Mr. Brownstone

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Mr. Brownstone – Guns ‘n’ Roses Preview Guitar Lesson

Lesson Overview

Mr. Brownstone is Guns N’ Roses first single off of their 1987 album “Appetite for Destruction”. This song starts out with percussive and rhythmic dead notes on the lower strings. I really like how this song showcases the percussive aspects of playing the guitar. Usually people just approach the guitar as a melodic instrument, but Slash takes advantage of its percussive qualities and uses 16th dead notes to mimic the role of the tom from a drum set. He then goes into a descending sliding scale on the low string that reverses into an ascending line and breaks into the famous opening lick of Mr. Brownstone. This song makes for a great chance to practice rock guitar playing, with its heavy use of vibrato and pull offs that are iconic to the 80’s rock guitar and Slash’s playing in particular. There’s a lot of subtleties in this song such as grace notes, dead notes, and slides that you really have to pay attention to and include tastefully without overdoing it. Slash used an interesting technique where he would play a power chord, but then play the same chord with only one or two notes, effectively making it sound like two guitars playing one lick. The solo in this song is pretty challenging since you have to keep up with Slash’s style of phrasing, which is all over the bar as opposed to being strictly on the downbeats. There’s also a lot of bending in the licks that will probably take some time to get down, but once you have them under your fingers, you’ll be shredding!

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