Arts & Entertainment, Music

Tom's Influences: EDM, the Blues, and Hip-Hop

Tom Morello

Lesson time 11:49 min

You can learn from other artists’ styles, melodies, attitudes, and sounds. Tom teaches you how to fold blues guitar—and more modern, non-guitar sounds from EDM and hip-hop—into your playing.

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

Topics include: EDM: Create Musical Alloys • The Blues: Leave Space and Talk With Your Guitar • Hip-Hop: Steal Sounds for Solos and Rhythm Parts • Practice Combining Forms


Uh! Hey, yo, it's just another bombtrack. - EDM music, or electronic music, was probably the last music that I came around to. I remember being on tour all around Europe and disdaining what I called Italian taxi cab music, until I was turned on to Crystal Method and The Prodigy, who had a rock and roll way of looking at synthesizers and creating devastating music. And Prodigy is one of the few bands in the entire world that, on one occasion, in a far off land, kicked Rage Against the Machine's ass in a live show. Hard to believe. But they live an EDM boot in our ass one night. And I gained a lot of respect for them for that. So I began listening to the music and seeing what elements there were about it that I perhaps could apply to my own rock and roll. I produced a couple of songs on a Crystal Method record called "Tweekend." And I got to watch them. It was the first time I really got to watch and see how the music was made to glean some ideas for myself. The first thing was, I came in with this big rock riff-- big sort of drop D rock riff. And the first thing they did was, they said, that sounds great, but let's-- but let's flip the one. Immediately, they just went on the computer-- there's no band rehearsing-- and the riff came out sounding completely differently. My original riff, I have no memory of. But the riff that came out on the record sounded a little bit like this. [GUITAR MUSIC PLAYING] So you take a Morellian drop D riff like that, and then they applied themselves to it. And it began the idea in my head that eventually led to the "Atlas Underground" record and making a complete alloy between my analog, Marshall stack rock and roll and thunderous beats that have the possibility of kicking a rock and roll band's ass at any given festival. So this is the song "Name of the Game" by The Crystal Method and myself. [MUSIC - THE CRYSTAL METHOD, "NAME OF THE GAME"] - Listen, all you motherfuckers! That's the name of the game. That's the name of the game. (RAPPING) Yo. Top of the crown. - OK. Back in the days of Rage Against the Machine, I would look for ways to augment songs and played solos in a rock and roll, hip hop context that took some inspiration from that genre. Something like-- [GUITAR MUSIC PLAYING] I would just-- you know, while some people were practicing Chuck Berry licks, I was practicing stuff that I heard on records by Prodigy, Crystal Method. And you know, to this day, I have a lot of admiration for groups like, you know-- or people like Skrillex, Knife Party-- people who have, like, a rock and roll ethos, but they're able to do it with electronic music. So throughout my "Atlas Underground" record, our collaborations with, you know, Bassnectar, Knife Party, of some of the hardest beat makers in EDM-- and what I've attempted to do is take out their synthesizers and replace them with my analog hard rock and roll guitar, creating, what, in some ways, feels like a new genre of ...

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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