how to play “Rock Candy” on guitar by Montrose | electric guitar lesson tutorial

Please help support my lessons by donating here:

An electric guitar lesson on how to play “Rock Candy” by Montrose featuring the great Ronnie Montrose on guitar and Sammy Hagar on vocals.
Absolutely killer track from the “Montrose” album released in 1973. This tune is a cross between Hendrix (“Foxy Lady”) and Zeppelin (“When the Levee Breaks”, amongst others). To me, this the ultimate in riff rock. There is nothing more powerful than when the bass and guitar are playing the same lines and that happens quite a bit in this one. Really fun to play, and if you play it clean and in time, it just sounds awesome!
Ronnie Montrose was an excellent guitarist and writer who played with The Edgar Winter Group, Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs and Herbie Hancock amongst many others. He really shines on this song, and of course, Sammy Hagar, the little red rocker, is a world class singer…
Another interesting note is that this album was produced by Ted Templeman, the great producer renowned for his work with The Doobie Bothers, and Van Halen.

I had a ton of fun recording the demo and working on the lesson for this one…
I hope you enjoy the video and enjoy playing this great old classic.

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.
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.


  1. Never heard this song… sounds great! Terrific tone and playing as usual. Awesome!

  2. Love your accuracy to the original!

  3. I use to love to listen to Montrose back in the day. I didn't know all that about him Great song

  4. Love your tutorials; to the point and sound great! Awesome song

  5. Wow….grew up with this album, played over and over and over! So underrated. So happy you're teaching this to a generation who may have never heard of this. And don't forget a very young Sammy Hagar as singer! Thank you for doing this, and the background of artist he played with, so cool!

  6. Love the lessons and the history behind the music!

  7. getalifepeoplereally

    First off, your playing is some of the best I've ever seen. Not just here, but in all your vids. So perfect & so clean. The actual song itself is only just okay, but the guitar parts, and specifically you playing it here, is absolutely sublime. So so enjoyable. Near-perfect blend of crunchy rock riffs, bends, fills, etc. Keep slaying guitar my man.

  8. just tuned in to hear the guitar! great axe!

  9. sir, would you ply Def Leppard – Hysteria make us lurn better how to play Def Leppard – Hysteria please .you havent ply any one song of def leppard yet.

  10. Outstanding lesson… I say "Giddy up, brother"

  11. ..and you offer guitar players who want to become better something that can last a life time i think when you think about it that way its pretty cool : )

  12. hey i really enjoy learning about the songs you teach i like the fact you give some cool information about the song the guitar players through your tutorials ive definitely become a better guitar player i look forward to all of your lessons..

  13. I'm a beginner. What's your advise i should do for starters in terms of learning an acoustic guitar.

  14. Dude, you did it. I had asked you a while back to do a lesson on this classic Montrose song. And now here it is. Thank you very much. As always, you are amazing.

  15. Wow… have had that album since 1978!!! Sammy and Ronnie, what a trip. Excellent guitar riffs on every song on the album, but Rock Candy was the driver, unbelievable when it's cranked all the way up with subs pumping. Thanks for this and Purple Rain.

  16. Salt and lime life Pcbflausa

    I contribute , you should too ….. keep the site alive man .

  17. Great instruction! I've learned so much about technique not to mention songs. 2 licks clean are better than 4 licks dirty. Starting to learn guitar at 54 y/o can be difficult but sounding right makes you want keep it up.. Thanks!

  18. Very cool guitar parts…thanks! A similar E-D-A intro is in Chickenfoot's "Soap on a Rope", with Sammy still belting out the vocals all these decades later, and Joe Satriani doing the guitar honors….Trivial fact: Montrose is also a town in Colorado.

  19. Love your tutorials! What are you using for a drum machine?

  20. Your info about Montrose is as great as your lessons. and that's saying a lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *