We have reached the midway point of Sussex Rocks Summer School and students have begun to hone their playing and performance skills in readiness for Friday’s gig.
The morning session started with some ‘Riff-Off’ practice. Students played ‘guess the riff’ game; whereby each student performs a chosen riff and the group has to guess the song name; the band name; and the guitarist who wrote/played the riff. It’s a fun game – try it!
Intro Riff: ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ by U2
The Edge is renowned for his relative simplistic approach to guitar playing and creative use of delay effects that have sculpted U2’s sound for the past 30 years. Here he uses a twin delay of 120ms and 360ms to build a lush texture using a ‘D’ chord arpeggio over D, G, Bm and A chords.
During the late-morning and afternoon sessions the group rehearsed their songs in bands. Songs included: ‘Time Is Running Out’ by Muse, ‘Hey Stoopid’ by Alice Cooper, and a short medley of classic rock riffs!
PHILL’S BIT – Day 3
Day 3 saw the drummers start with a series of warm ups and composition exercises. One of the more popular ideas was that of saying what they had for breakfast and then playing the rhythmic pattern of those words on the drum kit. For example “I had sausage roll” translates as 1&a 2 + 3
We also started splitting into bands and learning the group songs that will be played on Friday at the end of week concert. There is still loads to learn but they are making great progress and having loads of fun.
Day 2 of Sussex Rocks at Cavendish School continued in fine form as students tightened up their performances of their chosen rock tracks ahead of the performance on Tuesday 8th April at 2pm inside The Little Theater.
Students spent the day rehearsing with head tutor Richard Perkins and were joined by drum tutor Phil Drew to help out resident drummer, Red.
In the morning session students learned how to play Bon Jovi’s 1986 mega hit ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’. TRIVIA: The original 45 vinyl single sold 800,000 copies, and in 2013 the song had achieved 3 million digital downloads (certified Triple Platinum).
Intro Riff: ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ by Bon Jovi
The opening riff begins with a driving bass groove that is supported synth strings and Richie Sambora’s catchy Talk Box guitar effect. The unique ‘meow’ vowel effect is synonymous with the 80s guitar sound and has been used by guitar players such as Peter Frampton and Slash, as well as Brian May and Dave Grohl.
During the afternoon session the South East rockers rehearsed their songs for tomorrows rock performance. In addition to Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ students also learned to play ‘Metal Guru’ by Marc Bolan’s T Rex.
Day 1 of the half-term Sussex Rocks course at Cavendish School (The Little Theater) began with a group discussion about which songs to perform at the student concert on the afternoon of Tuesday 8th April.
Many songs were recommended, including; Black Country Communion, Def Leppard and Guns N’ Roses.
We started the day with the mighty Status Quo song ‘Caroline’, which was released in 1973, and was featured on Quo’s ‘Hello!’ album.
Intro Riff: ‘Caroline’ by Status Quo
The main rhythm motif used by Status Quo in many of their hit songs is based around a repeating blues riff that uses F5, F6 and F7 chords. ‘Caroline’ is played in the key of F and built around three chords: F, Bb and C. The song has two main sections; Verse (12 bars) and Chorus (8 bars).
After lunch the group learned to play Joan Jett & the Blackheart’s 1982 cover version of ‘I Love Rock N Roll’, which was originally written and performed by Arrows in 1975.
Other songs covered on Day 1 include; ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana, and “Whole Lotta Love’ by Led Zeppelin.