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Rock Guitar Lessons: Upstrokes on a Downbeat

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A one, a two, a one,
two, three.
All right.
We've reached an amazing moment of guitar.
This is the moment when my particular
style of playing
branched off from the rest of guitar
humanity and
I developed a technique that's really
unique to a lot of the things.
That I can do, and at this point, it's
still something that's pretty simple to
do, so I wanna show you this technique at
it's core, and this is gonna open up so
many possibilities for things in the
future, and again, it's a cool lick now.
So it's based on this shuffle lick.
Let's listen to it one more time just to
hear the groove.
One, two, three.
Nice space.
All right.
So, what I want you to pay attention to,
is the moving note.
There's, cuz we have a, a low A.
[SOUND] That's sort of our bass note
that's always there, and
the moving note, that's the melody is.
All right, so
in between that it's all A notes.
[SOUND] Now the trick is how are we gonna
pick this, and
it's a couple ways we can do it.
We could do it with our typical shuffle,
[SOUND] like [SOUND].
If we do that.
The downstroke is on the down beat.
[NOISE] One, two, three, four.
That we we do a down on the down beat,
but here is where, as a kid, I started
doing upstrokes.
One, two, three, four.
So all those notes,
which are on the down beat.
Are now played with upstrokes.
Why would I do this?
I think the reason I did it, and the
reason I still do it,
is because it's a little bit easier for me
to keep the notes separate.
I can control the notes and have them not
ring together.
As opposed to if I do down.
I tend to hit that whole chord, which,
that could sound good too.
Oh, that's not horrible, but
I like to have the control of hitting
single notes and controlling them.
then if I want to hit the chord I can do
But this really gives you control over the
single notes.
Now, I think this technique is easy.
The reason I think it's easy is because
all it is,
is basically a downstroke,
and an upstroke,
on this power chord.
So if you can go.
That's just like your strum.
That's the core technique,
but I'm moving it in time in relation to
where our beat is so
that the last note,
comes first.
And so basically, I'm not playing anything
different, I'm just playing it,
at a different point in time and that's
giving us this particular groove.
And again it's a shuffle.
So three, four.
That's what I'm getting,
and again, all those accents on the down
Are played with an upstroke so I'm going
up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down.
[SOUND] Then I'm adding the melody.
the interesting thing is because I'm sort
of playing in this reverse way.
Now when I do a syncopated accent.
It becomes a down instead of an up so
everything is backwards, but
you can do it.
If I can do it you can do it.
Especially when I was a kid, so here we
One, two, three, four up.
Let's just loop that just nice and slow.
Make sure those downbeats are upstrokes
Nice up.
All right,
now I wanted to come up with a solo
version of this, which sounds like this.
[SOUND] All right.
This was also an incredibly important lick
for me when I started playing.
I used to play this all the time when I
was around 13 or 14 years old, and it
evolved into so many things I think you're
really gonna like that are coming up.
So these core techniques are really
Lemme show you the lick again.
Three, four.
All right.
So this is just a series of two note
The first one,
starts with a slide.
I'm sliding into that note.
Two note, two note chord there.
And I'm doing a down and an up.
The upstroke's on the down beat.
So one, two, three, four.
We're gonna loop
that just to get used to it.
So it's actually down up.
Because the down is a is coming before
the down beat.
The, the high note is on the downbeat.
The high note is on the downbeat.
Now let's do the next one.
This one you're going to get two notes
from one finger.
Then we're going to get.
Skip a string.
So, this is the E, the E note here.
It's always on the bottom.
all those higher notes were always with
off strokes, up, up, up.
And the E is always a down, so down up.
Down up, down up.
And the last one.
Let's see.
Then I'll do this chord.
There's two notes in the middle barred
with your third finger, and again down up.
And then the last note.
A nice down stroke,
C note sen vibrato on it.
Let's hear it again.
A lot of details, let's put them together
so it makes sense musically.
One, two, three, four.
Yeah, and do some muting to make those
notes nice and
tight, but the main thing here is to get
the up stroke on the down beat.
Let's put the whole thing together so you
can listen to it one more time.
One, two, three, four.
[NOISE] Little space.
Two, three, four.
the very beginning of this I'm coming in
with a note that comes before the one.
We talked about that before where and let
me just play it for you first so
you can hear it.
I'm just gonna focus on that part.
One, two, three, four.
[SOUND] Two, three, four.
[SOUND] Two, three, four.
[SOUND] Two, three, four [SOUND].
Now if I took out that anticipated first
you just hear the note on the downbeat.
One, two, three, four.
Let's try it on the downbeat,
with the upstroke, but then I put in the
note before,
that feels a little better, lets you know
that a shuffle is coming.
All right lets do the whole thing.
Now, because this whole technique is based
on doing an up stroke on the down beat,
it's important.
That we know where the downbeat is, so
this is one where I'm really gonna
encourage you to get your foot going, or
the metronome or drum machine or
something, but I, I like the foot cause
then, you know, you're real, really in
tune with it, cause it's you, you, you are
the drum machine, you are the metronome.
One, two, three, four.
Keeping it going.
This is the core of so much stuff,
let's do it a little quicker.
One, two, three, four.
doing a couple flunks in there to keep the
One, two, three, four.
Good shuffle.
right we're going to go to amazing places
with this.
So practice that a lot.
Thank you very much, rock and roll.
A one, a two, a one, two, three.