Includes Over 150 Picking Patterns and Nearly 100 Rhythmic Grooves for •

[3::J The
STRUM&PICIII

Sokolo
lhe Dictionary Of
smUM&PICKINGPA11ERNS
ByFred Sokolow
SPECIAL THANKS TO RONNY SCHIFF
FOR HERASSISTANCE WITH THIS BOOK
HAL-LEONARD"

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For all works contained herein:
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... .4
BLUES
Rural Blues Shuffle, Strum (1-2) 7
Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern, Rag Style (1-2) 8
Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern, Texas Style (1-2) 9
"Hoochie Coochie Man" Blues Lick (1-3) 10
Fingerpicking Boogie Lick (1-2) 11
Basic Boogie Lick 11
Basic Boogie Lick (Moveable) 12
Boogie/Rock Lick #1 12
Boogie/Rock Lick (Moveable) 13 .
Boogie/Rock Lick #2 13
Urban Blues Comping (1-4) 14
Slow Urban Blues Strum (6/8) 15
Slow Urban Blues Strum #2 15
Cross-References 16
ROCK
Basic Rock (1-3) 17
Rock Shuffle (1-2) 18
Fast Rock Shuffle 19
Rock Boogie (1-3)(Rock Boogie #1, Variation) 19
Rock Boogie Shuffle (1-2) 20
Fast Rock Strum 21
Bo Diddley-Style Strum (1-2) 21
"Hi-Heel Sneakers" Boogie/Rock Strum (1-2) 22
RocklFunk (1-4) 24
6/8 Rock Strum (1-2) 25
6/8 Rock Arpeggio (1-2) 26
Reggae Strum (1-3) ,' 27
Latin Rock (1-5) 28
Fingerpicking Rock (Swamp Rock #1) (1-4) 30
Rockabilly Fingerpicking (1-5) 32
Rock Ballad (1-4) 34
Fingerpicking Rock Ballad (1-4) , 35
Cross-References 37
R&B/FUNK/SOUL
Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strum (1--6) 38
Basic Soul/Rock Strum (1-4) 40
Uptight Funk (1--6) .42
Sliding Funk Pattern (1-3) 44
Funk Ballad (1-3) .45
Disco/Scratch Rhythm (1-3) 46
Soul Shuffle (1-2) .47
Soul 6/8 Time (1-3) .48
Cross-References .49
METAL, PUNK, AND GRUNGE
Power Chords 50
Metal Riff with Sustain (1-3) 51
Metal Rock Riff (1-5) 52
Fast Muted Metal Lick (1-2) .53
Metal Boogie Variation 53
Metal Open-String Riff : .54
FunklMetal Riff (1-2) 54
Punk Strum (1-5) 55
Cross-References .56
COUNTRY
Bluegrass Strum (The Carter Lick)(1-3) .57
Country Strum (1-2) 59
Honky Tonk Strum 59
Bluegrass Waltz 60
Country Waltz.. . ..................•......................................60
Travis-Style Fingerpicking Pattern (1-2) ' 61
Banjo Roll (1-2) 62
Cajun Strum 62
Cross-References 63
FOLK MUSIC
Folk Ballad Arpeggio (1-3) 64
Folk Waltz Arpeggio (1-2) 66
Folk Fingerpicking (1-2) 67
Calypso Fingerpicking 68
Calypso Strum (1-2) 69
Basic Plucking Pattern 69
Plucking Pattern #2 69
Waltz/Plucking Pattern 70
MarchIPlucking Pattern 70
Cross-References 70
EQUIPMENT APPENDIX 71
-----(I INTRODUCTION
Whether you play alone or with others, professionally or just for fun, chances are that much of
your playing will not be just hot licks and fiery solos; it will be accompaniment. Your guitar backs up
your voice, someone else's, or another soloing instrument. But what kind of accompaniment will you
play?
There are so many kinds of guitar backup: a hard-driving, rock-boogie lick; a lazy, fingerpick-
ing blues pattern; a honky-tonk country strum; a syncopated scratch-rhythm to a funk groove; a
relaxed calypso strum; a grungy, punkish thrash; and a gentle, fingerpicked folk ballad arpeggio to
name a few. Playing the right backup with a good groove is as much an art form as soloing.
This book has a strumming or picking pattern for nearly any rhythmic groove you are likely to
hear in rock, blues, soul/funk, metal, folk, punk, or country music. The patterns are grouped in these
musical categories to make it easy for you to find the feel you want.
Of course, many songs cannot be neatly pigeonholed in one category, and all musical styles
cross-breed. A country tune in the nineties may have a seventies rock groove, and a heavy-metal back-
up guitar part may come straight from a twenties Delta blues strum. At the end of each chapter, there
are cross-referencing notes to help you find the rock strum that is hiding in your favorite country tune
(or the country-picking pattern hiding in your favorite rock tune!).
Most strums are written with rhythm slashes:.J Jl n J. These slashes have standard rhyth-
mic notation: There are ties, rests, eighth notes, quarter notes, etc. Fingerpicking patterns are written
in tablature and standard music notation. The best news of all is that every strum or picking pattern is
played on the matching recording that comes with the book. Each pattern is repeated a few times to
establish the groove. So learn each strum by reading, listening, and playing along with the recording.
Occasionally, an equipment note will suggest the type of guitar (electric or acoustic) or electronic
effect (echo, distortion, chorus) best suited to the pattern.
Strumming
Most people strum with a flatpick, some just use their frngers. If you prefer using your fingers,
strum down with the fingernails of several fingers at once (or just the index finger) and up with the
thumb. Either way, strumming can consist only of downstrokes or of a combination of up and down-
strokes.
If a strumming pattern has down and upstrokes, there are two general rules: The frrst is strum
down on the downbeats, up on the upbeats or "and" beats. For example, in a strum made of eighth
notes:
~ t ~ t ~ t ~ t
In'l In'l
1&2&3&4&
In a strum made of sixteenth notes, this pattern is doubled up and upstrokes are between the
downbeats and the "and" beats:
4
~ t ~
n)
1 a &
t ~ t ~ t ~
J.fT.fjj
a2a&a3
t ~ t ~ t ~ t
) )) .fT.fj
a&a4a&a
The second rule is keep your wrist going down-up-down-up smoothly, even when there are
rests or tied notes. During the spaces that rests or tied notes indicate, keep the rhythmic down-up
wrist action going, but don't strike the strings. This makes your rhythm flowing and musical.
Play the following two examples; don't strike the strings when the arrows are in parenthesis.
HtH t ~ t Wt
J nJ>J J>ar
1&2&3&4&
~ t ~ t ~ (t nt W t Wt Ht) Ht)
.Fffi J tJTl n
a&a2a&a3a&a4a&a
Damping
Sometimes you play staccato chords (clipped, with no sustain) by muting or damping the
strings after strumming them. There are two ways to stop the strings from vibrating: touch them with
the palm of your picking hand, or (if you are fretting the strings) release the fretting pressure so that
your fingers are touching the strings but not pressing them down to the fretboard. Either way, a
damped note has a dot over it:
~ or J
If a chord is damped by your fretting hand before you strum it, it is written like this:
or
Fingerpicking
Most popular styles of fingerpicking (blues, rock, country) make use of the thumb and one or
two fingers. The thumb usually picks the lower three (bass) strings; the index and middle fingers play
the top three (treble) strings. Occasionally, the ring and little fingers also pick treble strings.
Players who do a lot of fingerpicking often wear a thumbpick (plastic or metal) and a finger-
pick or two (on the index and perhaps the middle finger). If you playa steel-string guitar, the picks
make you sound louder and clearer and save wear and tear on your fingers.
The fingerpicking patterns are written in tablature and standard notation. In standard notation:
• Notes that are plucked by the thumb have stems pointing down. (r)
• Notes picked by the fingers have stems pointing up. eJ)
5
6
Practicing
Here's a step-by-step method for learning a strumming or picking pattern:
1. Read about the pattern. If you know any of the tunes mentioned in the notes, think about
their rhythm groove.
2. Listen to the pattern on the recording. Track numbers are indicated by the following
symbol: •
3. Play the pattern over and over. Most are one bar long; some are two bars. Play it several
times and get the groove to match the recording.
4. Play a tune that has that rhythmic feel and use the pattern as your accompaniment. If you
have a recording of a tune with the same feel, try playing along with it.
5. Find other tunes with that same groove in songbooks, especially ones that are familiar to
you, and use the pattern as accompaniment. Once you can do this, the pattern is yours and
it's part of your repertory.
A few practical tips:
• Each rhythm pattern has a name that is used to identify it in the book and on the recording.
• There is a tempo indication under the name, to the left.
• Rhythm slash patterns include a boxed chord grid located to the right of the tempo indica-
tion. It shows the chord that is played on the recording.
/II BLUES: THE ROOTS OF ROCK
(0
The blues is an African-American music form derived from spirituals and work songs, but it has
cvolved and developed in tandem with European musical forms and has affected all American music.
This chapter covers picking and strumming styles of nmtl "folk" blues, which goes back as far as the
beginning of the twentieth century, and urban electric blues styles of the I940s up to thc present.
The strums and picking pallerns of both urban and rural blues are uscd in rock. country, folk,
heavy metal, and funk/soul music. For example, the Travis-picking of country and rockabilly grew out
of blues fingerpicking, and the boogie-woogie guitar backup style of rock and heavy metal goes
directly back to rural blues guitar backup.
Since so many guitar styles grew out of the blues, this chaptcr is a good starting place for a
study of guitar backup. As you listcn to and play the pallerns, don't assume that "rural" strums can
only be played on acoustic guitar and "urban" pallerns must be electric. There has always been
crossover, so try all the blues strums and picking patterns acoustically and electrically.
Contemporary electric blues guitarists often sel their tunes to a rock or funk beat, in addition to
using the traditional blues shuffle. Check the RpCK and R&BIFUNKISOUL chapters for the appro-
priate backup pallcrns.
Rural Blues Shuffle, Strum #1 +
Tempo: Mode/we 10 /0.11 shuffle
>
>
itit itit
14 JTTI JTTI :11
ON THE
RECORDING
0
E
00
I

I
Through the 1950s and even into the I960s, most blues guitarists (especially acoustic players)
used their thumb and fingers. In this strum, you brush down with your thumb and up with your fin-
gers. Damp the strings with the palm of your picking hand. Use for moderate tempos like "Help Me"
(Sonny Boy Williamson) and "Pride and Joy" (Stevie Ray Vaughan), or faster tunes like "Baby Please
Don't Go" (Lightnin' Hopkins, Van Morrison, and many others have recorded it).
Rural Blues Shuffle, Strum #2 +
Tempo: Fast shuffle
. .
itt
1"4 rTIJ
.
tr---_
t
~ ) '1 J :11
ON THE
RECORDING
o E 00
This is for faster shuffles in the "Boogie Chill un" (John Lce Hooker) vein. For a percussive
effect and to enhance the beat, slap the strings with the palm of your fretting hand instead of carefuJly
damping them. As in ttl, the thumb plays downstrokes, the fingers brush up.
7
Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern Rag Style #1 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle

c
)
r
I
r
I
I
ft
T T M
~
T T M
Fingerpicking blues guitarists Blind Blake, Willie McTell, Mance Lipscomb, Mississippi John
Hurt, Blind Boy Fuller, Furry Lewis, and Gary Davis are often called "ragtime blues" players because
their bouncy, rhythmic style seems to come from the popular ragtime dance music of the early part. of
the twentieth century. They all played a steady alternating thumblbass, as in the previous pattern.
Classic tunes in the style include "That Will Never Happen No More" (Blind Blake), ''Warm It Up to
Me" (Willie McTell), and "Candy Man" (John Hurt). Rockers who have played in this style include
Eric Clapton (as in "Can't Find My Way Back Home") and the Rolling Stones ("It's AllOver Now").
Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern Rag Style #2 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle
c
)
~ I

r
I
r
I
i
.
I
i
I
T M
T
T T M
T
T M T T
B
This is one of many possible variations of #1. For more possibilities, see the Travis-Style
Fingerpicking Patterns in the COUNTRY section. Merle Travis' style was derived from this rural
blues genre.
Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern Texas Style #1 +
Tempo: Slow to moderate shuffle
" II
E7
> I to. 1 I
11 1
r r r r r r r r
T M
T
I
T
M T M
T
v
I M T
T
v
T
Lightnin' Hopkins popularized this fmgerpicking blues style in which the thumb thumps out a
steady bass on every downbeat, instead of alternating bass notes, while the fingers pick melody or
rhythmic fills on the treble strings. Many of the players noted for this style (Big Bill Broonzy, John
Lee Hooker, and Brownie McGhee) are not from Texas, but they all share the saine rhythmic feel, as
in "Key To The Highway" (McGhee, Eric Clapton, and others) and "I Wonder When" (Broonzy,
Muddy Waters).
Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern Texas Style #2 +
Tempo: Slow shuffle
E7
I
,
I
>
ll..l..J
~
- - -
r r
>
-v -v
T T I I T T T T
T T
This is a slower version of the Texas Style #1 pattern, as in "It Hurts Me Too" (Broonzy, Elmore
James, and others) and "How Long Blues" (various artists). The steady, thumb bass plays two notes per
downbeat, as in ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump.
9
·JlHoochie Coochie Man" Blues Uck #1 +
Tempo: Slow to moderately fast shuffle
This is the same lick as "Hoochie Coochie Man" Blues Lick #1, made moveable. It's based
on the barred E chord formation.
A faster version of "Hoochie Coochie Man" Blues Lick #1 and #2, this lick includes
thumb/downstrokes and finger/upstrokes. As in "Bad to the Bone" (George Thorogood).
This popular blues lick is associated with the tune "Hoochie Coochie Man" (Muddy Waters)
and "I'm a Man" (Bo Diddley).
T
T
T
T
.
"
.


