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Where is My Mind Electric Guitar

The “Where is My Mind” electric guitar riff is iconic to the alternative rock genre. It features in the Pixies’ 1988 song from their album “Surfer Rosa.”

Unlock the essence of indie rock’s golden era by mastering the evocative “Where is My Mind” on electric guitar. This timeless track, made famous by its haunting melody and dynamic structure, has captured the hearts of musicians and fans alike.

Expertly crafted by lead guitarist Joey Santiago, this riff embodies the indie ethos and has become a staple for aspiring guitarists to learn. Engage with the power and emotion of this seminal piece, as it offers a window into the innovative world of the late ’80s underground rock scene. Embracing this guitar line not only enhances your repertoire but also connects you to a pivotal moment in music history.

Where is My Mind Electric Guitar


Introduction To ‘where Is My Mind’

Striking a chord that reverberates through the halls of music history, the electric guitar intro of ‘Where is My Mind’ by the Pixies is undeniably unforgettable. This seminal track not only showcases the band’s raw and inventive style but also encapsulates a moment when alternative rock started to shape the mainstream music landscape. Let’s delve into the origin behind this iconic song and uncover the reasons behind its lasting legacy.

Overview Of The Pixies And Their Impact On Alternative Rock

The Pixies hold a revered place in the pantheon of alternative rock music. Formed in 1986 in Boston, Massachusetts, this quartet quickly gained a reputation for their dynamic soundscapes and eclectic songwriting. With Black Francis’s piercing vocals, Kim Deal’s melodic bass lines, Joey Santiago’s inventive guitar riffs, and David Lovering’s steady percussive force, the Pixies eschewed the polish of mainstream rock, preferring something far more raw and visceral.

  • Released ground-breaking albums like ‘Surfer Rosa’ and ‘Doolittle’.
  • Influenced the sound of bands like Nirvana, Radiohead, and Weezer.
  • Pioneered the loud-quiet-loud dynamic in song structure.

The Cultural Significance Of ‘where Is My Mind’

As a standout track from their debut album, ‘Surfer Rosa’, ‘Where is My Mind’ became a definitive anthem for the Pixies. It’s a song that resonates with a sense of introspection and existential musings, wrapped in a melody that’s both haunting and beautiful. The tune has since become an emblem of cultural reflection, often used as an artistic trope to signal moments of realization or epiphany within various forms of media.

  1. Symbolizes the search for identity and understanding within chaos.
  2. Represents the spirit of an era that hungered for authenticity and depth in music.
  3. Became an unofficial anthem for those feeling disconnected from the status quo.

The Song’s Presence In Film And Media

The haunting notes of ‘Where is My Mind’ have transcended the realms of music to become a staple in film and media. Most notably, it served as the backdrop to the climactic closing scene of David Fincher’s cult classic, ‘Fight Club’, cementing the song’s place in cinematic history. The track has a life of its own within popular culture, repeatedly being revisited and reinterpreted through:

Film Scene Description Impact
Fight Club The final scene as buildings collapse, symbolizing chaos and rebirth Highlighted the song’s themes of disruption and the search for purpose
Other Media Used frequently in TV shows, adverts, and cover versions by various artists Reinforced its position as a versatile and evocative musical piece

Dissecting The Guitar Work In ‘where Is My Mind’

Every once in a while, a song comes along with a guitar line so mesmerizing, it carves a permanent place in musical history. The Pixies’ “Where is My Mind” is one such gem, captivating the listener with its ethereal vibe and intriguing melodies. Dissecting the guitar work in this iconic track reveals a tapestry of raw emotion and technical brilliance. Let’s dive deep into the guitar elements that make this song a beloved staple for guitar enthusiasts around the globe.

Joey Santiago’s Unique Guitar Style

When discussing the Pixies’ sound, guitarist Joey Santiago often steals the spotlight with his unconventional approach to the six-string. His style embraces a sense of wild abandon that flirts with chaos while remaining musically coherent. Santiago’s minimalistic yet impactful technique is evident throughout “Where is My Mind,” as he orchestrates a symphony of dissonance and melody, leaving an indelible mark on the track’s sonic landscape.

