Want to learn to play guitar like John Mayer?

Check out this John Mayer Player Study course, and you’ll be slinging guitar like the “Gravity” songwriter in no time! 


Mayer was born in Connecticut in 1977 to a high school principal father and an English teacher mother. Young John Mayer became infatuated with the guitar after watching Marty McFly’s performance in Back to The Future. Mayer’s father rented a guitar for him to play when he turned 13, and a Stevie Ray Vaughan cassette tape gifted to him by a neighbor helped Mayer develop his affection for the blues.

 Mayer took guitar lessons from a guitar shop owner in his Bridgeport, Connecticut hometown. His preoccupation with the instrument concerned his parents so much that they took him to see a psychiatrist, who assured them he was fine. 

Mayer briefly attended the Berklee College of Music before dropping out after two semesters and moving to Atlanta with a college friend to form the duo LoFi Masters. They played in clubs and coffee houses in Atlanta, parting ways as Mayer wanted to pursue pop music. Mayer recorded an independent EP, Inside Wants Out, in 1999. 

Mayer’s fledgling career benefited from the growing online music market at the time – he was able to benefit from an online following. A lawyer acquaintance sent Aware Records Mayer’s EP, and the label later released his internet-only album, No Room For Squares. Columbia Records later remixed and re-released the album, which spawned radio hits like “Your Body is a Wonderland”, “No Such Thing”, and “Why, Georgia”. 


“Crossroads Festival 2010 – John Mayer” by aaronHwarren is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.





Mayer’s blues influence is evident in his guitar playing, which features a distinctive sound. He utilizes a mix of fingerpicking and flatpicking to incorporate percussive elements. Mayer is a guitar collector and has over 200 guitars






Dead and Company 

Mayer has been touring with Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart since 2015 as Dead & Company. He developed a strong interest in The Grateful Dead’s music in 2011 after hearing their song “Althea” on Pandora. He played the song with Weir on the Late Late Show, impressing Weir enough to bring him on. 


Getting the band back together! Five bands that reunited after breaking up

Unfortunately, band breakups happen – and they can get ugly, especially when money and fame are involved! Here are some bands that thrilled fans by getting back together after their breakups. 


Guns ‘N Roses 

Hard rock band Guns ‘N Roses saw meteoric success in the late 1980s and early 1990s with songs like “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, and “Paradise City”.  The band went through several lineup changes, including founding drummer Steven Adler leaving in 1990 and founding guitarist Izzy Stradlin leaving in 1991. Tensions rose while trying to create a new original album after the 1994 covers album “The Spaghetti Incident”. Guitarist Slash left in 1996, followed by bassist Duff McKagan in 1997. Lead singer Axl Rose was the only remaining member when the act resurfaced in 2001. However, in 2016, Slash and McKagan came back in 2016 for a hugely popular (and ongoing) reunion tour. 


The Police 

British New Wave band The Police were at the top of their careers with songs like “Message in a Bottle”, “Roxanne”, and “Every Breath You Take” when they disbanded in 1984. Creative differences – and age differences – contributed to strife within the band, and all three members embarked on solo careers following the breakup. In 2007, the band reunited for a 30th anniversary tour (briefly). When the tour ended in 2008, The Police once again disbanded – as the world’s highest-paid musicians of that year. 


The Eagles 

The Eagles had a huge hit with their 1976 album Hotel California, but tensions were high as they recorded their followup, In the Long Run. That tension between guitarist/vocalist Glenn Frey and guitarist Don Felder bubbled over during a 1980 fundraiser concert for a U.S. Senator. Frey felt that Felder had insulted the senator under his breath, and confronted him about it – and that he felt the par would get into a physical altercation following the show. The group separated after that night. The band had a reunion in 1994 for their Hell Freezes Over tour. 



