In this guitar lesson, I will be teaching you a Tenacious D masterpiece. We will look at the Classico TAB and I’ll guide you through how to play this both clever and funny piece of music one step at a time. In my opinion, Classico is simply something that every guitar player should try at some point. It’s fun, it’s hilarious, and it’s also rather sophisticated when you think about it.
I know exactly why you’re here. You’ve seen the film, or you’ve remembered watching the film, or you’ve seen a clip of Classico, and you thought, wow that’s cool. I want to play that. Well, today you’re going to learn how to play it.
Why wouldn’t a guitarist want to learn this? It looks mighty impressive and you know what? It may sound it, but it’s not actually that difficult in the grand scheme of things. Sure, it’s not a song for complete beginners, but it’s a piece of music that anyone can master with some practice.
Get yourself a small glass of carrot juice, take a seat on the power couch and let’s go. After this lesson, I’ll teach you how to deactivate lasers and defeat Satan.
About Classico by Tenacious D
Classico is a song from the Tenacious D film, The Pick of Destiny. If you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend it. It’s very enjoyable indeed, especially for musicians. You don’t have to watch the movie to find it though as the track is also featured in the soundtrack album although, watching the film will help you understand the context.
Classico is essentially a medley of snippets from famous classical pieces. Kyle Gass performs on guitar and Jack Black accompanies him with humorous lead vocals.
The classical pieces used in Classico include Bach’s Bourrée in E minor, Für Elise by Beethoven and Eine kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart. If you’re not a classical music expert, fear not. Firstly, that makes you the same as me and secondly, these pieces are all familiar to you already even if you don’t know it, so getting the below right won’t be any more difficult than learning any other cover.
Classico TAB Guitar Lesson and Guide
The best way to learn Classico is the same way we learn many songs. Piece by piece. As mentioned, Classico is a combination of different classical pieces so it only seems natural to split the whole piece up into those separate snippets. We Will therefore have three sections to learn but I’ve decided to split the last part into two as the TAB is slightly longer. We’ll attack this in chronological order and by the end, you’ll have the TAB for the full arrangement from start to finish.
Classico TAB section 1
For the first section of Classico, we’ll be using finger picking. After this section, you can go back to the plectrum but for this, finger picking is essential. It’s not a particularly difficult finger picking section, but it will feel tricky at first, especially for those who don’t finger pick often. Here’s the TAB.
I have made a couple of tiny adjustments in this section (and in the other sections), but nothing crazy. I’ve thinned out the bass notes slightly so there’s a nice and clear rhythm to them. This make things easier for less experienced finger pickers.
Play all the bass notes with your thumb and use your musical common sense for the rest of the notes.
This is the shortest section of the piece by far. If your guitar isn’t accompanied by vocals, consider playing through this section twice. That’s what I do. It’s a cool sounding few bars. It’s a shame that it ends so fast. It’s a perfect arrangement in the context of the film, but if you’re just playing it on guitar, making this part longer sounds good.
I’d advise that you start very slowly when you learn this section. This is a part that’s very easy to mess up and mistakes are impossible to recover. Start slow and get it under your fingers and build up the tempo gradually.
Classico TAB section 2
If you’ve got to this point in the track, well done because the above part if probably the trickiest. Section two is a cake walk compared to it. Here’s the TAB. Don’t forget your guitar pick.
As you can see, this part is based around a few simple major and minor barre chords which is nice. Many of the individually picked notes are simply notes from their surrounding chords and the notes that aren’t are very close by. If you’re able to play section one, this won’t cause you any issues.
There’s a few very fun to play moments in Classico and some of that fun material lives in section two. The opening lick is epic, as is the octave switching part and the fast picking at the end of the section.
There’s not much more to say about this part. It’s by far the easiest of the sections so not much guidance is really required assuming you’re comfortable with the barre chords which you should be if you’re tackling this track.
Let’s move on to the final part of classico which I have split into two parts.
Section 3 part 1
This part is more difficult than the last, but all it will take is a little practice. There is more playing around the chords but there’s also a crazy lead run. Here’s the TAB for the first half of section three
Let’s start naturally with the first two bars of this part. The TAB shows a B power chord, but I’d suggest fingering the full B major barre chord. Don’t play the full chord but simply fret it. This is because the couple of notes that follow are a part of that chord. There’s no point in wasting movement if we don’t have to.
The rest of the section (pre crazy lick) is straightforward. Chords surrounded by a few notes, kind of like section two. Then, we get to that lick
It looks quite difficult on paper but to be honest, this crazy lick is quite tame. There are some fast-moving 16th notes in there, but they’re surrounded by calmer moments which make it easier to digest. You’ll still have to put in a little practice to get it right though. For some reason, it was the later part of this four-bar run that caused me more trouble. No idea why. Just work on it nice and slowly and you’ll get it. If you can nail this, the rest is fairly smooth sailing.
Section 3 part 2
We’ve now reached the final part of classico. Learn this and you’ll be able to play the whole thing from start to end. There’s a couple of 16th note licks in the first two bars, but after that, it’s just simple chords with a couple of bass notes. Here’s the TAB.
The above is simply how I described it. The two bits of lead at the start feel easier compared to the previous lead part and the chords are simple. You just have to get the hang of the quite specific rhythm that’s all.
That’s about it for the Classico TAB. Take it one bar at a time and practice the trickier parts nice and slowly. It actually sounds quite nice slowly anyway. Once you have the track under your fingers, practice it along with the recording to test yourself and to ensure you’ve got all the rhythm correct.
Classico is a good all-rounder. It’s easy in parts but challenging in other parts, it’s short yet there’s a lot to learn and remember, but most importantly, it’s very fun to play and it’s a proper crowd pleaser. It looks impressive to an audience even without the vocals and even if those listening/watching haven’t seen the film or heard of Tenacious D. Enjoy, you shiny golden god.
That concludes the Classico TAB and guitar lesson. This track is called Classico and it uses material from classical pieces of music, but it isn’t classical music itself as such. If you’d like to learn some classical guitar, you should try these two guitar lessons here.
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Hello. My name is Ryan J Mellor and I play the guitar. I’m also the creator of Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat. I’ve ben a guitarist for many years and my guitar playing has been described as “above average”. My guitar and music knowledge is somewhat impressive but most importantly, I have a passion for creating great guitar and music related content.