Analysis Of The Song’s Iconic Guitar Riff

The centerpiece of “Where is My Mind” is its iconic guitar riff, a hauntingly beautiful sequence that serves as the song’s backbone. The riff is both simple and complex, weaving a rich tapestry of sound with a few well-chosen notes. Notes echo with a light reverb, creating an atmospheric quality that allows the riff to resonate long after it’s played. Here’s a breakdown of the riff in tab form for fellow guitarists to follow:


The Contribution Of Guitar Dynamics To The Overall Mood Of The Track

Beyond the riff, the guitar dynamics in “Where is My Mind” play a key role in crafting the song’s emotive atmosphere. Santiago fluctuates between soft, gentle picking and soaring, echoing leads that mimic the oscillations of a mind in contemplation. These shifts in dynamics give the track a pulsing quality, much like the ebb and flow of the ocean referenced in the song’s lyrics, ultimately contributing to its dreamlike mood.

Technique Breakdown: How To Play The Main Riff

For guitarists eager to capture the essence of “Where is My Mind,” mastering the main riff is essential. Start by tuning your guitar to standard tuning (EADGBE). The riff hinges on an arpeggiated E major chord that transitions into a variant of a D and C major. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Position your fingers on an E major chord at the end of the guitar neck.
  2. Pick the strings individually, starting with the low E string, to create the cascade effect.
  3. As the riff progresses, lift your fingers in sequence to transition from E to D to C, while maintaining the picking pattern.
  4. Practice the shifts between chords smoothly to emulate the fluid nature of Santiago’s playing.

Pay close attention to the tempo and the lightness of your picking hand to ensure the ethereal quality of the riff is maintained. With practice, you’ll be able to mimic the unforgettable sound that defines “Where is My Mind.”

Gear And Tone – Recreating The Sound

Welcome to the deep dive into the iconic soundscape of Pixies’ mesmerizing hit, ‘Where is My Mind’. With its haunting guitar riffs and otherworldly echo, Joey Santiago created a masterful sound that has captured the imagination of guitarists for decades. This section is dedicated to those looking to recreate that distinct tone and feel. From the equipment to the settings, let’s embark on the journey of replicating the ‘Where is My Mind’ soundscape.

Guitar And Equipment Used By Joey Santiago

To recreate the sound of ‘Where is My Mind,’ understanding Joey Santiago’s original gear is crucial. Santiago primarily used a Gibson Les Paul with a Marshall amplifier. This combination is renowned for its rich, full-bodied tones with the capacity for smooth sustain and warm distortion. For an authentic replication, seeking out these types of guitars and amplifiers, or their analogs, is a fantastic starting point.

Amp Settings And Effects To Capture The ‘where Is My Mind’ Tone

Achieving the precise tonality of the song demands specific amp settings. Traditionally, Joey Santiago would set the gain moderately to achieve that natural overdrive without overpowering the core tone. To find the sweet spot, start with these settings and tweak as needed:

  • Bass: Set around 6 to emphasize the lower frequencies slightly.
  • Mid: Around 4 to provide warmth without muddiness.
  • Treble: Up to 7 offering clarity to lead lines.
  • Reverb: A touch, around 3, for depth.
  • Master & Preamp Volume: Adjust according to space and desired overdrive.

For the effects, a critical element is a good reverb pedal to recreate the spaciousness present in the track. Additionally, Joey Santiago’s sound often incorporates a delay effect which can be replicated with a digital or analog delay pedal, set to a moderate feedback with a short delay time.

Pedals And Processors: Recommendations For Achieving A Similar Sound

For those seeking to mirror ‘Where is My Mind’ with their pedalboard, the market is replete with options that can mimic the soundscapes created by Santiago. Consider these recommendations:

  1. A tube screamer or overdrive pedal for slight grit.
  2. A digital reverb unit to offer spatial depth and atmosphere.
  3. An analog delay pedal for echoing textures matching the song’s mood.

Experimentation is key; mix and match pedals from your collection to not just emulate but also personalize the tone.

Detailed Guitar Settings And Playstyle Tips

For a complete tonal landscape that reflects ‘Where is My Mind’, guitar settings can’t be overlooked. Make sure your guitar’s volume is up high to feed the amp properly, with tone knobs adjusted just right to bring out the highs without becoming piercing.

As for playstyle, it’s the subtleties that will solidify your sound. Focus on dynamic picking, softer for verses to build up the ethereal feeling, and then with more force for the chorus to encapsulate the song’s raw energy. Of course, a loose, fluid strumming style will aid in delivering that dreamy essence which defines the track.