Possibly the biggest pop-punk bands of all time, Blink-182 has had a few lineup changes but is best known for being a trio: drummer Travis Barker, bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus and vocalist/guitarist Tom DeLonge. The group had era-defining hits in the late 1990s/early 2000s, including “All the Small Things” and “What’s My Age Again”. However, they broke up in 2005 following arguments about recording and the direction of the band. In 2008, Barker survived a plane crash that killed four people, leading to the trio reuniting and starting the conversation about getting back together. The band reunited in 2009 and toured until 2014, when DeLonge quit. He was replaced by Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba for several tours and albums, including 2016’s California. Hoppus announced in 2021 that he was diagnosed with cancer, and the band announced DeLonge’s return in 2022. 


Led Zeppelin 

“Jimmy Page with Robert Plant 2 – Led Zeppelin – 1977” by Jim Summaria, http://www.jimsummariaphoto.com/ is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

After drummer John Bonham’s tragic 1980 death at age 32, Led Zeppelin disbanded, and lead singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, and bassist John Paul Jones went their separate ways. In 2007, the group reunited for one night only – with Bonham’s son Jason on drums. The group played the O2 Arena in London. Although the show generated plenty of buzz about a new tour or record, it never happened. 


Review: Pentatonic Protocols guitar course by Robbie Calvo

We reviewed Robbie Calvo’s “Pentatonic Protocols 1” guitar course.

A professional guitarist and musician for over a decade,  Calvo teaches you his unique soloing strategies through this course. These intentional, defined approaches can be applied to all five Pentatonic scale shapes – no matter what genre you’re playing.

Read more about Calvo here.

Check out the review here:


More songs you can play with only three chords

Even with a basic grasp of guitar chords, you have a lot of songs at your fingertips. Here are some songs that only need three chords to play. 


What’s Up – 4 Non Blondes

Chords used: G, Am, C

This ‘90s anthem is a great song to break out at parties, and with a simple strumming pattern, it’s easy to play.

Evil Ways – Santana

Chords used: C, Gm, D

While playing Carlos Santana’s lead part on this 1970 hit might take some practice, the riff is made up of just three chords.

Englishman in New York – Sting

Chords used: Em, A, Bm


Born This Way – Lady Gaga

Chords used: E, D, A. 

You’ll need a capo on Fret 2 to play this pop song in the key of the recording. 

Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan 

Chords used: C, F, G.

One of the best-known folk songs of all time, “Blowin’ in the Wind” can be played with only three chords. You can also play this song with a capo on the 7th fret and G, C, D. 


Learn these Bob Dylan songs with Fret Zealot

Bob Dylan songs are an essential part of any guitar player’s songbook. As one of the most prolific songwriters of the past 60 years, Dylan has not only penned many classic hits for himself – many of his songs have been famously covered by other artists. 


Check out these Bob Dylan lessons available with Fret Zealot. 

Blowin’ in the Wind

One of Dylan’s best-known songs, “Blowin’ in the Wind” didn’t even chart when it was initially released – but it became one of the signature tracks of the 1960s and cultural revolution taking place among young people, including the protest against the Vietnam War. 

Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

The melody for this song is from the traditional song “Who’s Gonna Buy Your Chickens When I’m Gone?” which is in the public domain. The song was taught to Dylan by fellow folk singer Paul Clayton, who used the tune in his song “Who’s Gonna Buy You Ribbons When I’m Gone?” 


Forever Young

“Forever Young” has been covered by Joan Baez, The Band, The Pretenders, Pete Seeger, Blake Shelton, and Eddie Vedder, to name a few famous covers.

Walkin’ Down The Line

This 1962 song has been covered many times – including by Arlo Guthrie at Woodstock.

All Along the Watchtower

“All Along the Watchtower” is actually a Bob Dylan song, but Hendrix’s 1968 version is so iconic that it influenced the way Dylan performs his own song, to the extent that they’ve been called “covers of a cover”.

Make You Feel My Love

“Make You Feel My Love” was released by Bob Dylan in 1997, and it has been covered by more than 450 artists, including Adele – making it a modern standard. 



