Just What I Needed by The Cars | rhythm & solo
An electric guitar lesson on how to play "Just What I Needed" by The Cars from their debut album released in 1978.
I remember when this album came out and everybody was talking all about it being "New Wave". I never really saw it that way. Apart from the synth sounds, it just seemed like really great rock and roll music to me!
IMHO, this is The Cars best song. It's got all of the elements, the clicky rhythm guitar, the cool keyboard lines, the great vocals and as a guitar player, the excellent rhythm parts and the absolutely killer solo!
Elliot Easton is a fantastic guitarist who always came up with really interesting and well thought out and well played played solos. He plays in a rock style but has some definite country influences.
To play this solo with feel and accuracy is tough. It's a lot harder than it sounds. There are some really challenging licks in it.
You really have to have your bends together for this one. If you don't, it's going to sound like dying cats! I play with 10-46 gauge strings so having strong fingers really helps to play this solo.
An interesting thing about this track and about many of the recordings from the seventies is the meter is very inconsistent. Back in the day nobody used click tracks.
The original recording starts out at around 124bpm and by the first chorus is up to about 130! I actually like that because it gives more room for expression but it's not possible when you use a drum machine and a click track unless you keep altering the click which is pretty tough to do.
Anyways, I played my demo at 128 so the start sounds too fast but the rest is a bit slow!
I had a really great time recording the demo of this tune. It was fun to fake the keyboard part! I hope you enjoy the videos and have fun playing this late seventies classic. Cheers
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