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.

Guitar Techniques - - PLAY: ROCK -

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.

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