Buddy Holly, Classic Guitar, That'll Be the Day

Learn to Play
That'll Be The Day
And Other Guitar Riff Classics!


Anthony Aja
June 2003

Beginning with the May 2003 edition, newsletters are now archived
online at: http://www.guitar-leads.com/newsletter.htm


1. ROCK & ROLL 101 - Buddy Holly
2. LEARN-A-LICK - That'll Be the Day

Please forward this newsletter to anyone whom you think may be interested!
Hi and welcome to our second newsletter for: GUITAR-LEADS.COM. I hope you will enjoy it and find it a helpful tool in your journey to becoming a well rounded guitarist. For the time being, we will stay with the same format as last month’s newsletter. It seemed to work well from the great feedback that I received from all of you! Thanks a lot!


1. ROCK & ROLL 101

A very important part of learning how to play the guitar to the best of your God-given ability, is to know about the musicians who played an important role in influencing Rock & Roll guitar in the first place. As a part of this on-going newsletter, I will draw upon many examples, with the intent of showing and explaining different styles, rhythms, tones and other characteristics of playing the guitar. I want you to not only learn how to mechanically play the guitar, but to eventually be able to feel what you play. That will come later, but in time you will come to realize that "feeling" what you’re playing is WHY you ARE playing the guitar. It can and will carry your soul to different worlds.

This month’s Rock & Roll Guitar icon is the immortal Mr. Buddy Holly. Buddy was born on September 7, 1936 in Lubbock, Texas. He learned to play guitar in grade school and by age 17, had his own half-hour radio show. In 1955, he "opened for" non other than, Elvis and Bill Haley. By the time 1958 rolled around, Buddy was touring with the likes of: Jerry Lee Lewis, Frankie Lyman, Bobby Darin, Dion, The Coasters and others. On February 3, 1959, after a show in Clearlake, Iowa, Buddy, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper got on board a chartered plane and proceeded to fly out on that tragic night. Eight miles after take-off the ill-fated plane crashed, killing all aboard. That was "THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED."

Buddy popularized the rock band configuration with 2 guitars, bass and drums. He also was an early pioneer to use double tracking in the studio and also wrote his own songs. He developed a style of playing which incorporated a " Country Western and Bop" sound. Some of his greatest tunes are: That’ll Be The Day, Maybe Baby, It’s So Easy (To Fall In Love), and Peggy Sue.

Buddy played some nice rhythm guitar and some great guitar leads. Although (in my opinion) not as difficult as some of Chuck Berry’s leads, they still have an important place in Rock guitar learning.


Here’s the part where we will have some practical fun. In this section of your free Newsletter, I will show you an important Rock Lead (a LICK). For this, the second one, (last month’s newsletter featured the opening salvo to Johnny B. Goode.) , we will draw from our ROCK & ROLL 101 Monthly guitarist: Mr. Buddy Holly. Let’s take a look at the guitar Note Tablature for the opening to his song: THAT’LL BE THE DAY! This lead is not very difficult, but as in everything else, playing it cleanly and accurately and at the correct tempo is the challenge. Here goes!



3| 3S4– |--- ------|-3--------------|-2------------|--0H1---|-------------4




This opening is a great intro because it can be used in Rock & Roll as well as in The Blues too. If playing a Blues tune in the key of E, you can open the song with this lick. Try it! I use it from time to time in my playing!

Oh, just a note: If any of this seems foreign to you, I enthusiastically invite you to go to my web site: GUITAR-LEADS.COM and look at all the course has to offer, for the low, low, REDUCED introductory price of $29.95. Learn how to play the above riff to That'll Be The Day and other classic guitar solos.


In this section, I will let you in on some of the wonderful experiences I’ve had as a guitar player. (Remember, you can make your own memories too, so make sure you check out my web site.)

The date was October 28, 1995. The place was a mansion at the northern-most tip of Ohio, near Lake Erie. The event was a wedding for the former governor of the State of Ohio. It was a small, private wedding. We were asked to play for the reception because the Governor knew my band, Phil Dirt & The Dozers very well, as we were and still are, from Columbus, Ohio, the former home of the Governor.

Now, there was some talk that one of the bride-to-be’s co-workers and guest was going to attend the wedding and she just happened to be the wife of one of the founders of The Beach Boys: Mr. Carl Wilson. (Remember his brothers Dennis and Brian?)