Six reasons you should go check out a local show

Need plans for this weekend? Here are six reasons to check out a local show!

  1. You might discover your new favorite band. 

Some show lineups include multiple local bands, usually in a similar genre or with a similar vibe. If you’re attending to see a specific band, make sure to get there for the opening band and stay for the full lineup – you might find a new local band to love! 


        2. You actually get to talk with the artists. 

Unlike most big arena bands, the musicians from local shows will be hanging out in the crowd (or at the merch table) after their set! If you have a question about the inspiration behind a song, their gear, or other stuff, they’re likely going to be eager to talk to you. 


         3. It will inspire you to play more 

Watching other musicians play guitar is a great way to motivate yourself to practice – and maybe even write some new music! Remember that Fret Zealot has nearly 4,000 video lessons for all genres.


       4. Your money goes further 

A ticket to a local show is much cheaper than going to see a big artist – plus, the money is going to the bands and the venue, not to the ticket sales company. And don’t forget about merch – buying a T-shirt from a local band is cheaper than buying one from an arena band, but that money directly helps with recording, touring, gear, etc. 


      5. You’ll meet like-minded people 

Going to local shows is a great way to meet people who love music just as much as you! You might find a community of folks who enjoy supporting – and maybe even making – music. 


    6. Your presence counts 

Every attendee at a local show counts – you’re not just another face in the crowd, you’re a valued supporter of the local scene. 


REVIEW: Yamaha A1M electric-acoustic guitar

We reviewed Yamaha’s A1M electric-acoustic guitar

It’s available in our store! 


Check out the review below:


Here’s a transcript of the review: 

This is the Yamaha A1M, a beautiful cutaway acoustic with some top notch features. I’m going to be walking you through this beautiful guitar and letting you know what it has to offer. 

First, aside from the beautiful sound, let’s talk about what comes behind that. There’s a beautiful selection of woods that comes in this guitar, starting with the spruce top – Sitka Spruce – this guitar is a Vintage Natural finish which has a little bit more of a darker amber color to it. I think it stands out a little bit compared to the typical natural finish, which is more translucent, more natural wood grain, and lighter.  This one’s a little bit darker and has a sort of vintage vibe to it, but also that sort of amber color, which is just really warm and draws me in visually, and then on the body we have binding all the way around the body, which is actually mahogany binding and it looks really amazing from the front, and then on the sides too we got binding on the front and the back. It’s a really nice visual feature that’s on this range of guitars. This is a very approachable guitar, but slightly on the more intermediate price range of Yamaha, and we’ll talk about what that gets you in terms of added features. Continuing on with the woods,  Sitka Spruce top, the mahogany binding, and then mahogany throut on the sides. Mahogany back and then mahogany neck, so really a traditional and typically appreciated combination of woods. Rich tonal responses that you get from a mahogany guitar – a really smooth mahogany neck – and then Rosewood on the fretboard and Rosewood on the bridge. Yamaha is not stopping short with any of the of the wood selections. You can’t go wrong in my opinion with this combination of woods for an acoustic, and then simple but classic you know appointments and looks throughout. I’m finding the fretwork to be really nice on this guitar, very smooth and easy to play. I’m finding it very responsive, very friendly – comfortable and just sounding really nice like a really full response. I’m getting a lot of clarity with the notes that I’m playing, and it’s just set up great right out of the box. That’s a testament to the Yamaha quality – they are just so very consistent with the guitars that they produce, and the quality that you get at the price you pay, compared to the other lower price Yamaha guitars, this one comes with the added bonus of the of the binding. The overall construction, the bracing system that comes in this guitar, is a step up. It’s also got the electronic system, we cannot leave that out – it comes with the Yamaha electronic system with the underbridge pickup. It sounds really awesome. It’s always great to have a guitar that you can plug in and the audio jack is right here and then it’s got the battery compartment. This guitar has diecast chrome tuners on the neck and on the headstock, and then it comes with elixir strings on.  That’s actually a really nice bonus – I recommend those strings for the longevity that they give before they start to get dull.  So, great choices all around in terms of the sound and the vibe. 


