Tom Petty, a Florida kid who went on to become one of the most prolific and popular singer/songwriters of the last 40 years, is responsible for dozens of songs that guitar players and students love to play. The influences of Elvis and The Beatles are clearly reflected in his catchy tunes, which are generally not too difficult to play. This set of lessons includes a wide range of his songs, popular ones like Free Fallin', I Won't Back Down and Into The Great Wide Open, a bluesy diversion in I Should Have Known It, and a cover of Thunderclap Newman's Something In The Air, which brought a great tune from the 1960s into the ears of a younger generation.
Lesson 1: Free Fallin - Tom Petty - Guitar Lesson
In 1989 Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne put together Free Fallin’, a very easy song with only a few chords, in just a couple days. It was the leading track off the album Full Moon Fever. It is a great example of taking a very basic progression, dressing it up with some syncopated changes, and adding a few simple guitar parts to create quite a variety of textures and sounds. This lesson looks at three different guitar parts, as well as going over the syncopated strumming in great detail. There is no tab included as the explanations and demonstrations should make everything clear.
Lesson 2: I Should Have Known It Guitar Lesson - Tom Petty
Today's TARGET Lesson has an interesting history. Neil was very surprised and impressed with this recent Tom Petty song, I Should Have Known It, and also ran across a teaching competition going on at Ovation Guitars. He put together a short lesson on the song and entered the contest with it. For some unknown reason Ovation chose not to publish the entry so we are bringing it out for our members. Neil's lesson combines a couple of guitar parts into one that is done in a G6 tuning, lowering the 5th and 6th strings 1 step. It is a great example of a solid riff-based tune framed in a modified 12-bar blues format.
Lesson 3: Into The Great Wide Open - Tom Petty - Guitar Lesson
This 1991 Tom Petty song from the album with the same title is typical of many of his songs, in that it has an interesting chord progression with a couple of syncopated changes that make it fun to play. He uses his left thumb to fret a few chords but there are ways around that. The lesson includes a short segment on playing leads in E minor using a couple Pentatonic Patterns as well.
Lesson 4: Tom Petty – Something In The Air
In 1969, Pete Townsend put a band together for his talented chauffeur Speedy Keen. Keen had written a song that appeared on The Who Sell Out album and Pete felt Speedy’s song Something In The Air was worthy of being recorded and released. The band was christened Thunderclap Newman, after piano player Andy Newman, and went on to be a classic example of a one- hit wonder. In 1993, Tom Petty came out with a cover of it and this lesson is based mostly on his version, which is almost campfire in comparison. Tom's version includes a 16th note strumming pattern and a little arpeggio picking. The original included a slightly abstract piano solo. This lesson does take a short look at the original as well, which was done in Open E Tuning and modulated through three keys.
Lesson 5: I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty - Guitar Lesson
Tom Petty is an icon in the rock world and this song is one of his classic hits. Based around a three-chord progression, this lesson takes you through the tune note for note.
By learning the chords and the lead melodies you can get a great understanding of how simplicity makes for great songwriting, and by the end of it all you’ll have an awesome song to play from beginning to end!