We started our set of oldies music playing tunes by The Four Seasons, The Diamonds, The Platters, etc... . We were playing in an outdoor, huge tent. Unfortunately, it was a very cold night, being so close to the lake and at the end of the summer, so most of the guests were in the mansion. However, a man, very neatly dressed all in black entered the rear of the tent at that time (which was not more than 30 feet away from us on stage.) As we began to play the Beach Boys tune "Fun, Fun, Fun", I realized just who this man was. It was Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys. He sat down at a table with his wife and listened to us play. I was melting. He was my musical idol. I had been following The Beach Boys’ music for decades. Their harmonies and original music had always influenced my musical education and enjoyment. (They were and still are my favorite group.) All I could think of was that I had to get off of the stage to go and meet him. After a few tunes, he stood up and walked over to our sound man. What was he saying? After a few minutes, he walked out of the tent. Oh no!!!!! Was all lost?

We played a few more tunes and then took a break. I darted off of the stage to my sound man and asked him what Carl had said to him. Charlie told me that Carl said, " I don’t know if you know who I am, but I am Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys and I just want to tell you what a great sound your band has. You guys execute your vocals perfectly. This is the way The Beach Boys should sound. I have to tell them when I get back to our show tomorrow." I died! I couldn’t believe that one of The founding members of The Beach Boys would pay us such a high compliment. I had to go find Carl... NOW!

I quickly walked towards the mansion... up the steps and into the living room. There, with his back to me and talking to my other band mates, was Carl Wilson. As I got closer, Mark (my keyboard player) said "here’s Tony now." Then he introduced me to Carl. Mark said, "Tony do you know who this is?" I said "Yes, I sure do!" I was in awe. It was like standing next to Elvis or The Beatles.

Carl reached his hand out and we shook hands.

I told him that I had over 200 of The Beach Boys’ albums. I remember him saying "that’s an awful lot." We all talked about the Beach Boys early day’s and the making of their song "Good Vibrations" and that playing surf music was all Dennis’s idea. Carl said that ..."singing with his family, in the early days was very spiritual for them all." We talked some more and then we said our goodbyes as it was time for us to go back and play another set of music.
We played our next set and I was mentally out-to-lunch during it. I couldn’t help thinking about what had just happened. I couldn’t wait to get off of the stage and talk to Carl again and ask for his autograph. When we were finished playing our set, I rushed into the house. Carl was there watching the last game of the Cleveland Indians World series. I didn’t want to bother him so I waited and went to go look for something for him to autograph. It couldn’t have taken more than 5 minutes. When I got back to the living room... he was gone. Carl had left the wedding party. No autograph for me but a mind full of wonderful memories which I will never forget on that special evening. It is something, that as a kid, as a guitar playing kid, I had dreamed about getting to meet one of The Beach Boys someday. The odds of this happening always seemed impossible to me as a kid and as adult. But, I did dream about it. Little did I know that what was to come a few years later was like the intensity of winning the lottery . And in a couple of years I would have more visits with The Beach Boys and this time it would be something no one would believe. I’ll save that for another newsletter.

I tell you these stories because I want you to know that I started off playing the guitar by teaching myself and after many years and many bands, I found the right opportunity and was able to live out a dream. You can too! After what I experienced, I am living proof that if you stick-with-it and want to be successful, you have the same chance of living out your dreams. I did it.

I play the guitar, today as a member of a very successful national Rock & Roll Oldies Band. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to do what you love to do to earn a living. I would suggest that if you have not ordered my course TIPS, TRICKS & TABLATURE yet , please do so now. Go to my web site and read the front page, I’ll teach you how to start your own band, how to read tablature: both chord and note tabs. And most importantly, I will cut-out all the mumbo jumbo out of learning to play guitar so that you can be successful as quickly as possible. My daughter was the first student to take this course. She has been playing less than a year and she is already playing at the same level it took me 3 years to get to when I started. That’s because I had no one to take me step by step through learning how to buy a guitar or how to tune it up or how to adjust your guitar. I had to teach myself. And some things I learned from other people were incorrect. Playing the guitar can be such an enjoyable hobby. Once you get hooked, you won’t want to put it down! Try my course. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you are not a beginner, it doesn’t matter. If you can learn one new trick or Barre chord for the price of LESS THAN THE COST OF ONE GUITAR LESSON then you’re already a winner!

This guitar leads course will be the best $29.95 investment you will ever make. Expect it to change your life. I guarantee it!


Whole Note is a good all around guitar site

Guitar Chords Generator. This site contains a number of interesting products including a guitar tab generator.

5. Thought For The Day - Charity

Character is not made in a crisis, it is only exhibited. ---Robert Freeman

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