-..-
~ ~
7-
~ ~
-..
-..
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
t
.
·
.
v v v
v v
Ii II
E
I
~ . I .,

r
r r
~ '.
'I
v
,--; Ii II
E
·

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ t
·
JlHoochie Coochie Man" Blues Uck #3 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle
JlHoochie Coochie Man" Blues Uck #2 +
Tempo: Slow to moderately fast shuffle
G
§ifl'"
10
Fingerpicking Boogie Lick #1 +
•• Jj
Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle
E
A
-.
IT IT I T I Tete.
Suitable for "Boogie Chillun" and "Baby Please Don't Go" grooves, this and the next lick
were often played by rockabilly guitarists in boogie tunes like "Matchbox" and "Blue Suede Shoes"
(Carl Perkins). The index finger plays the higher of the two bass strings, the thumb plays the lower.
Fingerpicking Boogie Lick #2 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle
E
• Jj
- I
~ ~ ~
~ I
~ ~ ~
A I
l.. l.. l..
~ I ""I
"

r r
r
r r
r r r
-r -,
r
r
r r
TIT I TIT I etc.
This is the same as #1, but the thumb starts it. The thumb plays bass, the index finger brushes
up on the treble strings.
Basic Boogie Lick #1 +
A
Tempo: Slow to fast shuffle
E
• II
--;
~ ~
~ ~
~ ~
~ ~
- ~
~ :< :< ~ ~ :< :<
"1 "1 "1 "1
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
u u u u u u u u
This archetypal boogie backup lick is usually played with the thumb or a flatpick. It's all down-
strokes. It's for slow tunes like "Caress Me Baby" and "Honest I Do" (Jimmy Reed), to moderate and
fast songs like "Don't Start Me Talkin'" (Sonny Boy Williamson), "Dust My Broom" (Elmore James
and many others), "Farther On Up the Road" (Eric Oapton), and "Say What?" (Stevie Ray Vaughan).
11
Basic Boogie Lick (Moveable) +
Tempo: Slow to fast shuffle
II ~
--{IFl- -4-

:: :: ~ ~ :: :: ~ ~
-<I -<I -<I -<I -<I -<I -<I -<I
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This is the same as the Basic Boogie Lick, but made moveable, based on abbreviated versions
of the barred E and A chord formations. (Moveable chords or licks use only fretted, not open, strings;
therefore, they can be played all over the fretboard.)
c c
Boogie/Rock LiCk #1 •
Tempo: Moderate rock
A
E
This is the strum for "Big Boss Man" (Jimmy Reed, Elvis Presley, and many others), "Good
Morning Little Schoolgirl" (Sonny Boy Williamson), "Memphis Tennessee" (Chuck Berry), and
"Smokestack Lightning" (Howlin' Wolf). It's the same as the Rock/Boogie strums of the ROCK sec-
tion, but simplified slightly.
II ~
~
:: ::
~
~
:: ::
~ ~ ~
:i :i
:0; :0; :i :i
:0; :0; :0;
1 1 111
+ + + + + + + + + +
+ t +
12
i
,
Boogie/Rock Lick (Moveable)
!', .. !r.
.....
G
mJfi3fr

-;

==


,
t

Tempo: Moderate rock
The moveable version of the Boogie/Rock Lick is based on the same chord formations as Basic
Boogie Lick (Moveable).
This is a variation of Boogie/Rock Lick #1. Here are the first position and moveable versions.
You can play the same lick "up one string," i.e., on an A chord or a barred, abbreviated A chord.
13
G
"
--;

t

.
NOTE: These 9th chords are often used in all the
Urban Blues patterns.
ON Tl-IE
RECORDING
Rim6fr
tttfijfOOI-ttfjjj
Boogie/Rock I.ick #2 +
Urban Blues Comping #1 +
t t
) JTn :11
E
Tempo: Moderate rock
Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle beat
,c II
--;
--:;j --=<i --::JI --:;j:-:<:-:<
T
.. :;;
t
"Comping" is a sWing/jazz expression for strumming backup chords, and it describes what the
rhythm guitarist often does in a large electric blues band with a hom section (e.g., B. B. King's band).
The chords are usually moveable and can be damped with the fretting hand. This strum is appropriate
for tunes like "Everyday I Have the Blues" (B.B. King, Lowell Fulson, and many others), "Kansas
City" (Wilbert Harrison and others), "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" (John Lee Hooker,
George Thorogood), and "Eyesight to the Blind" (Sonny Boy Williamson, The Who, Eric Clapton).
Uman Blues Comping #2 •
Tempo: Slow to fast shuffle beat
ON THE
RECORDING
x E9
§m}6fr
This is a variation of Urban Blues Camping #1. You can combine the two to make a two-bar
pattern. The flat sign (l» over the last stroke of this pattern tells you to play that chord a fret lower than
the others and slide up a fret for the next stroke. The pattern works with or without this embellish-
ment. Besides the tunes mentioned for Urban Blues Camping #1, this pattern works for slow tunes
like "Stormy Monday Blues" (I-Bone Walker, Bobby Blue Bland), "Sweet Little Angel," and "Three
O'Clock in the Morning" (B. B. King).
Urban Blues Comping #3 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle beat
ON THE
RECORDING
E9
OO5
6r
,
14
This rhythm figure is played often by horns and guitar in tunes like "Rock Around the Clock"
(Bill Haley and the Comets) and "Shake, Rattle and Roll" (Bill Haley, Joe nuner, and olhers). It's a
swing band riff that crossed over into rock and roll, and it works as a backup camping pattern as well.
Urban Blues Comping #4 +
Tempo: Fast shuffle
. .
! t ~ t
I JTIl
t
"f } t
:11
ON THE
RECORDING
E9
~ m r
This is a faster variation of Urban Blues Camping #3, as in ''Eyesight to the Blind" (mentioned
before) and "Stang's Swang" (Stevie Ray Vaugban).
Slow Urban Blues Strum (6/8) +
Tempo: Slow shuffle
ON THE
RECORDING
E9
mffi
6fr
This works with the blues tunes mentioned in Urban Blues Camping #2. More titles are:
"Reconsider Baby" (Lowell Fulson and others), "Blues With a Feeling" (Little Walter, Paul
Butterfield).
Slow Urban Blues Strum #2 +
Tempo: Slow to moderate
D9
x
ffiID'&
A9
x
fffm'&
,L II .
/fI- " ...~ ... ...
· · ·
· ·
·

:.t
--
'--
":j:

-
-
4'
~ t t ~ t t
. .
· · ·
· ·
This strum is used for the tunes mentioned in Slow Urban Blues Camping #1 and Slow Urban
Blues Camping #2. These two sliding licks are often heard in Chicago-style blues bands. They are
based on the 9th chords so often played in that genre. They are played usually on electric guitar.
15
16
Cross-References
By the mid 1960s, it was not unusual for electric blues players to use ROCK and
R&B/FUNK/SOUL grooves or patterns. B.B. King's hits, "Why I Sing the Blues" and "The Thrill Is
Gone," and Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign" are examples. Contemporary blues artists also use
boogie patterns from the ROCK chapter, which are a bit fancier than those found in the BLUES chap-
ter, and 6/8 strums from the ROCK and R&B/FUNKISOUL chapters. A slow version of "Stormy
Monday" could use one of these!
ROCK Chapter: Rock Boogie #1 to #3, Rock Boogie Variation, Rock Boogie Shuffle #1 and
#2,6/8 Rock Strum #1 and #2.
R&B/FUNK/SOUL Chapter: Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strum #1 to #6, Basic Soul/Rock Strum
#1 to #4, Uptight Funk #3 and #4, Sliding Funk Pattern #1 and #2, Funk Ballad #1 to #3, Soul Shuffle
#1 and #2, Soul 6/8 Time #1 to #3.
-------r./ ROCK
At its inception in the early 1950s, "rock" meant many things: rockabilly (a white Southern
blend of R&B and honky-tonk country music); R&B, with honking saxes and a boogie beat; doo-wop
(the intricate vocal harmonizing style invented by black and white urban street corner singing groups);
and pop-the name reserved for everything else, usually lacking the strong beat of the other styles.
Rock has expanded over the decades to include many more musical influences. As rock has grown,
the guitar has become more prominent, and many electric and acoustic guitar styles have evolved.
The strums and picking patterns that follow apply to early Chuck Berry boogie woogie, country
rock, folk rock, the harder-edged strumming of the Stones or Bon Jovi, Southern rock, Beatles-style
and contemporary rock ballads, funk-rock, reggae, Latin rock, and more. As in the BLUES chapter,
play all the patterns on electric and acoustic guitars. They are played both ways in rock recordings.
Basic Rock #1 +
Tempo: Fast or medium rock
> >
! t ! t ! t ! t
or I! JJTI JJTI :11
ON THE
RECORDING
A
mH]Sfi
All downstrokes
This is the basic hard rock beat as in "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (the Beatles), "Every Breath
You Take" (police), "Beat It" (Michael Jackson), "Bad Medicine" (Bon Jovi), "Many Many" (Tommy
James and the Shondells, Billy Idol), "Jump" (Van Halen), and "With or Without You" (U2).
Alternating up- and downstrokes
This has a slightly more relaxed rock feel, as in "Proud Mary" (Creedence Clearwater Revival
[the Ike & Tina Turner version would be better with all downstrokes]), "Brown-Eyed Girl" (Van
Morrison), "I'm a Believer" (the Monkees), and "Got My Mind Set on You" (George Harrison).
Basic Rock #2 +
Tempo: Fast or medium rock
! t t! t
n JTTJ :11
'---'
ON THE
RECORDING
A
mH]Sfi
This has a looser, lighter feel than Basic Rock #1 and is used often in country rock. Some
examples are "American Pie" (Don McLean), "La Bamba" (Richie Valens, Los Lobos), "Solitary
Man" (Neil Diamond), "Maggie May" (Rod Stewart), "Kokomo" and "Sloop John B." (the Beach
Boys), and "Time After Time" (Cyndi Lauper).
17
Basic Rock #3 +
Tempo: Moderately slow to moderate rock
ON THE
RECORDING
A
m!E5&
This is for rock with a slightly funky feel, as in "You're No Good" (Linda Ronstadt, Betty
Everett), "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (Marvin Gaye [the Creedence Clearwater Revival ver-
sion sounds more like Basic Rock #1 with alternating up and downstrokes]), "It's Too Late" (Carole
King), and "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" (Otis Redding, Michael Bolton).
Rock Shuffle #1 +
Tempo: Moderate to bright shuffle
> >
~ t ~ t ~ t ~ t
I! JTJl JTJl :11
ONTHE
RECORDING
A
m!E5&
This basic shuffle strum fits tunes like "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" (Jim Croce), "Pride and
Joy"(Stevie Ray Vaughan), "All Shook Up" (Elvis Presley), "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
(Queen), "California Girls" (Beach Boys), "Higher Ground" (Stevie Wonder, Red Hot Chili Peppers).
On tunes with moderate tempos, you can use all downstro!ces to give this strum a harder edge.
Rock Shuffle #2 +
Tempo: Moderate shuffle
> >
~ t t ~ t
nrm :11
"-"
ON THE
RECORDING
A
m!ES&
18
This is the same as Country Strum #2, as in "Chains" (the Cookies, the Beatles), "Mountain of
Love" (Harold Dorman, Johnny Rivers), "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" (Marvin Gaye,
James Taylor), "Loves Me Like a Rock" and "Slip Slidin' Away" (paul Simon).
Tempo: Fast shuffle
Fast Rock ShUffle.
>
~ t ~ t ~ t
n JJTI :11
ON THE
RECORDING
The same as Country Strum #1, this is the rhythm strum for rockabilly classics like '"That's All
Right, Mama," "Mystery Train" and "My Baby Left Me" (Elvis Presley), "Mrs. Robinson" (Simon and
Garfunkel), and "Mother's Little Helper" (Rolling Stones). It's usually played on an a c o 1 L ~ t i c guitar.
Rock Boogie #1 +
Tempo: Moderately slow to fast rock
C
F
·
· ·
·
·
·