 You can’t really go wrong with a full size guitar and the cutaway – it’s a very comfortable design. I appreciate a nice cutaway guitar due to the comfortability, and this body style is just really fantastic. Another really nice little addition is just the the shape of this pick guard. I think it’s got a little bit more of a stylized look, so these are just some of the nice visual but then also practical updates that you get with a slightly nicer Yamaha. You know all of the Yamahas are really top-notch throughout the price range, but if you were looking for a guitar with slightly more appointments like the binding and a little bit more of the of the premium sort of attention to detail that you get with the craftsmanship, this is a really nice one to look at. Especially because of how great it sounds and how nice it looks at the price, the A1M really delivers for me. 


I would really pick this guitar up from the Yamaha line at this price range because it just sounds so good. It’s very comfortable and it’s just very solid throughout. I really like the wood choices – the look of this guitar is amazing and there’s really just nothing holding this guitar back from doing what it needs to do across different genres. You could really stand out and play with rock, folk, anything that you would want to – it’s a really nice sounding acoustic guitar. 


If you’re playing out or wanting to plug in this, it is a great one to do it with because it’s got the awesome pickup system. Let’s walk it through its paces and hear how it sounds, both acoustic and also plugged in –  and see what sort of tonal variety we can get across a different set of riffs. 


Before I get started with the pickup demo, I just wanted to mention that this guitar also does come in a really beautiful vintage sunburst finish as well as a black finish. We have this one picked out for the demo today, but you should definitely consider checking out the other finish options that are available for this guitar. It’s a really well-curated, nice-looking line for the A1M that includes both Sunburst, black and then natural.  They all feature the same specs and the same pickup. 

 The pickup sounds good, and also the natural voice of the guitar is beautiful. I think that translates well to the pickup sound, so no matter what your needs are as a player, this guitar can really meet it. It’s got the higher fret access so it’s easy and really clear sounding throughout. I’m not getting any like dead notes or buzzing. The craftsmanship is really really above average on this guitar, especially for the price, so overall for the A1M, it’s a highly recommended guitar for me. If you’re looking at a slightly nicer acoustic guitar, I would steer in the direction of the A1M.  I think it really punches above its weight in terms of the price, which is really typical for Yamaha.  Other guitar that you would consider in this range would be the FGX800C, which we also reviewed.  This guitar gives you a little bit more in terms of aesthetic features, the wood selection, the colors that are available. 


So if you’re looking for something that’s just a nice guitar, that you’re going to really like having in your collection, I think this one really does stand out a bit more.That’s why I would recommend this one over other options that are out there, and on top of that, it’s just a great performing tool, a beautiful sounding guitar, and I’m really having a lot of fun playing with it.  Thanks for listening, let us know what you think about this guitar – have you tried a Yamaha acoustic before? Let us know. 


You can get this online – it’s in stock in our shop. Rock on.

Fret Zealot 2023 Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are almost here, and we’ve made our list of all the best gifts for everyone you’re shopping for this year! 


For everyone: 

Fret Zealot All-Access Pass Subscription

Forget struggling to learn from books or visiting a guitar teacher once a week – the Fret Zealot All-Access Pass puts learning guitar in your hands. Choose from hundreds of courses by top-rated instructors that will take you from the basics to learning advanced guitar techniques. Browse through song lessons and guitar study courses to learn what YOU want to play. 

Add on the Fret Zealot LED system (fits any full sized guitar) to speed up the learning process even more! You can buy the LED system by itself, or get it pre-installed on any of the guitars from our shop. 


