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A Minor Chord On The Backbeat


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Syncopated Rock Rhythm Series 2

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In this lesson we will focus on the picking and muting playing technique.

We're going to use three open minor chords and one major chord: A minor, D minor, E minor and E major. Any chords will do and I encourage you to try this technique with any and all chords you can play! But, just to keep things simple to start with, we are going to use these basic open chords. In this lesson we'll just by just using the A minor chord.

The trick to this technique is in the right hand picking. Play the lowest string of the chord, the "bass note" of the chord on the downbeat and upbeat of "one". Then, play the chord tones on the upper strings on the downbeat of count "two". Repeat the process for counts "three" and "four". You should wind up with this pattern.

ONE and uh - bass note
TWO - chord tones
THREE and uh - bass note
FOUR - chord tones

That's the essence of what we are after in this tutorial!

Once you've got that much down, try to add a little muting to really make those rhythms punchy. Notice that if you just hold the chords and play all the notes without any muting, then you get a lot of notes ringing out over each other. However, if you mute the notes right after you play them, you get a lot more punchy, powerful rock style rhythm. You can mute the bass notes slightly with your picking hand palm. You can mute the chord tones by lifting your fretting hand up a little bit after playing the chords. Don't completely remove your hand from the strings. Still maintain contact with the strings. Just release enough pressure to stop them from ringing.

Now, you've got the entire backbeat rhythm in your hands!
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