~
...
~
...
~
...
~
...
.
> > > >
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
.
· · ·
·
·
·
Popularized by Chuck Berry, this is a variation of Blues Boogie #1. It's based on the barred E7
and A7 chords (see Basic Boogie Lick [Moveable] for more explanation). It was used in countless
fifties rock tunes and is still a favorite today: "Many Many" (Tommy James and the Shondells, Billy
Idol), "Johnny B. Goode" (Chuck Berry), "Get Back" (the Beatles), and "Hanky Tonk Women" (the
Rolling Stones).
Rock Boogie #1 variation +
Tempo: Moderately slow to fast rock
c
·
·

..:J
... ... ... ... ... ....
.... '---"
> >
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
·
·
.u, u u u u u u
This is the same as Rock Boogie #1, but the first beat is anticipated to make the strum more
syncopated. Mix the two patterns together.
19
Rock Boogie #2 +
Tempo: Moderately slow to fast rock
F
c
I
·
·
·
· · ·

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
> > > > > > >
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
+ + +
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
+
·
· ·
· ·
6 16 12 16 1
·
This is used in the same types of tunes as the other two Rock Boogie strums. For still more
variation, anticipate the fust beat by tying it to the last beat, as in Rock Boogie #1, Variation.
Rock Boogie #3 +
Tempo: Moderately slowto fast rock
c F
~
· ·
· · ·
• J
...
~
... ... ..
~ - - - - -
~
> >
+ + + + +
~
+ +
~
+ + +
· · ·
A
· ·
·
v v v
This is yet another syncopated variation of Rock Boogie #1.
Rock Boogie Shuffle #1 +
Tempo: Moderately slow to fast shuffle
C c
·
·

~
...
~
..
~
..
~
..
+
t
+
t
+
t
+
t
·
·
v
or
·

... ... . ~ ...
~
...
~
-=4
>
+ + +
~
+ + +
!
·
This is similar to the Moveable Blues Boogie Shuffle. It has a relaxed feel when you alternate
down and upstrokes, as in "Blue Suede Shoes" (Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley) and "It's Still Rock and
Roll to Me" (Billy Joel), and a more driving rhythm when you only play downstrokes, as in "Sweet
Little Sixteen" (Chuck Berry) and "That'll Be the Day" (Buddy Holly).
20
Rock Boogie Shuffle #2 +
Tempo: Moderately slow to fast shuffle
c
·
·

~
...
~
....
~
.... ....
~ ' - - - - "
t ~ t ~ t ~ t
·
·
'v v V V V V V V
This is more syncopated than Rock Boogie Shuffle #1. You can also play "straight" (without
the anticipated first beat) and add the anticipation occasionally for variety and to give the rhythm an
extra push. "Your Mama Don't Dance" (Loggins and Messina), "Some Kind of Wonderful" (Grand
Funk), and "Rockin' Robin" (Bobby Day, Michael Jackson) are some examples.
Fast Rock Strum +
Tempo: l7astrock
~
14 J
~ t ~
nJ
t ~ t ~ t
}JTTJ :11
ON THE
RECOROING
A
fffi§Sft
This is a two-bar pattern for tunes like "Good Lovin" (Rascals), "Turn on Your Love Light"
(Bobby Bland), "The Doctor" (Doobie Brothers), and "I'm a Believer" (the Monkees).
Bo Diddley-Style Strum #1 +
Tempo: Bright rock
~
)
:11
ON THE
RECOROING
E
mm
There are many variations of this strum, which is identified with Bo Diddley. Tunes with this
rhythm groove include "Bo Diddley" and "Mona" (Bo Diddley), "Not Fade Away" (Buddy Holly),
"Faith" (George Michael), "Willie and the Hand Jive" (Johnny Otis, Eric Clapton), and "Magic Carpet
Ride" (Steppenwolt).
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Bo Diddley played electric guitar with a lot of reverb and tremolo, so
these effects are used often with this strum.
21
Bo Diddley-Style Strom #2 +
Tempo: Bright rock
~ ~
14) )
~ t
n
t ~
~ »)
~
)
:11
ON THE
RECORDING
m
This is one variation of the Bo Diddley groove.
"Hi-Heel Sneakers" Boogie/ROCk Strum #1 +
"Hi-Heel Sneakers" Boogie/Rock Strom #2 +
This is the same as #1, but a bit bluesier with the flatted 7th note added, as in "Memphis,
Tennessee" (Chuck Berry, Johnny Rivers), "Freeze Frame" (J. Geils Band), "Can I Get a Witness"
(Marvin Gaye, Rolling Stones), "The Boy From New York City" (the Newbeats, Manhattan Transfer).
"Hi-Heel Sneakers" (Tommy Tucker) was such a popular bar-band tune that its rhythm groove
became known as the "Hi-Heel Sneakers" beat. As in "Lay Down Sally" (Eric Clapton), "Bread And
Butter" (the Newbeats), "Cold As Ice" (Foreigner), "Morning Train (Nine To Five)" (Sheena Easton).
Here are two variations of the groove, the second a bit more syncopated than the first.
c
c
-~
· ·
·
·

-<II .. .. .. ... ... ..
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ t t ~
· ·
·
. . . . .
-
-
.
·
.
·

.. -<II -<II -<II- -iI .. -iI J -<II -<II
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ t ~ ~
I
·
·
• •
.
• • • • • •
c
Tempo: Moderate to bright rock
Tempo: Moderate to bright rock
C
,....
·
·
· ·

.. -<II -<II -<II -<II -<II -<II -<II
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ t ~ t ~
I
·
·
. . . . . . . .
22
-
· ·
· ·

-<II -iI -iI
-.
.. -<II .. ..
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ t ~
·
·
·
. . . . . . . .
Sneakers" Rock Strum #1 +
Tempo: Moderate to bright rock
c
· ·
·
·

I
1"..0
! ! ! ! t ! ! ! t !
· ·
· ·
G
"
· ·
·
·

.... 1000'
! ! ! ! t ! ! ! t !
· ·
·
· --.:<
This is the same as the "Hi-Heel Sneakers" Boogie/Rock Strum #1, but with chords instead of
the bass-note boogie lick. The three chord shapes used in this pattern can be fattened by adding first
string notes:
3f, can be 'fi
tJ:::tl±j played: tJ:::tl±j
x x C x

t±:t:t±:J played:
x x C
ffiff]'fi
Mg"
x x F x

t:tt±tJ played:
x x F
ffim'"
This strum is moveable: that is, like all strums in this book, it can be played in any key.
Consider the G chord, an abbreviated "barred E" chord; the C chord is an abbreviated "barred A":
"Hi-Heel Sneakers" Rock Strum #2 +
Tempo: Moderate to bright rock
G c
"
10
: :
--;
1 I
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! t
.
·
.
• •
·
·
·
·

! ! ! ! ! !
! ! t
· ·
>r >r >r L L
·
This is the same as "Hi-Heel Sneakers" Boogie/Rock Strum #2, with chords instead of the
bass-note boogie lick. For a still brighter sound, play these chords:
G C
II: mm '; IIIm Sf/l mm'; IIIm'/ :111: mm'; mm'II mm '; :11
23
Rock/Funk #1 +
Tempo: Bright rock/funk
ON THE
RECORDING
x E
m
7
&
This is suitable for fast, strum-filled tunes like the Doobie Brothers' "Listen to the Music" and
"Long Train Running" or Bachtnan-Thrner Overdrive's "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" and "Let It Ride."
Rock/Funk #2 +
Tempo: Moderate to bright rock/funk
> > >
~ ~ ~ t ~ t ~ ~ t ~ ~ ~ t ~ t ~ ~ t
Itn nm n In nm n.:11
ON THE
RECORDING
m
This is rhythmically tighter than Rock/Funk #1, as in "Centerfold" (J. Geils Band), "After
Midnight" (Eric Clapton), "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" (Joan Jett), "Spinning Wheel" (Blood, Sweat &
Tears), and "Purple Haze" (Jimi Hendrix). The first bar is the main groove of this strum. The second
bar is optional and can be played every other time (as written) or at the end of a musical phrase or
when there is a space between lyrics.
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Often played on electric guitar with a lot of distortion.
Rock/Funk #3 +
Tempo: Moderately slow and heavy rock/funk
ON THE
RECORDING
m
This is for slower tempos, as in "Wild Thing" (the Troggs, Jimi Hendrix), "Hey Joe" (Hendrix,
the Leaves), "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "She Came in Through the Bathroom
Window" (the Beatles). As in Rock/Funk #2, you can play the first bar most of the time and throw in
bar two occasionally.
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Often played on electric guitar with a lot of distortion.
24
Rock/Funk #4 +
Tempo: Moderate to bright rock/funk
> > > >
!!!t t!!!t t ! !!t t!t!t
11nmn mlnmn. n.:11
ON THE
RECORDING
There are countless ways to vary Rock/Funk #2 and #3. This syncopated version fits tunes like
"Sweet Home Alabama" (Lynyrd Skynyrd) and "Magic Man" (Heart).
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Often played on electric guitar with a lot of distortion.
6/8 Rock Strum #1 •
Tempo: Moderately slow rock ballad
ON THE
RECORDING
A
ffmjSfr
You can use the first bar and occasionally add the second bar for variety, or you can alternate
the two bars as written. This strum fits countless fIfties ballads like "Oh Donna" (Richie Valens), "To
Know Him Is to Love Him" (Teddy Bears, Peter and Gordon, Bobby Vinton), and "You Send Me"
(Sam Cooke).
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Often played on electric guitar with reverb.
6/8 Rock Strum #2 •
Tempo: Slow rock ballad
ON THE
RECORDING
A
ffmjSfr
For slower 6/8 tunes like "Sleepwalk" (Santo and Johnny), "When a Man Loves a Woman"
(Percy Sledge), "Time Is on My Side" (Wilson Pickett, the Rolling Stones), "This Boy" and "Oh
Darling" (the Beatles), "Red House" (Jimi Hendrix), and "House of the Rising Sun" (the Animals).
As in 6/8 Rock Strum #1, you can use just the first bar and play the second bar occasionally, or you
can alternate the two.
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Often played on electric guitar with reverb.
25
6/8 Rock Arpeggio #1 +
Tempo: Moderately slow rock ballad
x xC
~ 8 f r
-

wlfbtpick, all downstrokes
Use for the same tunes as the 6/8 Rock Strums. To play an arpeggio, pick the notes of a chord
in rapid, even succession. This picking pattern was especially popular in early rock ballads like "The
Great Pretender" (the Platters) and "Young Love" (Tab Hunter, Sonny James). The guitar plays first
position or moveable chords.
EQUIPMENT NOTE: In early rock, this lick was usually played on an electric guitar that was
drenched in reverb and tremolo. More recently, chorus, phase shifter, and flanger have been used.
(See EQUIPMENT APPENDIX for description of these effects.)
6/8 Rock Arpeggio #2 +
Tempo: Slow to moderately slow rock ballad
xx C
ffffil
8fr


w/flatpick ~
26
This works well in the same tunes as 6/8 Rock Strum #2. It has more rhythmic bounce than 6/8
RockArpeggio #1.
EQUIPMENT NOTE: The same as 6/8 RockArpeggio #1.
Reggae Strom #1 +
Tempo: Moderate rock