For the young first-time learner: 

Epiphone DR-100

This acoustic guitar is perfect for the young musician in your life – it’s a great starter guitar, but its quality will ensure that they’ll have it for a long time. The DR-100’s tone will improve with age as the wood matures, and the Epiphone SlimTaper neck design makes it a comfortable fit for growing fingers. 

For the “Paradise City” resident:

Epiphone Slash “AFD” Les Paul Special-II Performance Pack

Slash’s signature style is all over this hot Les Paul guitar – it was designed by Slash himself! Topped with AAA flame maple, this guitar also features a dark cherry mahogany body and neck, ivory binding, and a silk print of Slash’s Snakepit logo on the headstock. Check out a full review here. This pack comes fully equipped with a gig back, picks, a guitar strap, and a mini-practice amp, so your rock enthusiast can get right to playing.

For the gigging musician:

ESP LTD Eclipse EC-256 

 This solidbody electric guitar is a great choice for musicians who need a reliable instrument to take out on the road. It features fast playability, flexible tone, and quality construction with a snappy tone. It comes in six colors – and if you buy now, you’ll get the matching hard case FREE.

For the alternative rocker:

Yamaha Revstar Element RSE20

Yamaha’s Revstar guitar, favored by guitarists like Dave Keuning of The Killers and Jeff Schroeder of the Smashing Pumpkins gets an update in this model. It features a lightweight, chambered mahogany body, loaded with two Yamaha Alnico V humbuckers that deliver a versatile tonal palette with a rich midrange punch. Available in four eye-catching colors, this guitar is sure to please. 


For the tone enthusiast: 

Maestro pedals

If your person is always talking about getting their tone just right, give them a hand with the Maestro series of pedals. With Comet Chorus, Fuzz-Tone FZ-M, Discovery Delay, Invader Distortion, and Ranger Overdrive, guitarists can create exactly the tone they’re looking for. Check out the full lineup of pedals here. 

For the world traveler:

Yamaha SLG200N Silent Guitar 

Finally – a guitar that can fit easily into an airline overhead bin. This guitar features nylon strings and a minimalist body design that can be broken down to fit into a special, compact travel bag. It also has Yamaha’s SRT Powered pickup and preamp system, allowing users to plug in their headphones and hear studio-quality guitar tone. 


For that person who “really wants to learn bass”: 

Yamaha TRBX174EW Electric Bass Guitar

There’s no time like right now to start learning a new instrument! This bass is perfect for brand-new players – and with Fret Zealot LEDs pre-installed, your person will be on their way to playing like a pro in no time. Check out the other bass guitars we have available. 


For the guitarist who has been really good this year: 

Epiphone Les Paul Custom Koa

With a koa-topped mahogany body, your favorite guitarist won’t believe the warmth and richness this electric guitar provides.  Showcasing gold hardware, premium Grover tuners, and a LockTone Tune-o-matic/stopbar system, the Les Paul Custom Koa exudes a high-end attitude.

For the guitarist who has been really, really good this year. 

Gibson SG Standard Tribute

The Gibson SG is a rock icon. It features a pair of toneful humbuckers, a fast, comfortable rounded-profile neck, and a silky Plek’d rosewood fretboard with action that’s almost nonexistent.


Need some stocking stuffers?

You can never go wrong with getting the guitarist in your life some of the essentials. 

Gibson Brite Wire Electric Guitar Strings (Ultra Light Gauge)


Gibson Lightning Bolt Guitar Strap

Gibson Medium Guitar Picks – 12 Pack

Signature songs of famous bands – and their stories

What makes a song a “signature song” for a band or artist? It’s a hit that the band/artist is best known for – to the point where it’s the first song you think of when you hear their name! Even if the artist has many other hits under their belt, they’ll always be expected to perform their signature song. 

Here are some notable signature songs – and the stories behind them. 

“Dancing Queen” – ABBA

“Dancing Queen” became a worldwide hit for Swedish band ABBA, and they wanted it to be the follow-up single to “Mamma Mia” – but their manager insisted that the more mellow “Fernando” should be next instead.

