Smashing Pumpkins – Mayonaise Guitar Lesson

In this Mayonaise guitar lesson video series, I will show you how to play this great song by The Smashing Pumpkins in it's entirety.

To play "Mayonaise" like James Iha and Billy Corgan performed this on the original recording and live, you will definitely need two guitarists.

The tuning that James Iha is using is very unorthodox. That tuning is, starting from the 6th string, Eb Bb Bb Gb Bb D. This makes it an EbminMaj7 open tuning.  Keep in mind that the 5th and 4th strings are in unison which means you tune the A string a half-step up to Bb and tune the D string down and major third to Bb.

Billy Corgan uses the more traditional Eb tuning, starting from the 6th string, Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb.

In the first video lesson, I will show you all of James Iha's guitar parts, since they are more crucial to the overall chord progressions.

The arpeggiated intro is beautiful and not overly challenging. When the strumming kicks in, there is a main chord shape that Iha is using for much of the song. It is this chord shape that is giving most of the chords in the progressions an add9 quality about them.

The strumming pattern also incorporates a lot of accents on the upbeats, which I will talk about in the lesson.

I will go through each section of the song in the order that they appear and will include the minute and second mark on the original recording each chord progression occurs so you won't get lost.

In the second video I will cover all of Billy Corgan's guitar parts including the solos.

The intro and outro solos played by Corgan contain some really nice melodic playing that is approachable by just about any upper beginner level player and above.

The main solo, played with a thick fuzz distortion and phaser pedal, is a little bit more involved technically, but still rather simple to play. It also fits the music beautifully.

The chords that Corgan uses are mostly power chords, allowing Iha to add the upper chord extensions. This makes Corgan's rhythm guitar parts a bit easier to play.

Once again, I will go through each of these sections of the song in the order that they appear on the original recording.

I hope you guys enjoy learning this masterpiece by The Smashing Pumpkins!


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The Smashing Pumpkins - Mayonaise Guitar Lesson Pt.1 - James Iha

The Smashing Pumpkins - Mayonaise Guitar Lesson Pt.2 - Billy Corgan

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