Released in 1989 off of his Freedom album, "Rockin' In A Free World" shows Young in full on electric hard rock mode with bombastic guitar riffs and a memorable chorus'.
The guitar chords and riffs themselves are pretty simple. The opening riff, which is revisited again later in the song, uses a heavily palm muted power chord into some simple triads.
That opening riff is then played with open position chords when the verse comes in. The verse is actually played in two different rhythmic styles.
The first half of the verse lets all the chords ring creating a big open sound. However, halfway through the verse, Neil Young begins to heavily mute those same chords and you will also hear a little bit of arpeggio picking as well in order to make some individual notes come out.
This all leads us into the very memorable chorus which combines open chords that are allowed to ring out along with a descending single note riff when the chorus repeats. This chorus is really infectious and extremely catchy. The most important part to remember when playing the chorus is to really try to open up the sound as much as possible and let those big open chords ring.
As I mention in the video lesson, there are a couple of highly chaotic guitar solos by Neil Young in "Rockin' In A Free World" as well. These guitar solos are what we would refer to in the guitar playing world as absolutely un-recreatable. He is using predominantly the E minor pentatonic scale in the 12th position, so you should use that to help you recreate the vibe of these solos. But the techniques and way the solos are performed are not something that anyone, even Neil Young would be able to reproduce note-for-note.
The best way to go about playing the solo is to follow the couple of tips I will show you in the video lesson to help you give your solos the same vibe.
I hope you guys enjoy learning this Neil Young classic!
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