! 1
n

! 1
n :11
ON THE
RECORDING
A
~ 5 f r
The electric guitar usually plays very sparse, clipped rhythm strums in reggae music. The tone
is very sharp and biting. To achieve that clipped effect, moveable chord fragments are often employed.
They are easier to mute (with the fretting hand), as in "The Harder They Come" (Jimmy Cliff), "Stir It
Up" (Bob Marley and the Wailers), and "I Shot the Sheriff" (Bob Marley and the Wailers, Eric
Clapton).
EQUIPMENT NOTE: To get the appropriate biting tone, use the back (treble) pickup on an electric
guitar.
Reggae Strom #2
+
Tempo: Moderate rock
ON THE

.
RECORDING
!
!
A
Itt
}
'f
t
}
'f
:11
~ 5 f r
This is the same as Reggae Strum #1, but even sparser.
Reggae Strom #3
+
Tempo: Moderate rock
ON THE
• RECORDING
! 1
!
A
Itt
n
t
}
'f
:11
~ 5 f r
This is yet another of the many possible variations of Reggae Strum #1.
Latin Rock #1 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast Latin rock
t t
~ » I » )
'"-"
t ~ t ~
»n ) :11
ON THE
RECORDING
A
§W5fr
This bossa nova* beat resembles the Fast Rock Strum. As heard in "Along Comes Mary" (the
Association), "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" (Stevie Wonder), and "I Say a Little Prayer for You"
(Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin).
*NOTE: Bossa nova is a popular Brazilian dance music that has mingled with American jazz and pop.
Latin Rock #2 +
Tempo: Moderate Latin rock
t
~ )
t
»I t
t t ~
~ »n ) :11
'--"
ON THE
RECORDING
Am
7
ffim
5fr
28
For funkier, more percussive beats than Latin Rock #1, as in "Oye Como Va" and "Evil Ways"
(Santana).
Latin Rock #3
+
Tempo: Moderately slow to moderate Latin rock
ON THE
~
t
~ ~
t
RECORDING
x
Cma
j7
I ~
t )
~
)
~
) )
~
)
~
:11
~ 3 f r
This is a gentler bossa nova strum, as in Jose Feliciano's version of "Light My Fire," "And I
Love Her" (the Beatles), the "Theme from M.A.S.H. (Suicide Is Painless)," and bossa nova standards
like "The Girl From Ipanema." At a slower tempo it works for "Killing Me Softly With His Song"
(Roberta Flack).
Latin Rock #4 •
Tempo: Fast Latin rock
t t
~ } 1 } )
......... ./
t ~ t ~ t
} rTTI :11
ON THE
RECORDING
A
ffmjSfr
'Similar to Latin Rock #1, but with some damped strums, this fast samba beat fits tunes like
"(Marie) the Name) His Latest Flame" (Elvis Presley), "Love the ODe You're With," and "Suite:
,
Judy Blue Eyes" (Crosby, Stills & Nash).
Latin Rock #5 +
Tempo: Moderately slow to moderately bright Lqtin rock
t t
} } )
"'--"
t
} :11
ON THE
RECORDING
A
The wiggly line ( I)indicates a slow rake in which the flatpick hits one string at a time in rapid
succession, like a quick arpeggio. This rhythm was popular in 1950s rock tunes like "Love Is Strange"
(Mickey and Sylvia), "Diana" (Paul Anka), and "Little Darlin'" (the Diamonds). It also works in
1960s tunes like "Under the Boardwalk" (the Drifters), "It's Now or Never" (Elvis Presley), and
"Stand By Me" (Ben E. King, John Lennon).
29
Fingerpicking Rock #1 (SWamp Rock) •
Tempo: Moderately slow to moderate rock
E
~ 1I
.,
I
l I
I I I I I ~ ~

-
I
-
r
-
r
-
r
r r r r
"
\"/ \"/
\"'
T M
[l) [l)
M
[l) [l)
M
[l) [l) [l)
M
This fingerpicking pattern is appropriate for swamp rock tunes like "Born on the Bayou"
(Creedence Clearwater Revival), "Polk Salad Annie" (Tony Joe White), and "Little Sister" (Elvis
Presley, Dwight Yoakam). If you leave out the tablature numbers that are in parenthesis, you can easi-
ly adapt the pattern to a flatpick.
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Though this is an acoustic style, it sounds very funky on electric guitar.
Fingerpicking Rock #2 •
Tempo: Moderately fast rock
c
)

r
I
r
I
T T M T T
This cut time fingerpicking pattern works in tunes like "Dust in the Wind" (Kansas), "1 Feel
Fine" (the Beatles), and "It's AllOver Now" (the Rolling Stones). It is the same as Rural Blues
Fingerpicking Rag Style #1.
30
Fingerpicking Rock #3 •
Tempo: Moderate rock

D
I
I J I .,
I
I J I
T M T M
This simple pattern is a steady backup lick behind a straight rock beat, as in "Tired of Waiting
for You" (the Kinks) and "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" (Three Dog Night).
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Often played on electric guitar enhanced by flanger, chorus, or tremolo.
Fingerpicking Rock #4

Tempo: Moderate rock
Jl
~ 1
I ~ J > I ~

I
r
[
r
u
T T M T T M
This folk-rock pattern resembles Fingerpicking Rock #2, but with a rock beat. As played in
"Mr. Tambourine Man" (the Byrds), and "I Am a Rock" (Simon and Garfunkel).
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Often played on acoustic guitar, acoustic or electric twelve string, or electric
six string enhanced by chorus or flanger.
31
Rockabilly Fingerpicking #1 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle
First Position
I I
Moveable A
I

i
r
i
u
r
r
I
r
- ~
I
T M T T T M T T
T T
This is played in first position in the key of E. The key-of-A pattern next to it is the same lick,
moved up five frets. It is based on a barred E chord. Move it up two frets, and it's a B lick; up one
more fret, it's a C lick, etc.
This pattern and the other rockabilly patterns that follow can be heard in songs like "Blue Suede
Shoes" (Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley), "That's All Right, Mama" and "Good Rockin' Tonight" (Elvis
Presley), "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (Queen), and "All My Loving" (the Beatles), as well as
country hits like "My Baby Thinks He's a Train" (Roseanne Cash) and "Heartbroke" (Ricky Skaggs).
Rockabilly fingerpicking is based on the style of Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. Travis and
Atkins embellished the raggy blues fingerpicking style of rural blues players and made their licks
moveable (see Rural Blues Fingerpicking, Rag Style in the BLUES chapter). As in raggy blues, rock-
abilly patterns feature a steady, alternating thumb bass. Many rockabilly pickers simulate fingerpick-
ing by playing the bass notes with a flatpick and the treble notes with the middle finger.

EQUIPMENT NOTE: All the Rockabilly Fingerpicking patterns sound good on acoustic or electric
guitar, but for an authentic rockabilly sound, play an electric with a "slapback" echo effect (see
EQUIPMENT APPENDIX).
Rockabilly Fingerpicking #2 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle
Moveable
A._....,. _
" II 1 I ~ I 1---1
First Position
E
" II
r I l_1
i
1
i
1
r
I
r
I
u
M
T
H
T
M T T M
T
H
T
M T T
This is a variation of Rockabilly Fingerpicking #1. Use it as a repeated pattern or mix all four
Rockabilly Fingerpicking patterns to make two-bar phrases.
32
Rockabilly Fingerpicking #3
+
Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle
First Position Moveable
1 ~ . 1 .< Jl
E
I I I
A
l ~ J
,
.< Jl ,
-.
T r
r
I
r
T
r r
T M
T
T H
T
~
T M
T
~
T H
T
This is the same as Rockabilly Fingerpicking #1, with a hammer-on added. Try mixing it with #2.
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Same as Rockabilly Fingerpicking #1.
Rockabilly Fingerpicking #4 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast
First Position
E7
Moveable
A7
0 0
,
m
m!5fr
Jl II I
" "
I
Jl II J. M ~ j ) J
~ .
r r
r
I
r
I
r r
M
T
T T M T M
T
T T M T
This is yet another of the countless variations on this theme.
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Same as Rockabilly Fingerpicking #1.
33
Rockabilly Fingerpicking #5 •
Tempo: Moderately fast
im'U
)
§Im'U
Moveable A7
J1 II ~ ~ J1 II ~
~

- -
r
I
r
r r
v
First Position
T T H T
" T
T T H T
"
T
This pattern works well in faster rockabilly tunes like "Mystery Train" and "My Baby Left
Me" (Elvis Presley), and country hits like "Workingman's Blues" (Merle Haggard) and "That's What I
Like About You" (Trisha Yearwood). Fret the final barred chord of each pattern with your ring finger.
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Same as Rockabilly Fingerpicking #1.
Rock Ballad #1 +
Tempo: Moderately slow rock
~ ~ t ~ t t ~ t
It J7) n J"TI) :11
'--'
ON THE
RECORDING
A
§W'U
This is the same pattern as Basic Rock #3, only slower, as in "The Best of My Love" (the
Eagles), "Right Time of the Night" (Jennifer Warnes), "Stand By Me" (Ben E. King, John Lennon),
and "I'll Be There" (Jackson 5).
Rock Ballad #2 +
Tempo: Slow rock
~ t ~ ~ t ~ t ~ ~ t
It n J7) f)l n :11
ON THE
RECORDING
A
flIm'U
This is slower than Rock Ballad #1, as in "Hey Jude" and "Let It Be" (the Beatles), "Every
Rose Has Its Thorn" (Poison), and "Everytime You Go Away" (paul Young).
34
Rock Ballad #3 +
Tempo: Slower than Rock Ballad #2
ON THE
RECORDING
A
ff!mSfr
The slower the tempo, the more sixteenth-note strums are added, as in "Knockin' On Heaven's
Door" (Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton), "Helpless" (Neil Young), and "Don't Know What You Got ('Till
It's Gone)" (Cinderella).
Rock Ballad #4 +
Tempo: Same as Rock Ballad #2 or #3
ON THE
RECORDING
A
ff!mSfr
This is one of countless possible variations of the ROCK BALLAD#2 or #3 strums.
Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #1 +
Tempo: Slow to moderately slow rock ballad
Am
I I I ~ I

r
T
I
M
T
r
T
I
M T
There are many variations of this fingerpicking pattern. It's a typical backup for tunes like
"You've Got a Friend" and "Candy Man" (James Taylor), and "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song"
(Jim Croce).
EQUIPMENf NOTE: Use acoustic guitar, electric guitar enhanced by effects (echo, flanger, tremolo,
chorus, etc.), or twelve-string guitar.
35
Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #2 +
Tempo: Slow to moderately slow rock ballad
T M M fingerplckmg T
Em
I
jj oj

