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Millencolin - No Cigar

by Paul-Coutts | 20 February 2012

Millencolin are a punk-rock band from Orebro, Sweden who formed in 1992. The band consists of Nikola Sarcevic, Mathias Farm, Erik Ohlsson, and Fredrik Larzon. They have 7 studio albums over their 20+ year career.

The song weʼre looking at is No Cigar the first track from the album Pennybridge Pioneers (2000) which probably their most popular album and the album that got them their first worldwide tour.
 
The song is in the key of E Major but has a minor tonality in the main riff and verse where the sections start on the relative C# minor chord. This is a typical modulation technique as it sets up the chorus to sound bigger and happier.
 
This is a great song to look at because even thought itʼs mostly just power chords, analyzing the 2nd guitar reveals how it just plays intervals to fill out the harmony. This is a great way to make your punk-rock songs sound a little more harmonically “full”.
 
Technically, the song is not too difficult and because itʼs punk-rock you can get away without it being perfectly clean. However, that being said the rhythm is primarily eighth notes at 158 bpm so itʼs fairly quick. Youʼll be using downstrokes and alternate picking. When alternate picking, itʼs important to be able to mute the strings properly with both your hands. For Guitar 2, you can incorporate a somewhat “Hendrix” technique to mute the strings and have your thumb over the neck.
 
As always, analyze the song by numbering the chords and sections against the E Major scale and try incorporating their techniques into your own songwriting.
 
Paul

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