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An electric guitar lesson on how to play “Mr. Big” by Free originally from their 1970 album “Fire and Water.” This lesson is for the version from the movie soundtrack for Demolition, which uses the Sunderland 1970 live version.
I was watching a movie the other day called Demolition. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal and there’s a scene where he’s hanging out with his girlfriend’s 15 year-old son. Gyllenhaal’s character looks out of a window and sees the kid playing drums in the garage. He’s jamming along with a track and it turns out its Mr. Big by Free! Such a great scene! Later in the same scene Gyllenhaal is seen dancing down the streets of New York listening to Mr. Big on his Ipod. So great and so funny too! It completely captures the essence of great rock music which is more an attitude and a feeling than it is technical musicianship. The Stones said it best, “I know it’s only rock’n’roll…but I like it!”
Anyways. Free were a fantastic band and this tune is just stripped down drums, bass and guitar with Paul Rogers supplying a killer vocal. It’s not complicated to play, but you have to nail the feel of it and that’s always harder than just fingering the chords! Muting is super important in this one as it allows room for the bass and drums to do their thing.
I really love this kind of music. It’s simple, but it’s got huge feel and attitude.
I had a lot of fun making this video so I hope you enjoy it and have fun playing this awesome song.
I get a lot of questions about my sound so here’s what I’m using:
My guitar is a 1975 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe. I have Suhr Aldrich pickups on it. I have them coil split, but for this video they were in full humbucker mode. For this tune I didn’t use any effects, not even reverb, just straight into the amp with a low gain setting.
My amp is an Egnater Renegade head. I am using a Two Notes Torpedo Live. It’s a load box and a speaker emulator so I’m not running the Marshall 1960b speaker cabinet anymore. It enables you to crank up your tube amp but use headphones, or just listen at low volume through your monitors, so I can be rocking out and getting a great sound without bothering people around me. So far I like it!
I use a TC Electronics Nova System through the loop for effects. I also have a BB preamp which I essentially never use anymore, and sometimes (rarely) a Boss CS-3 compressor. The reverb is from the amp. My wah is a Dunlop MC404 CAE Dual Inductor, REALLY great pedal! I also use a Polytune tuner which is fantastic.
Folks may be surprised at how much time and effort goes into creating these videos. If you’re getting something out of the lessons and can afford to contribute, I’ve setup a Paypal link. If you can’t afford it no worries, but if you can, any amount is appreciated and will help me to continue to make the videos.
Thanks for all the comments, and questions and of course for subscribing. A special thanks to all of you that have contributed financially by making a donation! I really appreciate the support. Good luck to everyone with their guitar playing.
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