-
-rr
fiatpicking ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

. .
This is an alternative pattern to Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #1. It works in songs with the same
type of beat, such as "Play With Fire" and "As Tears Go By" (the Rolling Stones) and "Lady" (Kenny
Rogers).
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Same as Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #1.
Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #3 +
Tempo: Slowly, with a half-time feel
T M T M T M T M T fingerpicking T
G
),-.,J l-,]
j,--,]
~
jj oj.
. ~
I V
f
I V
tIatpicking +
~ t t ~ t t ~ t t ~ t
-
v
This one can also be played with a flatpick. It fits rock ballads like "Every Rose Has Its
Thorn" (poison), "Sailing" (Christopher Cross), "Fire and Rain" (James Taylor), "Killing Me Softly
With His Song" (Roberta Flack), and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton).
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Same as Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #1.
36
Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #4 +
Tempo: Very slow
c
~ ~
> • I

i J
1
r
I
.,-
v
T T T M T
T
Similar to Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #2, this is for tunes like "Stairway to Heaven" (Led
Zeppelin), "Let It Be Me" (the Everly Brothers) and "I'll Be There" (Jackson 5).
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Same as Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #1.
Cross-References
Rock borrows heavily from all musical forms. Often, it has used R&Bffunk/soul rhythms,
while contemporary techno-pop uses disco and uptight funk* patterns.
R&B/FUNK/SOUL Chapter: Basic Sparse SoulfRock Strum #1 to #5, Basic Soul/Rock Strum #1 to
#4, Uptight Funk #1 to #6, Disco Scratch Rhythm #1 to #3.
Rockabilly lead guitarists play many of the boogie licks found in the BLUES chapter. The
same licks are staples of swamp rock and Southern rock. Rockabilly rhythm guitarists (especially
acoustic guitarists) play Country strums; Chuck Berry played a bluegrass strum on electric guitar on
his first hit, "Mabellene."
BLUES Chapter: Rural Fingerpicking Blues Pattern (Texas Style) #1 and #2, Fingerpicking
Boogie Lick #1 and #2.
COUNTRY Chapter: Bluegrass Strum #1 to #3, Country Strum #1 and #2, Honky Tonk Strum.
Early rock was sometimes called "bop" (as Gene Vincent said, "Let's bop again, Blue Caps!"),
and it borrowed the swing band comping found in the BLUES chapter. (For example, listen to Bill
Haley's "Rock Around the Clock.")
BLUES Chapter: Urban Blues Comping #1 to #4.
Rock steals fingerpicking from blues (e.g., the Rolling Stones' "This Could Be the Last Time"
and "It's AllOver Now"), country, and folk (e.g., Kansas' folky "Dust in the Wind").
BLUES Chapter: Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern (Rag Style) #1 and #2
FOLKChapter: Folk Fingerpicking #1 and #2.
• Rhythms found in this book.
-------{dR&B/FUNKlSOUL
It has been called R&B (rhythm and blues), funk, soul, and many other names. In spite of
musical crossover and racial and musical integration (e.g., super funkmeister George Clinton pro-
duced the white rock group, the Red Hot Chili Peppers), there are still "soul" (read "African
American") radio, "soul" video programming, and "soul" charts ... and a "soul" section in your local
record store. As the strums that follow illustrate, "black" pop music has a funkier beat than "white"
pop music. Here are some other qualities that set it apart for the guitarist:
• Funk strums are more rhythmically complex than rock strums because the beat is more sub-
divided. Notice that there are many sixteenth-note strums in the patterns that follow. To
give definition to those rapid sixteenth-note patterns, a crisp sharp-toned electric guitar has
always been preferable. The Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster have long been standard
funk guitars, though many modem hybrid electrics can achieve the same sound.
• Moveable chords are the chords of choice, because they can be muted more easily than first-
position chords. Muting is needed for the same reason a sharp-toned electric guitar is used:
it gives sharp definition to those sixteenth-note strums.
• In rock and metal, the beat is often guitar-driven. A raunchy guitar riff defines the groove,
and the bass and drums follow that riff. In soul or funk music, the bass and drums are more
likely to define the rhythmic feel, and the guitar responds to them.
• Space is important in funk patterns. Notice how the patterns that follow often contain
"holes," rather than constant strumming. This can push and syncopate the beat. To make up
syncopated funk patterns, listen to conga drummers and try to imitate their rhythmic
approach.
Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strum #1
Tempo: Moderately slow to fast rock
t
}> "I
t
}> "I
:11
ON THE
RECORDING
A
mID
5fr
38
Like one of the most basic reggae beats, this strum is played in a high register and highlights
the snare drum accents. It was used in many early soul tunes, such as "In the Midnight Hour" (Wilson
Pickett), and "Ain't too Proud to Beg" (the Temptations).
Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strum #2 +
Tempo: Slow to moderate rock/ballad
.
t
} 'f
.
t
'f } t
:11
ON THE
RECORDING
A
§WSfr
A more syncopated version of the previous strum was used in early soul/rock ballads like
"Stand By Me" (Ben E. King) and "Under the Boardwalk" (the Drifters).
Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strum #3 +
Tempo: Slow to moderate rock
.
t
} 'f
. .
tr--_
t
'f ) 'f J :11
ON THE
RECORDING
A
ffffijSfr
This is a slight variation of #2, as in "Walk On By" (Dionne Warwick).
Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strum #4 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock
.
t
} t
.
t
} 'f t
:11
ON THE
RECORDING
A
§WSfr
This is another more syncopated variation of #1 and #2
3Il
Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strom #5 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock
~ t
n :11
ON THE
RECORDING
A
mffi
Sft
This is still another syncopated variation. All of these can be mixed and matched, and two-bar
patterns can be created (i.e., play #2 followed by #4).
Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strom #6 +
Tempo: Moderate rock
:11
ON THE
RECORDING
E9
x
ffiffi
6fr
This strum has a funkier feel than the other Sparse Soul/Rock Strums. The sixteenth note adds
syncopation. It has a rhythmic feel similar to the Sam and Dave hits, "Hold On, I'm Comin'" and
"Soul Man."
Basic Soul/Rock Strum #1 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock
~ t ~ t
nn
ON THE
RECORDING
E9
40
TIlls strum is played in soul classics like "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "I Feel Good"
(James Brown), "Knock On Wood" (Eddie Floyd and many others), and "Mustang Sally" (Wilson
Pickett). The last stroke is played one fret lower and slides up a fret, so that the first beat of the repeat-
ed pattern is a slide. The strum also works well without this extra feature.
Tempo: Moderate rock ballad to moderate rock
41
ON THE
RECORDING
ti"
ON lliE
RECORDING
ti"
t
~ . } :11
~ t ~ t ~ t
tmn
~
It )
ON lliE
RECCRDING
E9
x
§Im6fr
Basic SoulfRock Strum #3 (Variation) +
Basic Soul/Rock Strom #2 +
Basic SoulfRock Strom #3 +
This is the same as #1, with a slightly funkier feel (because of the extra "scratch" strokes), as
in "She's Lookin' Good" (Wilson Pickett). If a strum includes many muted strokes, it is sometimes
called a "scratch rhythm."
This is the same as #3, with one variation: the last beat is tied to the first, which creates a very
syncopated feel. Try alternating #3 and #4, so that the "anticipated first beat" happens every other bar.
Tempo: Moderate rock ballad to moderate rock
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock
This is a slower variation of #1, for tunes like "Let's Stay Together" (AI Green), "Midnight
Train to Georgia" (Gladys Knight and the Pips), "The Thrill Is Gone" (B.B. King), and "Just My
Imagination" (the Temptations, the Rolling Stones).
Basic Soul/Rock Strom #4 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock

~ ~ t
} fj ~ :11
ON THE
RECORDING
x E9
BIm6fr
This strum fits songs like "Shotgun" (Junior Walker) or "Respect," "Think," and "Baby 1 Love
You" (Aretha Franklin). Note all the "space" in this pattern.
Uptight Funk #1 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock
14
~ t
))
:11
ON THE
RECORDING
x E9
BIm6fr
James Brown popularized this "uptight" (funky/high tension) feel in a series of tunes like "Say
It Loud-I'm Black and I'm Proud," "I Got the Feeling," and "Ain't It Funky Now." Though each tune
had a different guitar part, the overall groove was the same. His arranging in the late 1960s pushed
soul music in a much funkier "rhythm groove" direction.
Uptight Funk #2 +
Tempo: Moderate funk
:11
ON THE
RECORDING
E9
x
ffffB
6fr
42
This is the flip side of Uptight Funk #1, which had few strokes and a lot of space. Here, you
achieve the same groove with a scratch rhythm (many sixteenth-note strums), as in James Brown's
"Cold Sweat" and "There Was a Time."
Tempo: Moderate funk
=
43
ON TI-lE
RECORDING
E9
x
ffim
6fr
ON THE
RECORDING
E9
x
ffim
6fr
Uptight Funk #3 +
Uptight Funk #5 +
Uptight Funk #4 +
ON TI-lE
RECORDING
x E9
:11 ffim
6fr
>
>
~ ~ ~ ~ t ~ t ~ ~ ~ t
14 n
J7) m
.rn :11
~ ~
14 n
This is another modern funk groove. It has more sixteenth notes, as in "Seven Day Weekend"
(Grace Jones).
This is one of many ways to vary #3, as in "Don't Wanna Love You" (Shanice) and "Hold On"
(En Vogue).
This is a modern funk strum, as in "I Give You My Heart" (Baby Face), "It's Gonna Be
Alright" (Aaron Hall), and "Disappear" (INXS).
Tempo: Moderate funk
Tempo: Moderate funk
Uptight Funk #6 •
Tempo: Moderate funk
F B ~ 6
mID"'im
.-

v .- It- .-

--
iiiiiiii
! t t ! ! ! t
5 9 5
This is an "uptight funk" beat that manipulates space and shifting chords. The chord shapes are
abbreviated, three-note or four-note formations to make the rapid shifting easier. When you make up
variations on this theme, use any closely related chords, such as I and IV (e.g., E and A), I and V (E
and B), or I and ii (E and F#m). Early examples of this style of strum include "Want Ads" and "Stick-
Up" (the Honey Cone), and "Clean Up Woman" (Betty Wright).
Sliding Funk Pattern #1 +
Tempo: Moderate funk ballad to fast funk
ON THE
RECORDING
x Em
9
~ 5 f r
The slides are part of the rhythm of this pattern. Slide the whole chord down a fret, then slide
back up to normal position, then down, then up again, all on the strength of one stroke of the pick.
The pattern also works without slides. As in Isaac Hayes' "Do Your Thing," and "Thank You
(Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" (Sly and the Family Stone).
Sliding Funk Pattern #2 +
Tempo: Moderate funk ballad to fast funk
'I
! t
m
t !
~ n :11
ON THE
RECORDING
x Em
9
~ 5 f r
44
This is a variation of Sliding Funk Pattern #1.
Sliding Funk Pattern #3 +
Tempo: Moderate funk
E9
ffff§6fr
E9
I"
t
The slide in this pattern is used in a different way in Slow Urban Blues Strum #2 (see the
BLUES chapter). The high E9 chord at the el}d of the pattern could be any higher inversion of the
original chord. The strum would also work if you played the same inversion throughout. Since it's a
two-bar pattern, Sliding Funk Pattern #3 works in one-chord vamp songs like Sly Stone's "Thank
You" and "I Want to Take You Higher," and Wilson Pickett's "Don't Knock My Love" and "Engine
Number 9."
Funk Ballad #1 +
Tempo: Slow to moderate funk
ON THE
RECORDING
'if-
Sliding Funk Patterns #1 and #2 are used often in soul ballads. This pattern is another ballad
or moderately slow funk groove, first popularized in Marvin Gaye's "What's Gain' On" and "Let's
Get It On" as well as the Jackson Five's "Never Can Say Goodbye."
45
Funk Ballad #2 +
Tempo: Slow to moderate funk
ON THE
RECORDING
Ir
One of many possible variations of Funk Ballad #1, for tunes like "Feel Like Makin' Love"
(Roberta Flack) and "Do Your Thing" (Isaac Hayes).
Funk Ballad #3 +
Tempo: Slow to moderate funk
ON THE
RECORDING
x Dmaj7
ffim
5fr
This is another variation, as in "Tonight Is Right" (Keith Washington).
Disco/Scratch Rhythm #1 +
Tempo: Moderate funk x
,------,
> > > >
.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1
I! fm fm fm fm :11
ON THE
RECORDING
x E9
S±m6fr
46
This non-stop sixteenth-note rhythm was popularized in early disco tunes like the Bee Gees'
"Jive Talkin'." It is played with normal or muted chords. In tunes like "Shaft" (Isaac Hayes), a rhyth-
mically rocking wah-wah pedal gave it a distinctive sound. It can be varied in countless ways, such as
by removing a sixteenth-note strum or two, as in the two patterns that follow.
Tempo: Moderate funk
Disco/Scratch Rhythm #2 +
~ t ~ t
fffi :11
ON THE
RECORDING
E9
x
§lm6h
This is heard in "Night Fever" (Bee Gees), "Suicide Blonde" (INXS), and "1 Will Survive"
(Gloria Gaynor).
Disco/Scratch Rhythm #3
Tempo: Moderate funk
This is yet another variation.
Soul Shuffle #1 +
x,-__----,
ON THE
RECORDING
x E9
:11 §lm6h
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock shuffle
x.-__----,
~
I! )
~
)
~ t ~
n)
:11
ON THE
RECORDING
x E9
§lm6h
Essentially the same as Urban Blues Camping #1, this strum works in tunes like "Don't Mess
With Bill" (the Marveleues), "Morning Train (Nine to Five)" (Sheena Easton), and "Heat Wave" and
"Jimmy Mack" (Martha and the Vandellas).
Soul Shuffle #2
Tempo: Moderate rock shuffle
~ t ~ t t ~ t
1 ~ JTn rTJl :11
'-.-/
x.--- --,
ON THE
RECORDING
E9
x
§006fr
This has a slightly looser feel than Soul Shuffle #1, as in "How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by
You)" (Marvin Gaye, James Taylor) and "The Way You Do the Things You Do" (the Temptations).
Soul 6/8 Time #1 +
Tempo: Slow to moderate ballad
• • •
~ ~ t ~ t ~ ~ ~
[ ~ ~ JTI:[I
ON THE
RECORDING
A
m!ESfr
This has a very clipped, taut 6/8 feel, as in "Anyone Who Had A Heart" (Dionne Warwick),
"I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)" (Oti,s Redding), and "End Of the Road" (Boyz II
Men).
Soul 6/8 Time #2 +
Tempo: Slow to moderate ballad
ON THE
RECORDING
A
m!ESfr
48
This is a variation of #1.
BLUES Chapter: Basic Boogie Lick, Basic Boogie Lick (Moveable), Boogie/Rock Lick #1,
Boogie/Rock Lick (Moveable), Boogie/Rock Lick #2, Urban Blues Comping #1 to #4, Slow Urban
Blues Strum (6/8), Slow Urban Blues Strum #2.
ROCK Chapter: Rock Boogie #1, #1 Variation, #2 and #3, Rock Boogie Shuffle #1 and #2, "Hi-Heel
Sneakers" Boogie Rock/Strum #1 and #2, Latin Rock #1 to #5, 6/8 Rock Strum #1 and #2, 6/8 Rock
Arpeggio #1 and #2.
49
ON THE
RECORDING
A
ffim
Sfr
:11
) J

