How to Play Zero Hour by Mark Lincoln (Guitar Lesson)


What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
Mark Lincoln

Zero Hour

Mark Lincoln teaches his original song "Zero Hour."

Taught by Mark Lincoln in Songs with Mark seriesLength: 23:59Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (23:59) Zero Hour In this lesson I'm going to teach you how to play my song entitled "Zero Hour." This is a song that I wrote when I was around the age of twenty-three when I was inspired by the loss of my girlfriend, a girl who suffered from a severe eating disorder and whom I cared for deeply. The song took me about a month to write as I composed it in pieces, and then assembled and reassembled it over that period of time. We'll go over the song in that same fashion as well as there are three distinct parts to the song that flow fluidly into one another. But before we begin, there are a few topics that we should cover in order that the learning process will go as smoothly as possible (Zero Hour is also available for your listening enjoyment on my website which can be found at www.myspace.com/markslincoln).

Palm Muting
Palm muting is a very subjective term that can describe actions taking on a number of different forms. Some guitar players use the inside of their hands on the side of their pinky fingers in order to control or mute certain strings and produce the desired effect. Other players mute strings using their left hands (on a right handed guitar player) and may use the effect to mute strings within chords as they are playing. But to achieve the desired effect in Zero Hour, I would like you all to use your right hand (assuming you are a right-handed guitar player) or your strumming hand to mute the necessary strings. The way in which I palm mute is this: holding the pick between your first finger and thumb, use the meaty area beneath your thumb ( also known as the opponents pad) and/or the flats of your fingers to mute the strings as you strum. I'm using the expression "and/or" because depending upon the orientation of your hand to the strings, as well as the manner in which you have become accustomed to strumming you may or may not be in close proximity to the fret board as you strum. Subsequently, using both the opponents pad as well as the flats of your fingers may be more difficult for some than others. Regardless, try to use both as this gives you a broader area to use in which to mute the necessary strings. If you are finding that you are simply not making contact with the fret board with the flats of your fingers then simply use the opponents pad to mute.

Strike the strings in a percussive manner with the opponents pad after the strum and avoid quelling all of the sound coming out of the sound hole. This portion of palm muting is possibly the most difficult as it takes some time to learn how to control exactly how much you are muting the strings. Not enough muting and you are, well, not muting! Too much muting and you won't be allowing the guitar to produce sound. Watch me carefully in the video for much more detail on this phenomenon as I'll show you how to palm mute as well as how to control the volume of what you are muting. As I delve into Zero Hour, I'll show you how to apply palm muting to produce the sound that I am in the tune. The chords we'll be using for this song are as follows:

Em7
E_0_
B_3_
G_0_
D_2_
A_2_
E_0_

G6
E_0_
B_3_
G_0_
D_0_
A_2_
E_3_

G
E_3_
B_0_
G_0_
D_0_
A_2_
E_3_

D
E_2_
B_3_
G_2_
D_0_
A_X_
E_X_

C add9
E_0_
B_3_
G_0_
D_2_
A_3_
E_X_

C sus4 (with 3rd)
E_0_
B_1_
G_0_
D_3_
A_3_
E__X_

C
E_0_
B_1_
G_0_
D_2_
A_3_
E_X_

C (no 5th)
E_0_
B_1_
G_0_
D_0_
A_3_
E_X_

C/G
E_0_
B_1_
G_0_
D_2_
A_3_
E_3_

Fmaj7
E_0_
B_1_
G_2_
D_3_
A_X_
E_X_

Am
E_0_
B_1_
G_2_
D_2_
A_0_
E_X_

Please get a feel for all of the above chords and get comfortable with moving about freely between them. The change between the three C chords can be a little tricky and should be played as C sus4, C and C (no 5th), C in that order. Again, Watch me carefully in the video for exactly how to play this integral series of chords.

Slingshotting
This technique describes the necessary action to make the changes in the verse chords: Em7, G6, D, C add9. I call it "slingshotting" because I leave the pinky in place for all four chords and in essence, use the pinky to bounce around the chords. The pinky allows smoother changes as well as quicker transitions between the chords. Try this technique with the four chords listed above and get a feel for how the placement of the pinky facilitates quicker chord changes. This technique also gives way to my next topic.