“House of the Rising Sun” – The Animals

Although AC/DC found success with songs like “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be”, “The Jack”, and “Highway to Hell”, and “Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap)” before 1980, their 1980 hit “Back in Black” was a milestone moment for the band. With an unmistakable opening riff, “Back in Black” was written in honor of AC/DC’s former singer Bon Scott who died in 1980.

“What a Wonderful World” – Louis Armstrong

American jazz great Louis Armstrong recorded his iconic 1967 single  overnight following a midnight show in Las Vegas, wrapping around 6 a.m. 

“Back in Black” – AC/DC

Although AC/DC found success with songs like “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be”, “The Jack”, and “Highway to Hell”, and “Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap)” before 1980, their 1980 hit “Back in Black” was a milestone moment for the band. With an unmistakable opening riff, “Back in Black” was written in honor of AC/DC’s former singer Bon Scott who died in 1980.


“I Want It That Way” –  The Backstreet Boys 

The 1999 ballad “I Want It That Way” is the signature song for American boy band Backstreet Boys. However, the song’s memorable arpeggiated riff was inspired by a completely different group. The song’s co-writer, Swedish music producer Andreas Carlsson, said the riff was written at the end of the song’s recording session and was inspired by “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica. 

 “Livin’ on a Prayer” Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi frontman Jon Bon Jovi actually didn’t like the original recording of the band’s smash hit – it can be found as a hidden track on their album 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong. Guitarist Richie Sambora convinced Bon Jovi that the song was good, and they reworked it with a new bassline and different drum fills, as well as a talk box to include it on Slippery When Wet. 

“Layla” – Eric Clapton

“Layla” was inspired both by a 12th century Persian poem and Eric Clapton’s  secret love for Pattie Boyd, who was married to his friend George Harrison at the time. 


“School’s Out” – Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper’s signature song was inspired by the feeling of the last day of school. Cooper said he was asked “What’s the greatest three minutes of your life?” and his thoughts were Christmas morning and the last three minutes of the last day of school. The song became the band’s first hit single, but it was banned from some radio stations whose management thought the song would incite rebelliousness in kids toward their education. 

“Pour Some Sugar on Me” – Def Leppard

English band Def Leppard’s signature song was created toward the end of the recording of their 1987 album Hysteria. The band had already been working on the album for two and a half years when lead singer Joe Elliot said he showed their producer a hook he had been playing around with. Within two weeks, the song was completed and added on as the 12th track of the album. 

“Smoke on the Water” – Deep Purple

Deep Purple was in Switzerland to record an album in 1971 in a casino. The casino was holding its last concert of the season before Deep Purple would be able to play there. Unfortunately, a member of the audience shot off a flare gun, causing a fire that destroyed the entire casino and left Deep Purple without a place to record. The title of the song refers to the smoke over Lake Geneva resulting from the fire, which the band watched from their hotel room window. 

“Take Me Home, Country Roads” – John Denver  

Songwriting team Taffy Nivert and Bill Danoff were driving through Maryland when the inspiration for “Country Roads, Take Me Home” struck. They were originally going to sell the song to Johnny Cash, but John Denver “flipped” when he heard that news, and had to have the song for himself. The song is one of West Virginia’s four official state anthems. It was selected to go in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in 2023. 


Hotel California” – The Eagles 

Hotel California Fret Zealot

The original working title for the instrumental demo of “Hotel California” was “Mexican Reggae”. The band decided to theme it “Hotel California” as a nod to The Beverly Hills Hotel, which was symbolic of Beverly Hills’ mystique to them at that time. 

Imagine” – John Lennon

John Lennon was inspired to write “Imagine” by several poems from Yoko Ono’s 1964 book “Grapefruit” – so much that he later was quoted in a 2007 biography saying the song should be “credited as a Lennon/Ono song. A lot of it—the lyric and the concept—came from Yoko, but in those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted her contribution, but it was right out of Grapefruit.”

