How to play Bomber by Tatsuro Yamashita
In this article, we’re going to break down a song by the great Tatsuro Yamashita called Bomber. Bomber is a Japanese funk tune that has gotten increasingly popular thanks to the City Pop explosion in the last few years. This is how I actually learned about Tatsuro Yamashita, and this tune as well!
This song is a great song to learn if you’re looking to play more funk guitar!
What you can learn from Bomber
Become stronger with fast funk strumming
Switch between muting and non-muting chords smoothly
Solo using the minor Pentatonic scale as well as the Dorian and Natural Minor scales.
The sections of Bomber
So this song essentially has two sections.
There is also a bass solo, and THREE guitar solos! Lots of love for the guitar on this track! These solo sections happen over the Verse section of the song.
So first, let’s take a look at the verse section of this tune.
The verse has two guitars simultaneously playing. One playing chords, and the other playing a single line riff. Let’s look at the chord part in detail for this article.
The opening of the riff involves hammering on with both your 2nd and 3rd fingers. A little tricky if you haven’t done something like this before, but definitely a really cool sound once you’re able to pull it off.
The next half of this chord part are pretty straight-forward funk strumming chunks that go between muting and playing chords.
If muting while playing a funk rhythm is still giving you trouble, I highly recommend checking out this article which goes through some basics, as well as some exercises that will get you on your feet in no-time.
Next is the chorus section. This section is broken into two different parts. Let's take a look at the first part.
Other than the chords switching from bar to bar, once you have the rhythm under your fingers, it shouldn’t be too difficult. My recommendation here would be to practice this rhythm while muting the strings with your left hand.
Once that feels comfortable, start to bring in the chords with those mutes that you see.
For the 2nd half of the chorus, I would say practice it the same way you practice the first part. This part also includes sliding with your left hand by one fret. A very characteristic sound for the guitar in general.
Finally, we have the solo sections! If you are still learning how to play guitar solos, I would recommend familiarizing yourself with these scales.
E Minor Pentatonic
The E Minor Pentatonic scale is probably the number one go-to scale when it comes to guitar solos. It’s a great scale for when you’re starting out, and it’s also the scale that seems to pop his head out in almost any guitar solo.
E Natural Minor
Once you have the E Minor Pentatonic scale under your fingers, the next scale to master would be the E Natural Minor scale. There are just a few extra notes added to the scale.
The next scale that pops up in this guitar solo is the E Dorian Scale. As you can see, it looks very similar to the E Natural Minor scale, but with only one note difference. This one note difference has a different spice that it brings to the table when using these scales.
If you’re curious how you can use these scales, I highly recommend learning the solos in this tune so you can actually experience these scales in real time. Check out the video I made with a playthrough of this song if you’d like to see how these solos are played from beginning to end.
Also, learning and analyzing solos is extremely effective if you have a hard copy, therefore I highly recommend downloading and printing the tab sheet music here.
If you’d like to continue learning fun guitar songs like these, definitely give my lesson a try! Click here to book a free trial lesson, and let’s get started today!