Math Rock Guitar / Emo styles Guitar Lessons

Hi, my name is Steve, and welcome to my page all about mathrock and styles of music that are often attributed to math rock.

I make math rock guitar lesson videos, and whether you are a beginner, intimidate, or already an experienced player, hopefully I have something for you. I aim to get you thinking about how you can improve your own song writing skills, knowledge of music theory, and guitar techniques.
Although the lessons mainly focus on mathrock, they are beneficial for your general guitar skills, too.

You'll find plenty of videos on this website spanning many different topics. I recommend checking out the beginner style lessons if you are new to math rock or are an actual beginner of guitar.

If you have any questions, hit me up at or leave a message via the contact page.

All the best,

What is Math Rock?

When it comes to defining math rock, there are many varying definitions out there. I have thought about it, and haven’t really come to any solid conclusions. However, one thing I have noticed, is that most people will agree (just like myself) that it is an ambiguous term/genre to define!

If you consider the influential genres of math rock: Jazz, progressive, experimental, punk, emo, post-rock and various sub-genres of each style of music, it becomes clearer why bands that often labeled as math rock, even though they sound quite different to extremely different from one another are often labelled as such. To state the obvious, this is perhaps why we see sub genres such as math pop, math metal, and math core used to label different variations of math rock. However, this still doesn’t give a clearer definition as to what math rock is.

Perhaps, we need to turn our attention to what people considered to be the characteristic features of math rock to get a better answer. Again, I gave this a lot of thought and research and came to somewhat of a conclusion; It seems to be the personal perspectives, experiences, views, and so on of an individual that make up their held definition of what math rock is. In short, each person has their own held subjective view of what math rock is.

For example, without going into too much detail, when I think of the term math rock, I think of bands such as hella, Tera Melos, Don Caballero, Giraffes? Giraffes!, piglet, and so on. These bands, I like to think of as “structured mayhem”, in that the complexities of the arrangement and playing seem to be almost as if they have been made-up (improvised) on the spot, but in truth, they are well rehearsed and are played with the upmost care to be as accurate with every rendition.
The possibility of each phrase, bar, section, and so on, could bring something new, something to be excited about, and after the 50th listen it starts to makes sense in your mind, you start to think this sounds ‘normal’ until you show it to a mate who’s not really into alternative styles of music, then you suddenly realize how crazy it is again. That’s not to say other bands that are labelled as math rock aren’t math rock to me, I still consider them so, just they come across as more structured in playing and progression (use of repetition, and structured harmony for example).

In conclusion, what is clear, is that it is no easy feat to define exactly what math rock is, as it appears (to me at least) to be a subjective term at best. Math rock is what math rock is to you, and that’s just fine.

Stephen Hazel

(Let’s Talk About Math Rock)



I got a new geetar! Let the twinkles commence! It's a Fender American Special Telecaster in Lake Placid Blue. Aint she purdy?

math rock gear

Where to Start?

I think you'll find this video as a good place to start. In the video, I look at commonly used chords in math rock, and emo styles such as midwest emo, emo pop and chords used by emo revival bands.

All of My Videos

Recommended Gear For Those New To Playing Math Rock & Emo Styles

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