Finger Placement
Because we are keeping the pinky in place to play the Em7, G6, D and Cadd 9 chords, you have probably noticed that your "normal" finger placement for some, if not all, of these chords is different from how you might traditionally play them. Although Em7 is usually played with the pinky (or ring finger if you desire), the absence of a finger on the high E-string makes the G chord into a 6th chord. Most people don't play G in that fashion but because of the pinky placement, the G chord changes forms. The D chord which is usually played with the first three fingers is now played with the first two fingers and the pinky on the B-string, do you see this? The use of the slingshot requires a certain degree of flexibility both mentally as well as physically and will require you to be accommodating of potentially "new" chord forms.

Dynamics
You will more than likely notice as I play this song that there is a marked change in the dynamics as I change from palm muting into full strum, from the verse chords (Em7, G6, D, Cadd9) into the pre-chorus chords (the three C chords) and this is no accident. You should release the muting and give the guitar full strums as you enter into the C sus4, C and C (no 5th) chords and allow the guitar to ring out as it was intended to. This change in strum contributes to the overall change in dynamics as well as facilitates the build up into the chorus. Watch me in the video for more on this as well.

Song Lyrics and Chords
Please view the lyric and chord chart in the supplemental content section.

Stream of Consciousness
The pre-chorus (our lives were torn apart...) in this song uses what might be called "stream of consciousness" lyrics in that it seems to express thoughts but not in a traditional manner or obeying so-called "correct" grammar. The sentences, if you can call them that, are fragmented and indeed run into each other. This was intentional on my part as I was trying to get across a sense of how my thoughts were functioning (or dis-functioning rather) at that time in my life. Everything that was happening to me became overwhelming for a time and these lyrics seemed to express it appropriately.

The transition of each verse into the pre-chorus is another example of using stream of consciousness as well, as you might have noticed in this transition: "The clock is ticking down to zero...our lives were torn apart etc." Of course this is where I derived the title of the song from but it also works well as a representation of thought expressed in lyric form. Rather than having a clearly delineated form to each line of the song the lines run into one another and in a sense add to the overall momentum and dynamics of the piece.

Accents
When you hear me play this song, do you notice anyplace in particular where I'm accenting one chord more than another? Well, the fact of the matter is...you should! I am without a doubt consciously building the song as I go and accenting certain chords. For example, during the chorus I am placing emphasis on the Am as well as the lyric that accompanies it. Let's take a look at the chorus: I looked in your eyes, she's NOTHING LIKE you, where the lyrics in bold type are the ones that are sung over the Am chord. Both the chord as well as the lyric are accented within the song giving that point more power, more prominence, more weight within the song. Accenting in this manner can help to give a song definition as well as foster dynamics, high highs and low lows.

Call and Response
This technique is often used in rounds (like Row Row Row etc etc etc) and simple songs like nursery rhymes. But it can also be a powerful form of lyric as well. The chorus in Zero Hour utilizes this form as well and perhaps can be seen as an inner monologue. The chorus was derived from my own inner tortuous thoughts that every woman I met could never live up to the one that I had lost hence : "I looked in her (the other's) eyes, she's nothing like you." In a sense, I am calling out to myself and then answering in the only way I knew how to.

Call and response is a great technique that can be used in a number of ways including using the initial statement or "the call" and overlapping into "the response," and the response itself overlapping onto the next line of the call. Subsequently, each line blends neatly into the next making a seamless sort of montage of lyric.

Layering
This is a technique that is either achieved live or in a recording studio and will inevitably involve either multiple parts in the studio or multiple musicians in a live setting. Zero Hour employs the use of two vocalists, one male (me) and the other female during the pre-chorus as well as the chorus. Between the two of us, we used call-and-response types of arrangements as well as harmonies to make the vocal parts come to life. This was all done in a studio setting which allowed us the freedom to practice our parts as we went and make any necessary corrections as we saw fit. The combination of male and female vocals can provide a very powerful punch as well, especially when the topic of the song involves unrequited love. Regardless of the topic though, sometimes certain male and female voices work very well together and help to create a more beautiful composition.