t t
f)TTJ
This is a very syncopated variation of 6/8 time.
Soul 6/8 Time #3 +
R&B and rock have always shared musical ideas, and both forms derive from the blues.
That's why rock and blues strums are useful in R&B/funk/soul music. All the boogie-woogie patterns
occur, and many early soul hits use "Hi-Reel Sneakers" strums (e.g., Marvin Gaye's "Can I Get a
Witness," also covered by the Rolling Stones).
Tempo: Slow to moderate ballad
-/METALr. PUNK, AND GRUNGE
These terms mean different things to different people, but for guitarists they all have a com-
mon denominator: distortion. It can come from an over-driven tube amp, an effects processor, an over-
drive channel in a solid-state amplifier, a foot pedal, or any combination of these*. Metal and punk are
both rock, and they use the rock strumming and picking patterns. Distortion changes the way you play,
and many strumming patterns have evolved that are peculiar to metal and punk.
Metal is driven by heavy guitar riffs. There are chord/rhythm riffs and single-note melody
riffs. (A riff is a short musical phrase that is repeated over and over.) The chord/strumming riffs that
follow are not lifted from specific tunes. They are an exploration of typical ways to construct metal
riffs. Naturally, they are all to be played on electric guitar with the distortion turned up to "eleven."
• See EQUIPMENT APPENDIX
Power Chords
Power chords are the two-note and three-note chords popularized by Chuck Berry that go back
to the early blues/boogie licks. They first appear in this book in the BLUES section, with the Basic
Boogie Licks. Heavy metal rhythm guitarists play power chords more often than standard guitar
chords, and they use these three shapes (the third note of each chord, in parenthesis, is optional):
1 2 3
xxx
1m
x x x x x xx x xx
m
comes
im
comes'm
I
comes
;;
from: from: from:
6th string root 5th string root
4th string root
Power chords have no thirds, just a root and fifth, so they are written like this: AS, G5, C5, etc.
Here are three ways to play AS:
50
AS
rtq:q 7&
tt::tt/j not to mention:
AS
x 0 x x x
~
Metal Riff with Sustain #1 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock
~
F5
)
:11
Distortion makes the electric guitar sustain. Many riffs contain long-sustaining power chords.
This happens often during a verse; a busier (more chops) pattern is played for the chorus.
Metal Riff with Sustain #2 +
Tempo: Fast rock
~ ~ ~
F#5 F5 £5
~ m
:11
This pattern would have a lot of empty space if it weren't for pounding drums aod a sustaining
wall of rhythm guitar grunge.
Metal Riff with Sustain #3 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock
t t
Dsus D
mm
} } J
'---"
:11
This is a third example of the infinite possible variations of sustain riffs.
S1
Metal Rock Riff #1 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock
~
D5
)
:11
This is the first of a series of five metal rock riffs that illustrate some of the possible rhythms.
Metal Rock Riff #2
+
Tempo: Fast rock
~ ~ t ~ t t ~ t ~ t t
gOO
Asus A Asus A
mE
I ~ )
n }) } I) n })
} :11
~
Metal Rock Riff #3 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock
Metal Rock Riff #4 +
Tempo: Moderate rock
52
~ ~ ~ t ~ ~
A5 C5 G5 AS
I ~ n n} )
~ ~
G5 C5
} I)
-
Metal Rock Riff #5 +
Tempo: Fast rock
~
G5
1 ~ )
~ t ~
n)
~ t t ~ t t ~
p5 BJ.5 A5
nlJTTJn)
'-----' '---"
:11
Tempo: Fast rock
Fast Muted Metal Lick #1 +
~
G5
»:11
Muting the strings with the palm of your picking hand can add variety to your riffs.
Fast Muted Metal lick #2 +
Tempo: Fast rock
ON THE
RECORDING
fIb
Metal Boogie Variation
+
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock
(CS)
p5
C
5
·
·
--;
~
--::;; --::;; --::;;
~ ~
'-----'" .. "--,,
~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
·
·
There are countless ways to syncopate and vary the standard Chuck Berry-style bass/boogie
lick. This is one.
53
Metal Open-String Riff +
Tempo: Fast rock
AS
I I
·
·
• :;;;
=4 =4 =4 =4 =4
:;;;
=4 =4
:;;;
=4
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
etc.
·
·
This is typical of the many riffs that take advantage of an open bass string. Similar licks could
be played using the open E (6th) and D (4th) strings. It creates a powerful, droning, rhythmic riff.
Funk/Metal Riff #1 +
Tempo: Moderate funk/rock
~ ~ ~ t ~ ~ ~ t t ~
ES GS AS
I!n m J7) m :11
'-'
Is there such a thing as funk/metal? Think of the grooves in tunes like "Way Cool Jr." (Ratt),
"Walk This Way," and "Love In An Elevator" (Aerosmith), "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" (Joan Jett), "Kick
'n' Fight" (Britny Fox) ... think of the Red Hot Chili Peppers!
Funk/Metal Riff #2 +
Tempo: Moderate funk/rock
This is another, simpler approach to funk/metal.
54
Punk Strum #1 +
Tempo: Fast rock
ON THE
RECORDING
:11
Punk tends to rely on simple, repetitious, loud strums to push the beat. The guitarist often uses
first-position chords. This all-downstroke strum is about as basic as you can get.
Punk Strum #2 +
Tempo: Fast rock
~ t ~
n)
~ t
n
~
I )
~ t ~ t ~ t
n !Tn :11
ON THE
RECORDING
Play this one several times and you'll understand why they often call it "thrash" metal.
Punk Strum #3 +
This is like the metal sustain riffs, only simpler.
ON THE
RECORDING
~
~ t
J)) :11
'---_.-/
~
I J
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock
55
Punk Strum #4 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock
ON THE
RECORDING
~
14 ).
56
This syncopated strum has all downstrokes.
Punk Strum #5
+
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock
ON THE
RECORDING
~ ~ ~ t ~ t ~ ~
o E 00
14 ).
} )
) InTI)
)
:11
m '----' ~
This is a slightly more extended version of Punk Strum #4. It's similar to Metal Rock Riff #1,
but simpler.
Cross-References
Metal grew out of rock, and it uses many rock strums for uptempo tunes and ballads. Blues
patterns also occur in metal.
BLUES Chapter: Rural Blues Shuffle #1 and #2, Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern (Texas
Style) #1 and #2, Shuffle Blues Lick #1 to #3, and all the boogie licks: Basic Boogie Lick, Basic
Boogie Lick (Moveable), Boogie-Rock Lick #1, Boogie-Rock Lick (Moveable), Boogie-Rock Lick #2.
ROCK Chapter: Basic Rock #1 to #3, Rock/Funk #1 to #4, Rock Ballad #1 to #4, Fingerpick-
ing Rock Ballad #1 to #4, and all the boogie licks: Rock Boogie #1, #1 Variation, Rock Boogie #2 and
3, Rock Boogie Shuffle #1 and #2.
Punk uses all of the boogie licks from the ROCK and BLUES chapters.
__---<icOUNmy _
Today's country music is a blend of traditional country, blues, rock, pop, and western swing.
Since blues and rock guitar backup is covered in other chapters of this book, the patterns that follow
are of the more traditional country variety. For example, the Carter strum was popular in 1930s string
bands and 1940s bluegrass bands, and it's a staple in modem country. Early country fingerpicking was
derived from rural blues, but Merle Travis and Chet Atkins put a new twist on fingerpicking, which is
documented in this chapter.
Contemporary country music often borrows rhythms and guitar styles from 1960s and 1970s
rock and blues. So look in the ROCK chapter for straight-eighths rock strums and boogie-woogie
backup licks. There is always a back-to-the-roots/traditionalist element popping up in country music
that makes use of the patterns in this chapter.
Bluegrass Strom #1 fnle caner Lick) +
Tempo: Moderate to fast
E
)
c
~ ~ , ) - ) -
G """' """'
Jl ) )
D ~
Jl) )
-

~ ~ t r
1. 2. 3. 4.
~ t
5. 5.
r I T r I T
3
etc.
Most guitarists use a flatpick for this strum, but Maybelle Carter, who popularized it, did it fin-
ger style, as did Lester Flatt and other early bluegrass players:
1. Pick a bass note with your thumb. It should be the keynote (C in the key of C, E in the key
of E).
2. Brush down on the treble strings with your thumb or the back of the index or middle finger.
3. Brush up on the treble strings with your index or middle finger.
4. Pick another bass note with your thumb, preferably the 5th in the chord (G in a C chord, B
in an Echard).
5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 (brush down and up on the treble strings).
The alternating bass notes (root and 5th) are an important part of the strum. Country rhythm gui-
tarists use it, as well as bluegrassers, in "Jambalaya" and "I Saw the Light" (Hank Williams), ''Wabash
Cannonball" and "Wildwood Hower" (the Carter Family), and "I Walk the Line" (Johnny Cash).
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Usually played on acoustic guitar.
51
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Usually played on acoustic guitar.
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Usually played on acoustic guitar.
Tempo: Moderate to slow country shuffle
E G
JI
-

~
r
~ ~ t ~ t ~ t
"
JI .. JI II
D

~

4
~ ~ ~ ~ 1 ~ ~ ~
u
Bluegrass Strum #3 +
Bluegrass Strum #2 +
This is like Bluegrass Strum #1, with an extra upstroke added to fIll out the rhythm in a slower
tempo, as in ''Your Cheatin' Heart" (Hank Williams), "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (Carter Family
and many others), "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" (Willie Nelson), and "Cool Water" (Sons of the
Pioneers).
This is the same as the previous strum-streamlined for speed. The upstrokes are removed. The
alternating bass remains. Some examples are "Orange Blossom Special," "Roll in My Sweet Baby's
Arms," "Rocky Top," "Mountain Dew," "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," and the fast part of "Dueling
Banjos."
Tempo: Fast cut-time
58
CCI by Strum #1 +
Tempo: Moderate to bright country shuffle
>
~
¢ )
>
~ t ~ t ~ t
n !Tn :11
ONniE
RECORDING
The first downstroke can be aimed at the bass strings, as in the bluegrass strums (but less pre-
cisely). Some examples are "Act Naturally" (Buck Owens, the Beatles), "Take Me Home, Country
Roads" (John Denver), "Mama Tried" (Merle Haggard), "Wake Up Little Susie" (the Everly
Brothers), and "Back in the Saddle Again" (Gene Autrey).
Country Strum #2 +
Tempo: Moderate to slow country shuffle
>
~
¢ )
ON THE
RECORDING
m
Play slower and more syncopated than Country Strum #1, as in "Bye Bye Love" (the Everly
Brothers), "I Can't Help It If I'm Still in Love With You" (Hank Williams, Linda ROllstadt), "Detroit
City" (Bobby Bare), and "Don't Rock the Jukebox" (Alan Jackson).
Honky Tonk Strum +
Tempo: Moderately slow to moderately bright shuffle
> > > >
~ t ~ t ~ t ~ t
1 t JTn JTn :11
ON niE
RECOROING
m
This has a stronger shuffle beat than Country Strum #1 or #2. It is often accompanied by a
walking bass and is used in rowdy honky tonk tunes like "I Never Knew God Made Honky Tonk
Angels" (Hank Thompson), "Hanky Tonk Blues" and "Move It on Over" (Hank Williams, Sr. and
Hank Williams, Jr.), and "Honky Tonk Man" (Johnny Horton, Dwight Yoakam).
59
Bluegrass Waltz +
Tempo: Slow to fast waltz
E
Jl II
) -
~
j-
-
~

