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Johnny Marr Gives Virtual Guitar Lesson on The Smiths’ “The Headmaster Ritual”: Watch

on April 17, 2020, 5:11pm

On Thursday, members of Tool held a public Zoom webinar about the importance of bass and drums. For those more inclined to rock out with a guitar, The Smiths’ own Johnny Marr has got you covered today.

As part of Fender’s ongoing “Artist Check-In” series, Marr offered a virtual guitar lesson on the 1985 Smiths song “The Headmaster Ritual”. The livestreamed tutorial clocked in at about eight minutes and saw the guitar legend first go through a quick instrumental run-through of the track before breaking it down piece by piece.

Marr spoke about the origins of the Meat is Murder song throughout the lesson, noting how he wrote it in open E tuning. “I had no idea what I was doing when I wrote it, and I quite like that,” said the 56-year-old Manchester native, broadcasting from his own home studio and equipped with his signature Fender Jaguar. “I think it’s a handy device for cutting out the brain static that gets in the way of coming up with chord changes.”


Learn how to play “The Headmaster Ritual” by watching Marr’s video below.

Previously, Fender’s “Artist Check-In” series featured Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance, who taught viewers how to perform both “Ghost of You” and “Welcome to the Black Parade”. During this quarantine period, Fender offering three months of free lessons through its Fender Play platform.

For more free web-based music tutorials, Consequence of Sound launched its own series called Homeschool over on Instagram.