Synthesis
Between the use of the various techniques listed above including slingshotting, palm muting as well as the other lyrical arrangements, a snappy lead break can help to bring the whole song together. The song reaches a peak when the lead comes into play and in a sense, helps the song to reach its pinnacle.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


kantokanto replied on February 18th, 2011

great work! I'm learning a lot, keep on good work!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 20th, 2011

Thanks Kanto great to hear from you! Mark

tammy7689tammy7689 replied on December 28th, 2009

great song great lesson thanks mark

Songs with Mark

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Learning to play songs is a rewarding and enjoyable way to put your guitar skills to the test. This series is all about learning great songs.



Lesson 3

Jeni Lani

Mark Lincoln teaches his original song "Jeni Lani." He also throws in a good deal of useful music knowledge.

Length: 31:57 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Zero Hour

Mark Lincoln teaches his original song "Zero Hour."

Length: 23:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

That's What She Told Me

Mark brings us one of his original songs with a punch. Here Mark teaches "That's What She Told Me."

Length: 33:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

A Song For You

Yet again, Mark brings his unique songwriting style to JamPlay with an original song. "A Song For You" is a more difficult song that features a Latin feel and a strong punctuated chorus line. This one...

Length: 28:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

The Story of Me

Mark Lincoln teaches an original song of his entitled "The Story of Me."

Length: 17:16 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

Hope Springs Eternal

Mark Lincoln just does not stop writing great originals! Here he teaches a rather complex song called "Hope Springs Eternal." This song will test your ability to play arpeggios and chord transitions.

Length: 30:22 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Iris

In this lesson Mark Lincoln teaches the famous Goo Goo Dolls song, "Iris."

Length: 37:52 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only

About Mark Lincoln View Full Biography Mark Lincoln was born in S. California but was raised near Portland Oregon in a town called Beaverton. When he was twelve years old, he began his journey into the realm of the creative by composing poetry and was later published in a journal called "In Dappled Sunlight." He wrote for four years until his older sister blessed him with his first guitar, an old beat-up nylon stringed classical guitar. Mark played that guitar for five years, continuing to compose his own lyrics and starting the process of matching his own words with chords that he was learning on the guitar. He learned to play chords from his friends and from music books that he both bought and borrowed. Mark cited his four biggest influences, at that point at least, as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones.

Mark cites his most current influences as Radiohead, U2, older music by REM, and Peter Gabriel amongst others. He performs with two acoustic guitars, one being a six-string M-36 Martin with a three-pieced back for increased bass response, and a Guild Twelve-string which is his most recent acquisition. Mark is fond of saying that the twelve-string guitar is better because you get two guitars for the price of one, but he still plays his Martin equally as much and with the same passion.

Mark ended up in Fort Collins Colorado where he currently lives, works as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and continues to write, teach and perform music. He currently performs with a group called "Black Nelson" as well as with a number of other seasoned professional musicians including his cousin David, a virtuoso lead-guitar player. Mark has performed in many of the smaller venues in Denver and Boulder, as well as some of the larger ones including the Fox Theatre, The Boulder Theatre, Herman's Hideaway, and also at The Soiled Dove where he opened for Jefferson Starship as a soloist. Some of Mark's originals are also available for your listening pleasure on MySpace.

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Our acoustic guitar lessons are taught by qualified instructors with various backgrounds with the instrument.


Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

Free LessonSeries Details
Pamela Goldsmith Pamela Goldsmith

Pamela brings a cap to her first 13 JamPlay lessons with another original etude inspired by the great Leo Brouwer. This is...

Free LessonSeries Details
Alan Skowron Alan Skowron

Alan shares his background in teaching and sets the direction for his beginning bass series with simple ideas and musical...

Free LessonSeries Details
Robbie Merrill Robbie Merrill

JamPlay welcomes bassist and founding member of Godsmack, Robbie Merrill. In this short introduction lesson, Robbie showcases...

Free LessonSeries Details
Marcelo Berestovoy Marcelo Berestovoy

Marcelo teaches the eight basic right hand moves for the Rumba Flamenca strum pattern. He then shows you how to apply it...

