Learn Black Grease, by The Black Angels, on Guitar
This blog post is an easy guitar lesson for all beginners on how to play Black Grease by The Black Angels on guitar.
Black Grease Gets a 0/10 Difficulty Rating
The guitarist is (basically) playing one chord throughout this entire song: The G chord. It sounds coolest if you play it on electric guitar, though if you only had an acoustic guitar that'd work just fine. This tutorial is a pretty close arrangement of the song; In other words, what you'll learn in this tutorial will sound super close to the real thing.
What skills are required?
Though this tutorial is appropriate for you if you have little to no experience with guitar, you do need to know how to tune your guitar to successfully play it.
What are the benefits to learning Black Grease?
There are two great benefits to learning this song: Learning the G chord and guitar strumming patterns.
The G chord is one of the big seven guitar chords (the guitar chords that can give you access to millions of songs, no joke). Guitar strumming patterns are widely used in popular rhythm guitar songs.
Recommended: Download the song
This tutorial is based off of the recorded version of Black Grease. I strongly recommend downloading a MP3 copy of this song for yourself. Doing so also helps you support great bands that create great, independent music:
Getting familiar with the song
I am constantly surprised how much faster students learn songs when they are truly in-the-know about them. The more familiar we are with the tune, the faster we learn. Try listening to the song a bunch of times before doing the rest of this tutorial. It'll help, I promise.
Learn the guitar part
Guitar part overview
As I mentioned, this arrangement of the song has only one chord and one strumming pattern. As long as you can play this one chord and can strum this one strumming pattern, you're set to play this song. Easy!
The G chord
Good news! The only chord you need to know is G major:
The strumming pattern
The strumming pattern looks like this:
Put it all together
If you can play the strumming pattern and the chord along with the song, you've got it! Congratulations!
"My G chord sounds terrible!!!"
There are trillions of ways you could play a G chord. Okay, well, not trillions, but quite a few. For those of you who are in the know about G chords, you probably can guess that the chord I'm showing in this post is a little... out there. I believe that the G chord that requires just two fingers is the best one for both sound and ease of playability, especially for beginners.
Here's some tips on how to make the G chord sound awesome:
- Mute the A string (the string second closest to the ceiling) with your middle finger. This is by design. Do it! It'll work.
- Try not to be on your fingertips with your middle finger. This will mute the A string.
- Try to be as close to the frets as you can. You will get a clearer sound.
- Rely heavily on the open strings for this chord. Even if the notes you're playing with your middle and ring fingers don't sound too stellar, that's okay. You're still playing a G chord with the open strings (believe it or not).
"The strumming is hard and I can't play along with the song."
Play the strumming pattern at three tempos. Playing at slower and faster tempos gets you ready for playing the real thing.
"I can't hear the song!"
Turn the volume of the song up slightly louder than your guitar and use headphones. The most decrepit pair of headphones is far better than most computer speakers.
"When is it time for me to move onto a new song?"
Here's a thought for you: When you can play along with the recorded version of this song from start to finish without a single thought entering your mind, you're ready for a new song.