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Black: Introduction


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In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to play the great grunge rock ballad "Black" as made famous by Pearl Jam. This song features some great and classic rock guitar playing that we'll break down every note of today. There's the classic intro riff, played with a guitar tone that almost sounds like it's coming through an old FM radio. This guitar keeps playing through the verses and also adds the heavily distorted power chords in the choruses. Up until the solo section this is the part you want to play, if you play this song with just one guitar. But there is also another great guitar part that takes more of a lead approach playing classic Hendrix-style chords, fills and embellishments throughout the verses.

This guitar keeps it's clean tone through the choruses and the more rockin' sections, which makes it extra epic when he finally comes in with a distorted lead tone for the outro solo.

So again, if you play this song with just one guitar, you'd switch to the lead part at the beginning of the solo and play that through the rest of the song. We'll talk about how to get your guitar tones just right for this song, how to interpret and recreate all the “noise” parts during the solo and much more. The song is in 4/4 with a 16th note based groove, and the quarter note equals 77 BPM. So let's get started!