Free LessonSeries Details
Dave Yauk Dave Yauk

Learn a simple mini song that illustrates just how intertwined scales and chords really are. Dave uses a G chord paired...

Free LessonSeries Details
Hawkeye Herman Hawkeye Herman

Hawkeye teaches several Robert Johnson licks in this lesson. These licks are played with a slide in open G tuning.

Free LessonSeries Details
Kaki King Kaki King

In lesson 6, Kaki discusses how the left and right hands can work together or independently of each other to create different...

Free LessonSeries Details
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg

Steve Eulberg does a quick review of this lesson series and talks about moving on.

Free LessonSeries Details
Mark Lincoln Mark Lincoln

Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Our electric guitar lessons are taught by instructors with an incredible amount of teaching experience.


Brendan Burns Brendan Burns

Brendan demonstrates the tiny triad shapes derived from the form 1 barre chord.

Free LessonSeries Details
Larry Cook Larry Cook

In this lesson, Larry discusses and demonstrates how to tune your bass. He explains why tuning is critical and discusses...

Free LessonSeries Details
Braun Khan Braun Khan

In this lesson, Braun teaches the chord types that are commonly used in jazz harmony. Learn how to build the chords and their...

Free LessonSeries Details
Dave Weiner Dave Weiner

Dave "David J" Weiner returns with a lesson on how to play with style and attitude. He covers all the basic techniques you'll...

Free LessonSeries Details
Lisa Pursell Lisa Pursell

Lisa breaks into the very basics of the electric guitar. She starts by explaining the parts of the guitar. Then, she dives...

Free LessonSeries Details
Chris Liepe Chris Liepe

Chris brings his ingenuity to this lesson on the American folk song called "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" Also known as...

Free LessonSeries Details
James Malone James Malone

James explains how to tap arpeggios for extended musical reach.

Free LessonSeries Details
Steve Smyth Steve Smyth

JamPlay sits down with veteran fret grinder Steve Smyth of Forbidden and The EssenEss Project. He talks about how he got...

Free LessonSeries Details
Bumblefoot Bumblefoot

Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal pulls out all the stops in his blistering artist series. Dive into the intense,...

Free LessonSeries Details




Join over 455187 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

Signup today to enjoy access to our entire database of video lessons, along with our exclusive set of learning tools and features.



Unlimited Lesson Viewing

A JamPlay membership gives you access to every lesson, from every teacher on our staff. Additionally, there is no restriction on how many times you watch a lesson. Watch as many times as you need.

Live Lessons

Exclusive only to JamPlay, we currently broadcast 8-10 hours of steaming lesson services directly to you! Enjoy the benefits of in-person instructors and the conveniences of our community.

Interactive Community

Create your own profile, manage your friends list, and contact users with your own JamPlay Mailbox. JamPlay also features live chat with teachers and members, and an active Forum.

Chord Library

Each chord in our library contains a full chart, related tablature, and a photograph of how the chord is played. A comprehensive learning resource for any guitarist.

Scale Library

Our software allows you to document your progress for any lesson, including notes and percent of the lesson completed. This gives you the ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.

Custom Chord Sheets

At JamPlay, not only can you reference our Chord Library, but you can also select any variety of chords you need to work on, and generate your own printable chord sheet.

Backing Tracks

Jam-along backing tracks give the guitarist a platform for improvising and soloing. Our backing tracks provide a wide variety of tracks from different genres of music, and serves as a great learning tool.

Interactive Games

We have teachers covering beginner lessons, rock, classic rock, jazz, bluegrass, fingerstyle, slack key and more. Learn how to play the guitar from experienced players, in a casual environment.

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

Unlike a lot of guitar websites and DVDs, we start our Beginner Lessons at the VERY start of the learning process, as if you just picked up a guitar for the first time.Our teaching is structured for all players.

Take a minute to compare JamPlay to other traditional and new methods of learning guitar. Our estimates for "In-Person" lessons below are based on a weekly face-to-face lesson for $40 per hour.

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 82 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Community
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00

Mike H.

"I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar!"
 

I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!


Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"
 

I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg


Bill

"I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students."
 

I am commenting here to tell you and everyone at JamPlay that I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students. I truly enjoy learning to play the guitar on JamPlay.com. Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.



Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!