-
r
r ! t ! t ! ! t ! t
v
As in the other bluegrass strums, you alternate the root and 5th bass notes. Try this on "I'm So
Lonesome I Could Cry" (Hank Williams), "Are You Lonesome Tonight" (Elvis Presley), and classic
waltzes like "Amazing Grace," "Goodnight, Irene," and "Tennessee Waltz."
Country Waltz +
Tempo: Slow to fast waltz
:>
!
I ~ )
! t
n
! t
n
:11
ON THE
RECORDING
!Hm
This is the same as the Bluegrass Waltz, but you strum instead of picking an individual bass
note. The two waltzes are interchangeable; the Bluegrass Waltz has more of an old-fashioned country
sound. Try the Country Waltz on "Norwegian Wood" (the Beatles), "You Light up My Life" (Debby
Boone), "Lucille" (Kenny Rogers),and "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys"
(Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings).
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Use acoustic guitar, or electric guitar enhanced by flanger, phase
shifter, etc. (see the EQUIPMENT APPENDIX).
60
Travis-Style Fingerpicking Pattern #1 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle
E A
0 00
f§mSfr
~
" II
,
1------. ~ I " II, J------.J> I
T T
r
I
r
I
r r
All Travis-style picking is based on a steady, on-every-downbeat, alternating thumblbass pat-
tern. The index and middle fingers play the higher strings on or off the beat, picking melody or rhyth-
mic fills. The thumblbass pattern never wavers. For a more authentic Travis, or Chet Atkins, sound,
damp the bass notes with the palm of your right hand.
The key-of-A pattern above, is the same as the preceding key-of-E pattern, turned into a move-
able lick. It's based on the barred E chord. Both Travis-Style Fingerpicking Patterns are also rockabil-
ly patterns. They work well in songs like "Blue Suede Shoes" (Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley), "That's
All Right, Mama" and "Good Rockin' Tonight" (Elvis Presley), "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
(Queen), and "All My Loving" (the Beatles), as well as country hits like "My Baby Thinks He's a
Train" (Roseanne Cash) and "Heartbroke" (Ricky Skaggs).
EQUIPMENT NOTE: The Travis-Style Fingerpicking Patterns sound good on acoustic or
electric guitar, but use an electric to get the Travis sound. For a rockabilly sound, play an electric gui-
tar with "slap-echo": digital or analog delay (see EQUIPMENT APPENDIX) will recreate that Sun
Records sound.
TraviS-Style Fingerpicking Pattern #2 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle
E A
I_I
" II 1
I_I rJ
" II
I I I
• -I
1
r
I
r
I
r r
This is a variation of Travis-Style Fingerpicking Pattern #1. Use it as a repeated pattern or
combine it with #1 and make a two-bar phrase.
EQUIPMENT NOTE: Same as Travis-Style Fingerpicking Pattern #1.
61
Banjo Roll #1 +
Tempo: Fast cut-time
o
Jl

I I
I
or
TIMTIMTI MTIMTITM
Borrowed from five-string banjo picking, this pattern is a tasteful backup lick in songs like
"Mama Tried" (Merle Haggard) and "Guitar Man" (Elvis Presley). The second sample has the same
picking as the first, with some left-hand movement added.
Banjo Roll #2 +
Tempo: Fast two-beat
E E
Jl Il I I I I I I I

I I I II
I I I
or
.
TIMTIMTI MTIMTITM
This is a variation of Banjo Roll #1.
Cajun Strum
Tempo: Moderate to fast rock
> > > >
~ t ~ t ~ t ~ t
I ! JTTJ JTTJ :11
ON THE
RECORDING
62
On paper this looks like the Hanky Tonk Strum, but the Cajun Strum has more of a straight-
eighths rock feel, rather than a shuffie beat, as in "Down at the 1\vist and Shout" (Mary-Chapin
Carpenter) and "Louisiana Man" (Doug Kershaw).
The "straight-eighths rock feel" has eight beats to the bar and lacks the "dotted note" or
"triplet" feel of a shuffle beat. To feel the difference between a straight-eighths and shuffle rhythm,
listen to the recording and compare the Cajun Strum to the Honky Tonk Strum.
Cross-References
A strumming acoustic guitar has always been the backbone of the country sound. It still is, but
today's acoustic guitarist may be strumming a rock groove or a boogie-woogie feel.
ROCK Chapter: Basic Rock #1 to #3, Rock Shuffle #1 and #2, Rock Boogie #1 to #3, Rock Boogie
Variation, Rock Boogie Shuffle #1 and #2, "Hi-Heel Sneakers" Boogie/Rock Strum #1 to #4, Rock
Ballad #1 to #4.
Country with a Southern-rock flavor may feature an electric guitar playing blues boogie licks.
The western swing feel is often evoked by playing blues comping strums.
BLUES Chapter: Rural Blues Shuffle #1 and #2, Fingerpicking Boogie Lick #1 and #2, Basic Boogie
Lick, Basic Boogie Lick (Moveable, Boogie/Rock Lick #1, Boogie/Rock Lick (Moveable) and #2,
Urban Blues Comping #1 to #4.
Acoustic country guitarists often borrow fingerpicking patterns from blues and rock for ballads
and moderate-tempo tunes.
BLUES Chapter: Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern (Rag Style) #1 and #2.
ROCK Chapter: Fingerpicking Rock #2 and #4, Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #1 to #4.
Some contemporary country songs have a rhythm groove reminiscent of 1960s and 1970s
R&B.
R&B/FUNK/SOUL Chapter:Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strums #1 to #4, Basic Soul/Rock Strums #1 to
#4, Funk Ballad #1 to #3.
Country songs regularly evoke the vintage rockabilly sound by playing fingerpicking and boo-
gie patterns from the ROCK and BLUES chapters.
ROCK Chapter: Rockabilly Fingerpicking #1 to #5, all "Boogie" Strums.
BLUES Chapter: all "Boogie" Strums.
63
FOLK MUSIC
To some people, "folk music" means British, Irish, American, or any nation's songs that are so
old their composer is unknown, e.g., "Skip to My Lou," "Careless Love," and "Greensleeves." To oth-
ers, it means early acoustic blues or string band (country) music. For many people it refers to the
folk/pop revival of the late 1950s, early 1960s led by city musicians like the Kingston Trio, the
Weavers, and the Limelighters. Singer/songwriters of the 1980s and 1990s who drew upon musical
styles of the sixties folksters were called "new wave folk." The bottom line is: It's folk if it highlights
acoustic guitar and other unelectrified instruments and is less slick and commercial than most pop
music.
Most of the picking and strumming styles needed to perform "folk" music are found in the
ROCK, BLUES, and COUNTRY chapters. What follows are some patterns not found elsewhere that
are heard on recordings of Joan Baez, Tracy Chapman, Gordon Lightfoot, Suzanne Vega, and other
pop artists who emphasize acoustic guitar in their performing and recording.
Folk Ballad Arpeggio #1 +
Tempo: Slow to moderate, straight-eighths beat (like a rock ballad)
G
J JI
.,
.

'U"
"
v
T M R M
64
Though it can be played with a tlatpick, this arpeggio pattern is often played with the thumb
and three fingers. It has a gentle, soothing feel that suits songs like "Suzanne" (Leonard Cohen, Judy
Collins), "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (Ewan MacColl, Robert Flack), and "All My Trials"
(Joan Baez and others).
Folk Ballad Arpeggio #2 +
Tempo: Slow to moderate, straight-eighths beat
G
J
,; _.

--. -
r
r
~
T M R M T
This is a variation of #1, as in "Danny Boy" (recorded by countless artists) and "Leaving on a
Jet Plane" (peter, Paul and Mary).
Folk Ballad Arpeggio #3 +
Tempo: Slow to moderate, straight-eighths beat
,; ..
.
--;
r
r
ft
--oc
T R
M
T R
M
This has a slightly stronger beat than #1 or #2, as in "Both Sides Now" (Joni Mitchell, Judy
Collins), and "Dona Dona" (Joan Baez, Donovan). It can also be played as a slow shuffle beat, as in
"Hush, Little Baby," the lullaby that was turned into a rock song ("Mockingbird") or "Tumbling
Tumbleweeds" (the Sons of the Pioneers).
65
Folk Waltz Arpeggio #1 +
Tempo: Moderate waltz
J.I

r
.
T A
M
A
M
This is another thumb-and-three-fingers pattern, as in "Goodnight, Irene" (Leadbelly, the
Weavers) and "Satisfied Mind" (Ian and Sylvia, Bob Dylan).
Folk Waltz Arpeggio #2 +
Tempo: Moderate waltz
G
r1
~
r1
r--
J.I
oJ oJ
• . ro
r
.
.
T M A M T M A M
66
This has a lighter, airier feel than Folk Waltz #1, as in "Scarborough Fair" (adapted by Simon
and Garfunkel), and "Plaisir d'Arnour" (Joan Baez).
Folk Fingerpicking #1 +
Tempo: Moderate to fast cut-time

c
r
T
I
I
T
r
M T
I
T M
Derived from the raggy blues styles (see BLUES chapter), this works for tunes like "It Ain't
Me, Babe" (Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash), "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" (Dylan; Peter, Paul and
Mary), and "The Boxer" (Simon and Garfunkel).
Folk Fingerpicking #2 +
Tempo: Moderate cut-time
Jl J. ~ ~ J

r
I
r
I
M
T
T
.
T M T
There are countless variations of Folk Fingerpicking #1, and this is a popular one, as in "The
Last Thing on My Mind" (Tom Paxton, Joan Baez, Doc Watson, and many others), "Blowin' in the
Wind" (Dylan; Peter, Paul and Mary), and "Puff the Magic Dragon" (peter, Paul and Mary).
calypso Fingerpicking +
Tempo: Moderate to bright
"

.,
r
J J
r
T M T M T M
Calypso was a mainstay of the folk boom of the late 1950s; that's why the Kingston Trio was
so named. This fmgerpicking pattern works for folk hits like "Sloop John B." (the Kingston Trio, the
Beach Boys) and "Lemon Tree" (peter, Paul and Mary).
Calypso Strom #1 +
Tempo: Moderate to bright
>
~ t t ~ t
In JTTJ :/1
'"---'
ON THE
RECORDING
68
This is a strumming version of the Calypso Fingerpicking pattern, as in "Jamaica Farewell"
(Harry Belafonte and many others), "Banana Boat (Day-G)" (Belafonte), and the tunes mentioned for
Calypso Fingerpicking. You can do this strum with a flatpick, but many folkies used their hand like
this:
• Brush down on the top (treble) three or four strings with the fingernails, using a loose strum
that includes three or four fingers.
• Brush up with the thumb, hitting the strings with the thumbnail.
The "rasgueado" effect, indicated by the wiggly line ( 1), is done by unwinding the fingers of
your strumming hand from the pinkie to the index finger as you strum. This creates a rippling strum.
It's a popular Spanish guitar technique.
calypso Strum #2 +
Tempo: Bright
>
+
I ~ )
>
+ t t + t
n JTn :11
'---'
ON THE
RECORDING
This is a faster version of Calypso Strum #1, as in "Marianne" (the Easy Riders, Belafonte, and
others) and "Tijuana Jail" (Kingston Trio).
Basic Plucking Pattern +
Tempo: Slow to fast cut-time
E
>

r
r
T R
M
I
T R
M
I
This very simple pattern is often taught to beginners as a first strum. The index, middle, and
ring fingers simultaneously pluck upward on the top three strings, and the thumb alternates bass notes.
It brings to mind Burl Ives' folk hits like "Skip to My Lou," "The Fox," and "Froggie Went A-
Courtin' ."
Plucking Pattern #2 +
Tempo: Moderate cut-time
Em
,.
> >

-
r
r
u
This variation of the Basic Plucking Pattern is often used on Russian songs ("Moscow
Nights"), Jewish folk songs ("0 Hanukah"), Christmas songs ("Twelve Days of Christmas"), and chil-
dren's songs ("I've Been Working on the Railroad").
69
WalUlPlucking Pattern +
Tempo: Slow to moderate waltz
c
" II
> >
.

r
r
This pattern fits the same categories of songs as Plucking Patterns #1 and #2: three-quarter-
time tunes such as "Cockles and Mussels," "Thmbalalaika," "Cielito Lindo," "What Child Is This?"
and "On Top of Old Smokey."
March/Plucking Pattern +
Tempo: Moderate to fast march
Em

r
r
This pattern is used for march-tempo folk tunes like "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye," "I Know an
Old Lady," and "Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley."

