#1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izkqPdVAdL4

Normally this song is a rather simplistic, bluesy chord-driven song. In this version, he's still playing the same structure, and even appears to leave the simple strumming intact, but he's pulling all sorts of motion-blurred tricks with his fretting fingers that I just can't quite figure out.

As a mostly acoustic player I've been searching for a while now for ways to make basic, strummed chord songs more interesting, and this is a pretty good example of what I mean, but for the life of me I can't find any decent information on this kind of technique.

Even if you can only point me in the direction of something vague, can anyone give me some pointers on what exactly the technique is behind this? Obviously he's doing something with hammer ons/pulloffs in the context of a chord, but I'd like a little more guidance if anyone wouldn't mind taking a few minutes to help.

Thanks!
#2
Check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4jbCDfSXS0

Guthrie covers this kind of thing better than anyone else I've ever heard. Physically, however, it's more of a question of keeping all the strings you don't want to sound muted and if you can't keep them silent then make sure your picking hand is accurate enough to do it right.
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#3
Thanks very much. It sounds like the CAGED system (which, as said in the video, I learned long ago as simply the C, A, G, E and D open chords) is one of the ways to approximate that sound.

If you wouldn't mind, though, could you elaborate just slightly on this part?

Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Physically, however, it's more of a question of keeping all the strings you don't want to sound muted and if you can't keep them silent then make sure your picking hand is accurate enough to do it right.


I've always struggled with this. In fact, to this day I can't really play triads because I've yet to really learn how a particular 3-string group can be isolated in a way that doesn't feel totally clumsy/inaccurate to me. Are there any good references for the kinds of techniques that allow you to accurately isolate strings to either be played or muted as needed?

Thanks again.
#4
I've actually made some progress on this, but I'm still really stumped by one thing in this video. Despite paying very close attention to the full screen/1080p version I still can't tell exactly how he's muting the strings he doesn't sound.

With one hand, he's VERY clearly strumming in broad, simple strokes, but with the other, he's playing individual strings, one note at a time, and it's equally clear that he's not using that hand to mute anything. And yet only those notes sound!

Is he really just somehow hitting the right string, despite how casual and broad his strumming motions are? That blows my mind if so.
#5
Quote by dragnet99
I've actually made some progress on this, but I'm still really stumped by one thing in this video. Despite paying very close attention to the full screen/1080p version I still can't tell exactly how he's muting the strings he doesn't sound.

With one hand, he's VERY clearly strumming in broad, simple strokes, but with the other, he's playing individual strings, one note at a time, and it's equally clear that he's not using that hand to mute anything. And yet only those notes sound!

Is he really just somehow hitting the right string, despite how casual and broad his strumming motions are? That blows my mind if so.


He hits all strings,thus the percussive sound you hear, but sounding only the one he wants each time.For example if he wants to play only a note on the g string he uses the thumb over the neck to mute the low E and A strings,his index to mute the high E and B and probably the tip of the index to touch the D so basically its almost all left hand muting.Check out players that play funk and especially when they play skank style....they hit all strings but sound one .
#6
Look up FreepowerUG's YouTube videos on muting unwanted string noise. They're very good. Then also watch a few more YT videos on muting unwanted string noise. I'm still working on it myself, but the YT videos let me know what I was supposed to be doing.

One thing to note is that he's basically riffing on the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings.

Playing 6th string: mute 5-1 with fretting hand.
Playing 5th string: mute 6th string with tip of whatever finger is fretting the 5th string note, and mute 4-1 with fretting hand (usually index finger)
Playing 4th string: same idea as playing 5th string, but mute 6th string with thumb around neck

Generally speaking, I think Hendrix usually gets the credit for pioneering this style of rhythm playing, so look up anything you can find on Hendrix-style rhythm playing. Some of the YT stuff I've found and liked have been from Jeff McErlain and Papastasche. They're usually using electrics but the techniques still apply well to acoustic.

Additional notes:
I really like that version of the song. Look up Phoenix Mendoza's version too. That one is well done.
Also, if you're looking at ways to spice up your acoustic rhythm playing, take a look at Vicki Genfan's lesson on Truefire. It's called Acoustic Rhythm Survival Guide. It's a little beyond me now but I'm excited to get into it when the rest of my technique catches up.
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Last edited by Deadpool_25 at Mar 20, 2013,