The Knack My Sharona
It’s time to rock as Jon Bishop transcribes this classic dancefloor filler from The Knack. Featuring a groovy octave riff and extended guitar solo section, this track is sure to please fans of all styles.
My Sharona, releaSed in 1979 was taken from The Knack’s first, multi-million selling album, cleverly entitled Get The Knack. My Sharona is a classic power pop favourite and features fun-to-play riffs and plenty of lead guitar work.
Guitarist Berton Averre is a fine player and his tight rhythm work and energetic lead style are key components of this great track. One of the main focuses of the tune is the hooky G octave riff that drives everything along. This riff is punctuated by chords from the key of F major such as the V chord (C), IV chord (Bb) and the I chord (F). There is also a chromatic chord of Eb added to provide an edgy surprise to the harmony.
The song has two guitar solos to learn and the first is performed over the G octave riff. The lead lines feature question and answer phrases and double-stops. For the second solo the key changes to C major and the classic I, IV, V riff (C, F and G) is used. This solo is played at a blistering pace and uses notes from the C major Pentatonic scale predominantly. Many guitarists tend to be more comfortable playing solos in a minor key so this second solo in C major will be well worth studying if you fall into this category. Happily, you may well be familiar with the fingerings of this solo as the A minor Pentatonic and C major pentatonic share the same notes (C-D-E-G-A).
One of the things that set the performance of My Sharona apart from many other rock songs is the band’s brilliant use of dynamics, and this begins with using cleanish but powerful guitar tones. Using dynamics (how loud or soft the notes are played) is a very musical way to mark out sections and make room for vocal lines etc. Dynamics also come in handy for creating excitement. Check out how the dynamics drop in the verse section. This is also a handy trick when performing live and provides more room for the vocals to be heard. There are also some classic build-up sections where the dynamics increase to a crescendo.
We have, of course, recorded a full GT version of the track. In order to capture all the dynamic changes and human vibe it seemed churlish not to use a live rhythm section. As ever, a backing track is supplied with all the transcribed guitar parts removed so you can play along. So many thanks to Pete Riley for recording and performing the drums and Pat Hughes for recording the bass. As always, have fun and see you next time.
My Sharona is a classic power pop favourite and features fun-to-play riffs and plenty of lead guitar work.