THE CHORD IS IRRELEVANT. IT'S HOW YOU PLAY IT...

Guitar Lessons

In this week's challenge we're continuing with the classic rock theme, and looking at some classic rock rhythm. While this rhythm sounds simple at first, it actually depends on a lot of different techniques to get it sounding and most importantly feeling just right. We'll build it up gradually to really get it rocking!

The Push

This riff starts just before the '1' or first beat giving a really driving groove. We actually start with a downstroke on the 'and of 4'.

Downstrokes and Accents

First of all, we really need to nail the rhythm, but as demonstrated in the video this is definitely not enough! So, instead of doing down up strumming, we're going to play using just downstrokes. You might find this quite quick if you're used to traditional strumming, but stick with it, start slow, and you'll get there! You can also accent certain chords (ie just hit them harder!). Here's a strumming pattern for you to try: (note that we've got the first hit coming in before the '1' so if you're looping this pattern you can ignore it after the first time through)

Palm Muting

Another really important technique that totally changes the dynamic feel of a riff is palm muting. This effectively dampens the note, so you can still hear it but you get a chunkier, more percussive sound. You can achieve this by resting the fleshy part of your picking hand on the strings just as the come over the bridge. You'll need to expereiment with exactly where as this can drastically change the sound. Have a go and see what you can come up with! Here's our rhythm with the palm muting noted:

Rests, Mutes and Staccato

This is slightly related to the palm muting, but we're going for silence between chords in just the right place to keep our groove going. You can fully mute the string by resting your right hand on them so they don't vibrate at all. Here's the full rhythm with all the technique points notated:

Have fun with this one and as always please let us know how you get on!

Weekly Challenge

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