When Twisted Sister released "We're Not Gonna Take It" as the lead single off their 1984 album Stay Hungry, it began to dominant the airwaves and created legions of young rock fans, myself included.
With it's anti-authority slant and catchy melodies, "We're Not Gonna Take It" became an instant classic that is still heard today in commercials, movies and even on a few decent rock radio stations.
In this We're Not Gonna Take It guitar lesson video, I will show you how to play all the riffs of this rock masterpiece and also demonstrate a note-for-note breakdown of the guitar solo.
The song opens with a descending power chord riff that appears multiple times throughout the song. The riff really helps to build the excitement throughout the song so the timing of the chords is essential. If you are an beginner level guitarist, the quick shifts if this opening riff may produce a nice challenge.
For the verse of the song we have a heavily palm muted riff using a straight 8th note rhythm played with downstrokes. The chords are pretty simple so just make sure to keep those 8th notes consistent and you should be fine.
The chorus uses the same chords as the verse except in a slightly altered format. Instead of the heavy palm muting we now let the chords ring open with a more relaxed rhythmic feel. However, the B5 and A5 power chords are now given a little more rhythmic momentum by employing the Chuck Berry style B5-B6 to A5-A6 chord variation. This requires a pretty large stretch for the fretting hand on the B5-B6 transition, so make sure your thumb is in the middle of the back in order to help your little finger reach it's note.
We also have a cool little build-up bridge section that will be covered as well. But the guitar solo is now upon us!
The solo uses a simple melody that follows the vocal melody pretty closely. However, the are some cool whammy bar moves thrown in there in order to help keep everything interesting. You will probably want to get the melody notes under your fingers first, then you can add all the bar dives and vibrato afterwards. 🙂
Have fun with this 80's rock classic!
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We're Not Gonna Take It Guitar Lesson - Twisted Sister