As the debut single off of their self-titled debut album, "Just What I Needed" quickly launched The Cars career making them one of them most popular bands of the late seventies and eighties.
"Just What I Needed" is full of great guitar parts played by guitarist Elliot Easton. In this Just What I Needed guitar lesson, I will show you how to play all of them note-for-note!
The muted intro with aggressive chord stabs can be a bit tricky to time correctly if you don't know how to count it. However, if you follow the lesson I will show you a very simple way to easily understand the timing of this part.
We then quickly move into the verse which consists of mostly muted power chords and the occasional Chuck Berry style embellishment. There is nothing to overly difficult here except for some relatively large stretches.
The pre-chorus contains a couple quick suspended chords that help build the tension into the chorus. Remember though, the first verse and pre-chorus end with a short musical interlude that concludes with a cool descending guitar lick instead of going to the chorus. You will finally hit that chorus the second time around.
Speaking of the chorus, it is by far the easiest part of the song to play and easily the most recognizable guitar riff of the song. It uses simple power chords built entirely off the 5th string. Try to really feel the groove of this part and everything else should be a piece of cake.
On the other hand, Elliot Easton's guitar solo can be quite the challenge. It contains fast bends, a quick trill, slippery ascending slide licks, oblique bends and more. It moves around quite a bit.
Elliot Easton really figures out a way to throw in a bunch of cool licks in such a small time frame. But, because of this, you are going to have your work cut out for you in order to keep up.
As always with solos like this, I highly suggest learning it in sections or phrases like I teach it in the video lesson. This will help you digest all the parts and get them under your fingers before you put it all together. The different phrases come at you so fast there really isn't any other way to learn it.
So I hope you enjoy learning this intermediate level seventies classic from one of the best bands of that era, The Cars.
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Just What I Needed Guitar Lesson - The Cars