rock and roll guitar, chuck berry, johnny B. Goode
Learn to Play
Rock and Roll Guitar
Order Today!   

Anthony Aja
May 2003

Beginning with the May 2003 edition, newsletters are now archived
online at:


1. ROCK & ROLL 101 - Mr. Chuck Berry
2. LEARN-A-LICK - Johnny B. Goode tabs

Please forward this newsletter to anyone whom you think may be interested!

1. ROCK & ROLL 101

A very important part of learning how to play the guitar to the best of your God-given ability, is to know about the musicians who played an important role in influencing Rock & Roll guitar in the first place. As a part of this on-going newsletter, I will draw upon many examples , with the intent of showing and explaining different styles, rhythms, tones and other characteristics of playing the guitar. I want you to be able to not only learn how to mechanically play the guitar, but eventually be able to feel what you play. That will come later, but in time you will come to realize that "feeling" what you’re playing is WHY you ARE playing the guitar. It can and will carry your soul to different worlds.

This month’s Rock & Roll Guitar icon is non other than THE FATHER OF ROCK & ROLL himself: Mr. Chuck Berry. Chuck was born on October 18, 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri. He learned to play in grade school and developed a style of playing which incorporated a "Rhythm & Blues and Country Western sound rolled into one. Playing like a Freight train rollin’ down the tracks in a very percussive way, he wrote his first tune called "Maybelene."

Perhaps one of the first serious leads a guitar player will try to learn (after The Ventures:"Wipe out") is the introduction to Chuck Berry’s "Johnny B. Goode." There are more Rock & Roll lead segments in this song, than probably any other Rock & Roll song to date. This intro is a case study in bending notes, sliding notes, hammering notes and more. Learning it is a must!

Chuck’s solo’s are deceiving. They sound simple enough, but once you start to learn to play them, exactly as he did... Uh Oh! You will find out that no matter how good you are, it’s a difficult exercise to "cop" Chuck’s execution. He had and still has a unique way of playing and has influenced every Rock & Roll guitar player that has ever played a guitar. No matter what type of music you like... Jazz, Blues, Punk, Rock... I urge you to buy any one of Chuck Berry’s Greatest Hits Cd’s. It should be the first book in your Rock & Roll Guitar Bible!


Here’s the part where we will have some practical fun. In this section of your free newsletter, I will show you an important Rock Lead (a LICK). For the 1st one, we will draw from our ROCK & ROLL 101 monthly subject: Mr. Chuck Berry. Let’s take a look at the guitar note tablature for that great Rock & Roll tune: JOHNNY B. GOODE. If you are an intermediate level guitar player or higher, this lead may sound easy to you, but I guarantee you that if you try to play this introduction exactly like the record, it will be a real "Workout!" Here goes!

1|---------|-----|-5S6---6-6-(3 TIMES)|-------------------|---------|-------------|-


3| 6H7– |--- -|-----------------------------|---------7--------|--7-7-7|-7-7-7-7-7|-





2|---------6-8-6|------|--------|----------6(10 TIMES)|–6----9-8-6|-------9-8-6-------|

3|-6H7--7-7-7|-7S5|–3-----|--8S10(10 TIMES)–-|--------------|---------------8-7--|










This opening salvo in Johnny B. Goode is not an easy one to accomplish. I can say with certainty, that few guitarists will play this opening riff correctly. Work on this and you will accomplish much.

Oh, by the way, if this all seems Greek to you, I enthusiastically invite you to go to my web site look at all this course has to offer, for the low, low price of $97. It will teach you how to read this Chuck Berry tablature and play the lead guitar riff to Johnny B. Goode and other Rock and Roll guitar classics.


In this section, I will let you in on some of the wonderful experiences I’ve had as a guitar player. (Remember, you can make your own memories too, so make sure you check out my web site.)

The year was 1993. The place was South Hampton, Long Island, New York. The event was a Private Fund Raiser was terminally ill children. The guest of Honor was actor, Mr. Paul Newman and legendary musician Mr. Chuck Berry. My band, Phil Dirt & The Dozers, was to follow-up Chuck’s performance with an oldies show. There was one, small problem, however. It was 15 minutes to show time and Chuck was nowhere to be found. His agent was "sweating bullets" and told us that if Chuck didn’t show up on time, that we would have to open the show for the 1,000+ guests. This was no problem for us, but "where was Chuck?"

Finally, at three minutes till the hour of performance, a black limo pulled up to the venue and a wiry, hard-working musician popped out with his guitar case and a brief case. The guitar case held Chuck’s beautiful, Cherry, Gibson 335 Stereo guitar. The briefcase was for his payment for services to be rendered and paid (as always) in cash dollars.

He walked over to us and we were introduced to him. He gave my drummer a hug, as it was his 40th birthday. Chuck then cracked a joke, walked to the stage, plugged-in and what happened next, I will never forget as long as I live.

He counted off his first song for the band and began the introduction to "Johnny B. Goode." After the first 6 notes, he stopped the music abruptly. Everyone stared and wondered what had just happened. Then, right there on stage, he began tuning his guitar. (Without a tuner, I might add.) To a musician, this was hysterical and blasphemous. To a guest: puzzling! But this was Chuck Berry. Check out his movie "HAIL, HAIL, ROCK & ROLL" and this will all make sense.

Well, Chuck finally got back on his horse and did a great show and everyone loved it. What a gift to be able to see this icon of Rock & Roll and inventor of the Rock & Roll style of playing the guitar from no more than 10 feet away from him.

I will tell these stories to you, because I want you to know that I started off playing the guitar by teaching myself and after many years and many bands, I found the right opportunity and was able to live out a dream. You can too! If you have not ordered my course, please do so now. Go to my web site and read the front page, You’ll learn how to start your own band, how to read tablature: both chord and note tabs. And most importantly, I will cut-out all the mumbo jumbo out of learning to play guitar so that you can be successful as quickly as possible.

This Guitar Leads Course will be the best $97 investment you can ever make. Expect it to change your life. I guarantee it! -- Tony Aja


Please go here for a more detailed overview of Chuck Berry's life and influence on Rock N Roll music.

5. Thought For The Day - Charity

With malice toward none, and charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in. ---Abraham Lincoln

6. Subscription Information

Was this newsletter forwarded to you?

To subscribe, just go to our main newsletter page and complete the pop-up subscrition form.

Your address won't be shared with anyone else.

To unsubscribe send an email to the above address and put "Remove" in the subject line.

Do you have tips or suggestions you would like to share with others?

Please email these to info2{at}@guitar-leads{dot}com is a division of Todd, Michael and James, Inc.
4620 Derby Lane, Doylestown, PA 18901
Tel: 866-423-0413, 215/766-2889 (F)