, then play through it all in a performance.

Published: 08/18/2011 Upgrade
L.A. Guns image
Ballad of Jayne L.A. Guns

In this tutorial we'll look at the power ballad "Ballad of Jayne", as made famous by L.A. Guns in the late 1980's. Micheal Elsner (a true "L.A. gun" himself) will take you through the tuning and chords and the intro riff/progression that returns throughout the tune. He'll also look at the pre-chorus and chorus, the rhythm part under the solo, the electric guitar arpeggios, and the distorted guitar part. Michael then gives you the cool country-influenced licks and the solo itself, followed by a full performance.

Published: 03/07/2011 Upgrade
Poison image
Every Rose Has Its Thorn Poison

In this series of lessons, Michael Elsner takes you through the various elements of the classic Poison ballad, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn". You'll learn the chords and tuning, the verse and chorus progressions, the bridge and solo section progressions, the strumming variations, the three solos, and of course a play along with our custom backing track.

Published: 11/13/2010 Upgrade
Maroon 5 image
Harder To Breathe Maroon 5

In this song tutorial, Michael Elsner will give you the details to the song "Harder to Breathe", as made famous by Maroon 5. Michael will tune you in to the chords and tuning,and the funky single note lines in the verses. He'll then show you the chorus and the chords in the bridge section, followed by the guitar solo. As always, we'll put it all together in a final play through performance with a custom backing track!

Published: 03/07/2011 Upgrade
Winger image
Headed For A Heartbreak Winger

In this set of 11 lessons, Michael Elsner guides you through the 80's rocker "Head For A Heartbreak" as made famous by Winger. This big hair tune features some straight-forward power chords, blended with some chords not common to hard rock. You'll learn all the twists and turn here to the chords in the verses, choruses, and bridge; you'll learn the rhythmic elements, and you'll also learn the two solos. The soloing here uses whammy bar and tapping techniques, and is a lot of fun to learn and play!

Published: 01/23/2011 Upgrade
3 Doors Down image
Here Without You 3 Doors Down

This series of lessons will teach you all you need to know about the song "Here Without You", as made famous by 3 Doors Down. Michael Elsner will talk about the chords and tone, then show you the acoustic arpeggiated picking in the verses, choruses, and bridge. He'll also teach the distorted electric guitar that enters later in the song. No solo in this one! The Michael will play the song through, in a play-along performance.

Published: 09/22/2011 Upgrade
Gin Blossoms image
Hey Jealousy Gin Blossoms

In this twelve lesson set, Michael Elsner is going to teach you the melodic alt-rock hit "Hey Jealousy", by the Gin Blossoms. Michael will tune you in to the chords and tones, then pick apart this two guitar tune. We'll look at the verse progression and variations, the intro and outro, and the choruses; then we'll break down the various fills plus look at the guitar solo. To end, we'll play through the whole song in a full performance.

Published: 09/23/2011 Upgrade
Extreme image
Hole Hearted Extreme

In this seven lesson tutorial, Michael Elsner with teach you the song "Hole Hearted", as made famous by Extreme in the 90's. This song is played on acoustic guitar; in the original it's a twelve string but Michael will use a six string for the teaching. He'll take you through the chords and tuning, the intro and verses, the pre-chorus and chorus, then show you the slide guitar part and end it with a full play-through performance.

Published: 04/14/2011 Upgrade
Edwin McCain image
I'll Be Edwin McCain

This is a nine lesson song tutorial, where you'll learn "I'll Be" as made famous by Edwin McCain. We'll examine the chords and tones, the acoustic progression, the chorus and bridge, the clean electric parts, the distorted part plus an eBow part. After all that, we'll play the song all the way through.

Published: 04/14/2011 Upgrade
Dream Theater image
Pull Me Under Dream Theater

In these 20 lessons, Michael Elsner will dig up all the details for the prog rock song "Pull Me Under", recorded and performed by Dream Theater. Michael will talk about the chords you need to know, the three verse variations, the various pre-chorus and chorus elements, the progression under the keyboard solo, the guitar solo, the extra parts in the song, the song outro, then some final thoughts. Then it's time to play it through!

Published: 11/14/2011 Upgrade
Everclear image
Santa Monica Everclear

In this series of lessons, Michael Elsner will teach you the alt-rock song "Santa Monica", as made famous by Everclear. Michael lays out the tones and the chords for you, then the intro and verse elements, the chorus and outro, the licks scattered throughout the tune, then plays it in its entirety in a play along performance. Lastly, you'll jam along by yourself with the backing track.

Published: 05/10/2011 Upgrade
Cinderella image
Shake Me Cinderella

In this set of lessons, Michael Elsner will give you the low-down on the 80s hard rocker "Shake Me" as made famous by Cinderella. Michael will take you through the basic tones; the chord progressions in the verses, choruses, bridge, and underneath the solos; what the three guitars are playing in the breakdown; the short lick in the turnaround; then all three solos that occur in the song. As always, you can play along with a full performance with our custom backing track!

Published: 02/18/2011 Upgrade
Poison image
Talk Dirty To Me Poison

In this set of 10 guitar lessons you'll learn all the parts to "Talk Dirty To Me" as made famous by Poison in the late 1980's. Our hard rock master Michael Elsner will teach you all of C.C. Deville's playing here: the chords you need to know to play the song and the chord progressions in the song sections; the palm muting technique and rhythmic concepts; the variations that occur; the overdubs; and of course the soloing! Once you get it all under your fingers you can play along in a full performance.

Published: 02/07/2011 Upgrade
Oleander image
Why I'm Here Oleander

In this song tutorial, Michael Elsner will teach you the post-grunge song "Why I'm Here", as made famous by Oleander. We'll look at the chords used and the unusual tuning, the main verse riff of the song, and the heavy distorted chorus. The we'll learn the rhythm parts that occur under the solo, the intro and turnaround lead melodies, and the guitar solo itself. We'll top it all off with a full performance play along.

Published: 03/17/2011 Upgrade

Scale Studies

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Michael Elsner
Exotic Scales

Knowing your way around some exotic scales has the power to open up a whole new world of melodies and ideas that you can add to your compositions. The use of exotic scales can also add that extra melodic flair to a well crafted solo. Michael Elsner takes you through five different exotic scales, explaining what they are and how to use them. He plays some examples over custom backing tracks to give you a "real time" feel of using the scale.

Published: 09/23/2010 Upgrade