Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl Talks Guitar

Dave Grohl is no regular rockstar. Along with Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic, he helped Nirvana change the face of music. Now, more then twenty years on Dave Grohl remains at the pinnacle of rock music with his band the Foo Fighters. Grohl recently sat down with Music Week magazine and discussed his early days of guitar playing and his approach to writing music.
Grohl began playing guitar around the age of ten, at least three years before he even picked up a drumstick! When asked about his approach to playing and writing, Grohl replied; “I didn’t take lessons to learn how to play guitar. I have a chord book and figured out how to read the simple chord charts.” As a beginner guitarist, Grohl would play along with greatest hit records including The Beatles’ Anthology for hours on end. ”That’s kinda where I learned how to play guitar but that’s also where I learned to understand basic composition: verse, chorus, verse, arrangement”. Grohl explains.
A self-described non-conventional, non-technical player, Grohl uses his guitar like it’s a drum kit “I am not a technical person at all. When I play guitar a lot of the music I write, I’ll use the little E string as if it is a kick drum and the A and the B strings as if they’re the snare and then when a chorus comes around I’ll ring out the high strings like they are cymbals and let them wash all over everything… it’s just a sense of dynamic”.
Grohl stresses the importance of melody when writing music – “over time to me the challenge became less about distortion and diffidence and more about simplicity and melody and honestly, the hardest part to me is just finding a melody that’s so simple that it seems familiar and a lyric that is so universal everyone can connect to it. That’s basically it. Everything else – rhythm and tempo and dynamic – is one thing, but vibe and melody is another”.

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