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Don't Look Back: Introduction

 

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Don't Look Back

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What's up? It's Mike from Guitar Tricks, teaching you "Don't Look Back" as made famous by Boston. This is an epic classic rock anthem with all the essential ingredients: soaring vocal melodies, and guitars layered into a powerful arrangement with crunching rhythm riffs, clean arpeggiations, and screaming harmony leads.

There are 5 guitar layers in this tutorial. The tune starts out with a crunch guitar, setting the tone with an iconic riff. This guitar layer provides the foundation of the song with a combination of riffs and chord progressions. There's also a clean guitar layer that provides some sweet sounding arpeggiated lines throughout. There are also three lead guitar layers that play memorable melodies and harmonies, as well as searing classic rock licks. All of these guitars layers create a rich tapestry of sound that became an industry standard of how to multi-layer guitars in the studio.

The opening riff is iconic and a great way to start a tune by setting the mood using a simple chord progression in a rock style. It imparts forward momentum and excitement from the get go! This riff is also played throughout the verse sections. The prechorus features a clean guitar arpeggiating a simple chord progression that leads to an explosion of crunching power chords and slide guitar licks. The chorus builds the arrangement with a powerful chord progression and lead guitars providing memorable melodies and harmonized licks. The bridge brings down the dynamic with some moody progressions and arpeggiations, building to the climax of the guitar solo. The final chorus builds to another climax with harmonized guitars, and the outro grooves on the verse riff while the lead guitar pops off some blistering licks!
This song goes through a number of dynamic changes from very quiet and serene, to loud, wide open rocking out. By digging into all these parts, you'll learn how to build the dramatic story arc of a pop-rock song.

For the single guitar performance of this song, you'll switch between crunch, clean, and lead tones to play all the riffs, solos, and melodies throughout the tune.

In the following lessons, we'll talk about triad inversions, power chords, chord arpeggiation, guitar layering, dynamics, classic rock licks, and harmonized leads. We are in the key of A major, with a 4/4 time signature, at a tempo of 122 BPM.