From Tom Morello's MasterClass

Developing Your Creative Voice

Tom teaches you how to think beyond your musical influences, challenge the traditional boundaries of the electric guitar, and start developing your own voice as a musician.

Topics include: Think Beyond Your Influences • Consider Yourself an Artist • Cultivate Your Unique Ideas


Tom teaches you how to think beyond your musical influences, challenge the traditional boundaries of the electric guitar, and start developing your own voice as a musician.

Topics include: Think Beyond Your Influences • Consider Yourself an Artist • Cultivate Your Unique Ideas

Tom Morello

Teaches Electric Guitar

Learn More


From the first time I strapped on a guitar, stood with a band, and made something loud that happened, it felt like absolute freedom. Whether you're making a bunch of noise or whether you're wailing away on 64th notes, the redemptive joy of strapping on an electric guitar is something that should always be savored. [MUSIC PLAYING] All of us guitar players start playing guitar, because we admire other guitar players. For me, it was Randy Rhoads and Angus Young and Eddie Van Halen who made me love the electric guitar and to want to play. So, of course, what you think is good guitar playing is their guitar playing. And what makes-- I could be like-- Ace Frehley was my first guitar hero. And I-- the excitement that I felt when I learned the solo to "Detroit Rock City" could not be compared. Then, you know, as I began practicing more, I was learning the Van Halen solos, and the Randy Rhoads solos, and shredding-- shredding up a storm. All of this was very satisfying. All of this was amassing technique. But none of this was finding my own voice on the instrument. The reason why I loved Van Halen and Rhoads and Angus Young was because they were singular, and they were unique in the way they sounded, the way they expressed themselves, the way that they played. That wasn't part of my game. My thing at the time was I was an amalgamation of the good guitar heroes who I liked, which is totally fine. When I began to-- my first glimpse into what a world might be like where I'm finding my own path-- a road less traveled-- I was in college. And my poor roommate, he was a fan of opera. And I was, you know, had my Marshall Half Stack in the room, and he was driven insane by me practicing like grim reaper riffs, you know-- ad nauseum. And then one day-- this was actually with a guitar of mine-- the Gold Explorer over there. At the time, the guitar that was in fashion was the Eddie Van Halen Model Guitar. It was cool, because it just had one knob on it-- volume. Everybody had that guitar. I did not. I had the guitar over there that was saddled with a bunch of knobs and stuff on it. It was super not cool. But one of the things that I did have on it was a toggle switch. This is a toggle switch, just like the one on that guitar over there. What a toggle switch does is it decides which pickup you're using. When it's in this position, you're hearing the sound coming out of this pickup. [PLAYING GUITAR] When it's in this position, you're hearing the sound that comes out of this pickup. [PLAYING GUITAR] When it's in the middle, you're hearing both pickups. [PLAYING GUITAR] Right? But if you turn the volume off on one of the pickups-- the front one-- you can't hear it. And leave the volume on on the other pick up. [PLAYING GUITAR] And then you switch between the two pickups-- it acts as an on/off switch. These days everybody knows what a DJ killswitch is. But it's basically the same thing that exists on any guitar t...

Strike a Chord

Tom Morello is a two-time Grammy winner and one of Rolling Stone’s "greatest guitarists of all time." In his first online guitar class, the co-founder of Rage Against the Machine will teach you the riffs, rhythms, and solos that launched his career and sent his music to the top of the charts. Tom will share his approach to making music that challenges the status quo and teach you how to create your own musical style.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Awesome course, what a humble and talented guy!

Excellent. Truly appreciated Mr. Morello's info and his style and approach to the class.

This class has really inspired me to be a better guitar player than myself and everyone else. I really learned a lot, Thanks Tom Morello.

Very fun character! He has some killer techniques and truly thinks outside the box, which you can't get anywhere else.


Luis R.

Thanks Tom, I really like the passion how you speak and transmit your ideas, this way you help us not only to understand the lessons, also to feel them, Excellent Lesson!!

Margaret M.

I love Tom's energy and enthusiasm here! (& a high school band named after PKD is pretty cool)

Charles E.

Thanks Tom, beacuse of you I ripped the knob off my Les Paul. Too much fun!

Robert G.

What if I never learned any songs? I started learning about music theory and use that theory to just figure out how to play along. Most people ask if I know how to play specific songs. I can honestly say I don't, but if you ask if I can play the guitar, I actually can. HAHAHAHA!

Mike N.

"wallaby in the wilderness" - my new favorite description of something abstract haha. Excellent lesson, very inspiring. \m/ Tom Morello rules. \m/

Mary Beth P.

There are so many things that I want to do to play now. By play, I don't mean play the guitar (although I would be doing that), I mean play as in experiment. I think that I could do this with my son as well.

Alyssa J.

I like the touch fret (or whatever Tom would coin it) and toggle stick technique. It really does open doors to new sounds on the electric guitar. Jonathan Dubose is one my heroes. His style is cheeky, indeed rhythmic and fits the mold. I will definitely incorporate Tom and Jonathan’s styles into my own.

Matthew B.

I still suck, been working hard for years to shred to Megadeth. Maybe finding my own voice will happen after I complete this goal, but for now, I'll stick to my life goal of being able to head bang while soloing like Mustaine...although this may never happen lol. My guitar only has one volume knob, can't do this lesson's trick.

Louis K.

I have a couple of guitarists that I enjoy listening to. I like Dave Grohl, James Hetfield, Jimi Hendrix, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Tom Morello (who's teaching this course, by the way!). James, Dave, and Billie are Rhythm Guitarists. They tend to focus on more Chords (which includes Tonic Triads) and Rhythm. James is my favourite out of all of them, as he's a great singer and chugger on guitar. Tom and Jimi are Lead Guitarists. They focus on Scales, Dynamics, and Note Values. They know how to give their "own voice" to their audience and they're not scared to show it. Tom is more "keyboard" based as a shredder, but Jimi is more of an emotive and melodic shredder.

Bobby W.

I’m not you, but I got this whole thing because I respect people that go out on a limb. People that find their own sound. I play a lot of other people’s music in rock, funk, R&B, disco, new wave and grunge on both guitar and bass. I started on guitar but found my way to bass as people don’t get how badass it is. I then challenged myself to lead Vox, as I had a natural vocal gift, while playing bass ala Sting or McCartney. Now I’m fronting a cover band on guitar that’s about funk to rock. It’s a big challenge, but in watching this lesson it is reinforcing my belief in writing as an artist and finding different and EASY things to do. Artistry from you is what turns me on.