Get rid of those rock cliches by cutting your hair, dressing conservatively, picking some 12-string arpeggios, and letting those open strings ring!



  • Arpeggiate the uncommon chord
  • Work open strings into your hooks and melodies
  • Find the right tone for your college-rock experience
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College rock started as a generic term meant to cover the bands or genres that were neglected by mainstream radio in the 1980s—bands like Hüsker Dü (punk), Bauhaus (goth), P.I.L. (post-punk), Violent Femmes (folk-punk), and countless other nonconformists—but who dominated college radio. Eventually, and ironically, the term came to define a genre of its own. In this lesson, we’ll highlight a few of college rock’s guitar hallmarks, explain the theory behind the harmony, and point out the necessities of tone.

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