Arts & Entertainment, Music

Developing Your Creative Voice

Tom Morello

Lesson time 10:07 min

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.

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

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


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...

About the Instructor

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.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Tom Morello

In 26 lessons, Grammy-winning musician Tom Morello will teach you the guitar techniques, rhythms, and riffs that define his signature style.

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