Pickup Selection Tone Knob Setting Type of Pick
Bridge for sharpness and clarity Around 6-7, depending on your guitar Medium thickness for balance

Following the above tips and understanding the interplay between gear and technique will set you on the path to capturing the soul-stirring sound of ‘Where is My Mind’ on your electric guitar.

Where is My Mind Electric Guitar


The Legacy And Influence Of ‘where Is My Mind’ On Guitarists

The Pixies’ iconic anthem ‘Where is My Mind’ is a cornerstone in the alternative rock genre, its surreal, haunting lyrics paired with a distinctive guitar riff that has resonated with audiences since its release. This song is not just a mere track from the late 80s; it has become a phenomenon, influencing guitarists around the world and across generations. ‘Where is My Mind’ has transcended its era, inspiring musicians to explore their own creativity and pushing the boundaries of what is possible with six strings and an amplifier.

Impact On Future Generations Of Guitar Players

The influence of ‘Where is My Mind’ on guitarists is undeniable. The song’s mesmerizing lead riff, played by Joey Santiago, became a beacon for those seeking to learn the electric guitar. Its simplicity yet profound impact laid the groundwork for countless budding guitarists, teasing out a path where emotion and technical skill converge seamlessly.

  • Ease of learning: The riff’s straightforward nature makes it an excellent entry point for beginners.
  • Creative expression: It encourages new players to experiment with effects like reverb and delay, shaping their unique sound.
  • Genre exploration: Guitarists often find themselves delving into alternative rock, indie, and beyond after mastering this essential piece.

The song’s ethos propelled the indie/alternative scene and became a staple influence for guitar-driven bands in the ’90s and beyond.

Covers And Interpretations By Notable Artists

Over the years, ‘Where is My Mind’ has seen numerous covers and interpretations, evidence of its monumental status. Diverse artists have put their spin on the track, from intimate acoustic renditions to full-blown orchestral arrangements – each adding a new layer of appreciation and depth to the original.

Artist Genre Year Notable Changes
Placebo Alternative Rock 2003 Amplified intensity
Trampled by Turtles Bluegrass 2011 Acoustic with strings
Storm Large Jazz 2014 Sultry, slow tempo

Each artist’s interpretation reflects the song’s adaptability and the universal appreciation of its guitar composition across different musical landscapes.

Learning ‘where Is My Mind’ As A Rite Of Passage For Electric Guitarists

For many electric guitarists, learning ‘Where is My Mind’ is more than adding another song to their repertoire; it’s a rite of passage. Mastering this song represents a milestone in a guitarist’s development, marking a transition from novice to someone who understands the power of melody and the importance of nuance.

  1. Memorable riff: The foundational element that every guitarist aims to capture perfectly.
  2. Inspiration: The song often acts as a springboard, inspiring guitarists to compose their own work.
  3. Community: Learning this song connects guitarists to a wider community who share a love for the Pixies and their legacy.

Experienced musicians often look back on the moment they first nailed the riff with fondness, a testament to their skill and passion for the instrument.

Where is My Mind Electric Guitar


Frequently Asked Questions Of Where Is My Mind Electric Guitar

What Guitar Was Used For Where Is My Mind?

The guitar used for “Where Is My Mind? ” By the Pixies is a Fender Telecaster. Black Francis, lead singer and guitarist, played this iconic instrument on the track.

Where Is My Mind On Guitar Chords?

“The guitar chords for ‘Where Is My Mind’ by Pixies involve a sequence of E, C#m, G# and A, played in a distinctive arpeggiated style. “

How Do You Play Where Is My Mind On Guitar Ultimate Guitar?

To play “Where Is My Mind” on guitar, visit Ultimate Guitar’s website. Search for the song title. Choose a version with high ratings. Refer to the provided tab or chord sheet for finger placement and strumming patterns. Practice the progression steadily to master the tune.

Where Is My Mind Strumming Pattern?

The strumming pattern for “Where Is My Mind” by Pixies follows a DDU UDU rhythm. Strum down on the first beat, then down-up, and continue with up-down-up.


Exploring the ‘Where is My Mind’ riff on electric guitar unveils the track’s timeless allure. Its hypnotic melody resonates with novices and seasoned players alike. Whether strummed in solitude or shared with an audience, the song’s essence captivates. Embrace the journey of mastering this iconic tune; let your fingers bring its spirit to life.

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