Free Bird” – Lynyrd Skynyrd

The first line for “Free Bird” came from Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Allen Collins’s girlfriend, Kathy, who asked Collins “If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?” The question became the first line of the band’s signature song and the band performed it for the first time during the reception at Collins and Kathy’s wedding. 

Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana 

The title for Nirvana’s 1991 grunge anthem came from a graffiti scrawl that Kurt Cobain’s friend and Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna put on his wall, “Kurt smells like Teen Spirit”. Hanna meant to make fun of Cobain for wearing his girlfriend’s Teen Spirit deodorant, but Cobain didn’t know what “Teen Spirit” meant and took it as a compliment. 

Wagon Wheel” – Old Crow Medicine Show

This song, popularized by Darius Rucker, is made up of a simple four-chord progression. The chorus and melody were written by Bob Dylan in the 1970s, and Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show wrote the verses 25 years later. 

Crazy Train” – Ozzy Osbourne

Guitarist Greg Leon (Motley Crue/Quiet Riot) said he helped Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist, Randy Rhoads, come up with the riff for “Crazy Train” after showing him the riff for “Swington” by Steve Miller.  “I said: ‘Look what happens when you speed this riff up.’ We messed around, and the next thing I know he took it to a whole other level and end up writing the ‘Crazy Train’ riff”, Leon said in a 2012 biography on Rhoads. 

Every Breath You Take” – The Police

The Police and Sting’s signature song, “Every Breath You Take” swept the summer of 1983, sitting on top of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for eight weeks. Sting penned the track in the Caribbean at James Bond author Ian Fleming’s Goldeneye estate. 

He told The Independent in 1993, “I woke up in the middle of the night with that line in my head, sat down at the piano and had written it in half an hour. The tune itself is generic, an aggregate of hundreds of others, but the words are interesting. It sounds like a comforting love song. I didn’t realize at the time how sinister it was. I think I was thinking of Big Brother, surveillance and control.”

In May 2019, Broadcast Music, Inc. recognized the song for being the most-played song in radio history.

Bohemian Rhapsody” – Queen

Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury began working on what would become “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the late 1960s. Mercury called the song a “mock opera” – it resulted from three separate songs he had written. 

Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden

“Black Hole Sun” originated during a car ride. Released in 1994, it’s considered to be Seattle-based grunge rock band Soundgarden’s signature song. Lead singer Chris Cornell wrote the song – he said in 2014 that he came up with the concept and the melody while driving home from the studio after he thought he heard a radio news anchor say “Black hole sun”.

Five guitar songs that sound harder to play than they are

Are you still new to guitar, but need something that sounds cool to show off your skills? Check out this list of songs that sound way harder to play than they actually are. 


“Back in Black” – AC/DC 

The verse and chord riffs for “Back in Black” rock pretty hard – but they’re based around power chords with an E minor pentatonic lick – meaning if you’ve mastered our 30 Day Beginner Challenge, it should be easy for you!

“Thunderstruck” – AC/DC

“Thunderstruck”’s iconic opening riff sounds like something only a seasoned guitar player could pull off – but it’s all played on one string. Play with a metronome and slow it way down at first, then build up speed as you get better! (If you’re using the Fret Zealot app, you can slow down the guitar tab as much as you’d like). Check out our Angus Young Player Study Course to really nail Young’s signature style.

“Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd 

The chord progression for this Pink Floyd fan favorite is fairly easy, and repeats itself. The opening solo may take you a couple of tries, but should be achievable for most beginners!


“Eleanor Rigby” – The Beatles 

This Beatles song can be played with only C and Em (with the option to add Em6 and Em7). Lock down the correct rhythm and you’ll be sounding like a Beatle in no time. 

“Come As You Are” – Nirvana

Playing the iconic, bass-like guitar riff of “Come As You Are” involves some picking and tuning a whole step down, but it repeats, making it a fairly easy line to learn.