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Arts & Entertainment

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.

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


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 ...

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.

excellent practice tips, tom relates very well to the beginner guitarist, he demonstrates that the path to becoming a great musician is through persistence, and not necessarily incredible talent

I would have thought Tom Morello had nothing to teach me. My politics and his don't align, my taste in music and his certainly don't align. But I was wrong. His passion for guitar playing, creating music, and his ability to relate across boundaries has inspired me to pick up my long-idle guitar and move forward. Thanks for that Tom.

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

Creativity and inspiration from other music genres was a great idea!


Wessel M.

For those who didn't know Knife Party, check out their other act Pendulum. They perform as a live band sometimes. At Ultra they did a double headline set with Pendulum playing as a band right after the dj set from Knife Party. Interesting material if you're new to edm, especially in combination with a live band.

Chris P.

Loved this one, he's a great teacher, I'm doing my lessons and getting better! Already worth the price of admission.

Tim K.

Interesting point about Skrillex and Knife Party: They are Rock'N'Roll musicians, they just use a computer instead of a guitar. Also, both played in Metal/Rock Bands before. Skrillex was Lead Singer in a band called "From First To Last" and Rob and Gareth from Knife Party were in Pendulum together before that. I started on piano, then played guitar and started producing in 2013. Mixing and taking inspiration from different genres is very natural to me.

Tory H.

Did anyone else notice the dissonant, angry growling noise when he was doing the "dr dre bends" at around 10:15? hahaha it sounds like Arghughuhguh.

Gabriel R.

"In the brain, dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by neurons (nerve cells) to send signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine pathways, one of which plays a major role in the motivational component of reward-motivated behavior." ATLAS UNDERGROUND is "pure dopamine" for my brain! If someone here needs to `Increase Dopamine Levels Naturally` I highly recommend to listen Tom Morello's new Album! Thanks for keep sharing and expressing your Art with us Tom!!!!!!!

Sean T.

So this is where the_donald gets their terms. Centipede. Nimble Navigator.

Robert G.

The tab seems relative to mode Dorian and when I started playing from E to F the back to D I started noodling. Sorry couldn't help it I got sidetracked.

Mike F.

That Knife Party song is pretty seamless. It doesn't necessarily sound like the Spawn soundtrack.