Folk music borrows strums and fingerpicking patterns from the blues, rock, and country bags.
The following list includes most of the patterns from those three chapters.
COUNTRY Chapter: Bluegrass Strum #1 to #3, Country Strum #1 and #2, Honky Tonk Strum,
Bluegrass Waltz, Country Waltz, Travis-Style Fingerpicking Pattern #1 and #2, Cajun Strum.
ROCK Chapter: Basic Rock #1 to #3, Rock Shuffle #1 and #2, FastRock Shuffle, Fast Rock Strum,
Rock/Funk #1 to #4, Fingerpicking Rock #1 to #4, Rock Ballad #1 to #4, Fingerpicking Rock Ballad
#1 to #4, and all the Boogie licks: Rock Boogie #1 to #3, Rock Boogie Variation, Rock Boogie Shuffle
#1 and #2.
BLUES Chapter: Rural Blues Shuffle, Strum #1 and #2, Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern (Rag
Style) #1 and #2 and (Texas Style) #1 and #2, Basic Boogie Lick, Basic Boogie Lick (Moveable),
Boogie/Rock Lick #1, Boogie Rock Lick (Moveable), Boogie/Rock Lick #2
70
---IIEg,UI PMENT APPENDIX
Here is a description of musical equipment that was mentioned in this book. The electronic
effects (reverb, echo, delay, chorus, flanger, phase shifter, distortion, and tremolo) can have several
shapes. They can be built into an amplifier, an effects processor, a footpedal, or an individual rack-
mounted unit.
Chorus: an electronic effect that "doubles" an electric guitar's notes, making a six-string guitar sound
like a twelve string. It enriches and fattens a guitar's tone. It's often used for fmgerpicking, back-
ground arpeggios, and solos.
Delay (Analog and Digital): an electronic effect that produces many types of echo.
Distortion: the fuzzy, screaming guitar sound associated with loud rock and metal. It can be produced
by electronic effects or by turning up an amplifier (especially a tube amp) so loud that the speakers
"break up" or distort the sound.
Echo: the repeating, reverberating, enriched sound you get singing or playing in a room that bounces
sound around, such as a shower, gymnasium, or an echo chamber. "Delay" and "reverb'" are electronic
effects that produce echo.
Flanger: an electronic effect that produces a rhythmic sweep effect of variable intensity and speed.
It's similar to a phase shifter.
Overdrive: the fuzzy, distorted sound an amp produces when it is turned up so loud that the sound
"breaks up." A variable overdrive channel is often built into amplifiers. It allows you to get a range of
distortion (from slightly fuzzy to completely broken up) at any volume. Electronic effects that produce
the same sounds are called "overdrive."
Phase Shifter: an electronic effect that adds a sweeping, wave-like sound of variable depth and speed
to your guitar's tone. It was originally invented to imitate the oscillating effect produced by a
Hammond organ's Leslie speaker.
Reverb: an electronic effect that creates echo, often built into amplifiers.
Slapback Echo: the particular type of echo associated with rockabilly music and the Sun Records'
sound. It's characterized by a brief but powerful single repeated signal; it can be produced by delay
effects.
Solid State Amp: an amplifier that has transistors instead of tubes.
Tremolo: an electronic device that was built into many early tube amps. It produces an oscillating,
wavering sound. It was pioneered by Bo Diddley and heard often in surf music and early rock, espe-
cially on ballads.
Tube Amp: an electric guitar amplifier powered by tubes instead of transistors. Early amps were all
tube amps. They distorted more easily and had a warmer sound than solid state amps, and many man-
ufacturers are producing them again, often with a retro, vintage appearance.
71
n
GUITAR STRINGS
Strings come in different gauges (thicknesses). Fatter strings have a richer, fuller sound, but
they are harder on your fretting hand than thinner strings, and they are harder to bend or choke. So,
the type of music you play determines which gauge of strings you use.
• Use heavy or medium gauge strings for strumming and fingerpicking, unless you bend a lot
of strings when fingerpicking.
• Use light or super-light gauge strings if you do a lot of string-bending. Some players use
medium gauge strings except for the top two or three (treble) strings. They use lighter
gauges on these because that's where most string-bending occurs.

lhe Dictionary Of

smUM& PICKING PA11ERNS
By Fred Sokolow

SPECIAL THANKS TO RONNY SCHIFF FOR HER ASSISTANCE WITH THIS BOOK

~ HAL-LEONARD" ~CORPORATION
7777 W. BLUI:MOUMD RD ....0. BOlt 13818 ""ILW.-.UK£f. WI 153213

Copyright 0 1995 by HAL LEONARD CORPORATION International Copyright Secured All Rights Reserved For all works contained herein:

l...lnauthorized copyilg. arranging. adapmg. recording 01 public performance is an Rring€meni of CClPJrV"o!. Infrilgers are iabIe tnier the law.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BLUES
Rural Blues Shuffle, Strum (1-2) Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern, Rag Style (1-2) Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern, Texas Style (1-2) "Hoochie Coochie Man" Blues Lick (1-3) Fingerpicking Boogie Lick (1-2) Basic Boogie Lick Basic Boogie Lick (Moveable) Boogie/Rock Lick #1 Boogie/Rock Lick (Moveable) Boogie/Rock Lick #2 Urban Blues Comping (1-4) Slow Urban Blues Strum (6/8) Slow Urban Blues Strum #2 Cross-References 7 8 9 10 11 11 12 12 13 . 13 14 15 15 16

. .... .4

ROCK
Basic Rock (1-3) Rock Shuffle (1-2) Fast Rock Shuffle Rock Boogie (1-3)(Rock Boogie #1, Variation) Rock Boogie Shuffle (1-2) Fast Rock Strum Bo Diddley-Style Strum (1-2) "Hi-Heel Sneakers" Boogie/Rock Strum (1-2) RocklFunk (1-4) 6/8 Rock Strum (1-2) 6/8 Rock Arpeggio (1-2) Reggae Strum (1-3) Latin Rock (1-5) Fingerpicking Rock (Swamp Rock #1) (1-4) Rockabilly Fingerpicking (1-5) Rock Ballad (1-4) Fingerpicking Rock Ballad (1-4) , Cross-References 17 18 19 19 20 21 21 22 24 25 26 27 28 30 32 34 35 37

,'

R&B/FUNK/SOUL Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strum (1--6) Basic Soul/Rock Strum (1-4) Uptight Funk (1--6)

38 40 .42

....57 Country Strum (1-2) 59 Honky Tonk Strum 59 Bluegrass Waltz 60 ....•... AND GRUNGE Power Chords Metal Riff with Sustain (1-3) Metal Rock Riff (1-5) Fast Muted Metal Lick (1-2) Metal Boogie Variation Metal Open-String Riff FunklMetal Riff (1-2) Punk Strum (1-5) Cross-References 44 ...........45 46 .49 : 50 51 52 .60 Country Waltz..Sliding Funk Pattern (1-3) Funk Ballad (1-3) Disco/Scratch Rhythm (1-3) Soul Shuffle (1-2) Soul 6/8 Time (1-3) Cross-References METAL.53 53 ....56 COUNTRY Bluegrass Strum (The Carter Lick)(1-3) .47 .......... PUNK..................... ..54 54 55 .. Travis-Style Fingerpicking Pattern (1-2) ' 61 Banjo Roll (1-2) 62 Cajun Strum 62 Cross-References 63 FOLK MUSIC Folk Ballad Arpeggio (1-3) Folk Waltz Arpeggio (1-2) Folk Fingerpicking (1-2) Calypso Fingerpicking Calypso Strum (1-2) Basic Plucking Pattern Plucking Pattern #2 Waltz/Plucking Pattern MarchIPlucking Pattern Cross-References EQUIPMENT APPENDIX 64 66 67 68 69 69 69 70 70 70 71 .48 ..

At the end of each chapter. Most strums are written with rhythm slashes:. If you prefer using your fingers. fingerpicking blues pattern. a relaxed calypso strum. quarter notes. this pattern is doubled up and upstrokes are between the downbeats and the "and" beats: 1 n) J. many songs cannot be neatly pigeonholed in one category. If a strumming pattern has down and upstrokes. This book has a strumming or picking pattern for nearly any rhythmic groove you are likely to hear in rock. someone else's. Occasionally. and a gentle.fT. some just use their frngers. there are two general rules: The frrst is strum down on the downbeats. punkish thrash. eighth notes.fjj ) )) . or another soloing instrument.fj a & a2a&a3 a&a4a&a t ~ t ~ t ~ t ~ t~t~t~t 4 . distortion. chances are that much of your playing will not be just hot licks and fiery solos. folk. up on the upbeats or "and" beats. metal.J These slashes have standard rhythmic notation: There are ties. it will be accompaniment. Playing the right backup with a good groove is as much an art form as soloing. listening. and playing along with the recording. blues. chorus) best suited to the pattern. and all musical styles cross-breed. Your guitar backs up your voice. The best news of all is that every strum or picking pattern is played on the matching recording that comes with the book. For example. or country music. and a heavy-metal backup guitar part may come straight from a twenties Delta blues strum. Strumming Most people strum with a flatpick.-----(I INTRODUCTION Whether you play alone or with others. a syncopated scratch-rhythm to a funk groove. strumming can consist only of downstrokes or of a combination of up and downstrokes. professionally or just for fun. a grungy. The patterns are grouped in these musical categories to make it easy for you to find the feel you want. But what kind of accompaniment will you play? There are so many kinds of guitar backup: a hard-driving. an equipment note will suggest the type of guitar (electric or acoustic) or electronic effect (echo. rock-boogie lick. etc. fingerpicked folk ballad arpeggio to name a few.fT. there are cross-referencing notes to help you find the rock strum that is hiding in your favorite country tune (or the country-picking pattern hiding in your favorite rock tune!). a lazy. punk. Either way. a honky-tonk country strum. A country tune in the nineties may have a seventies rock groove. strum down with the fingernails of several fingers at once (or just the index finger) and up with the thumb. Fingerpicking patterns are written in tablature and standard music notation. Jl n J. So learn each strum by reading. Each pattern is repeated a few times to establish the groove. in a strum made of eighth notes: In'l In'l ~ ~t~t~t~t 1&2&3&4& In a strum made of sixteenth notes. rests. soul/funk. Of course.

Either way. There are two ways to stop the strings from vibrating: touch them with the palm of your picking hand. The thumb usually picks the lower three (bass) strings. or (if you are fretting the strings) release the fretting pressure so that your fingers are touching the strings but not pressing them down to the fretboard. with no sustain) by muting or damping the strings after strumming them. the picks make you sound louder and clearer and save wear and tear on your fingers. Play the following two examples. don't strike the strings when the arrows are in parenthesis. country) make use of the thumb and one or two fingers. rock. the ring and little fingers also pick treble strings. The fingerpicking patterns are written in tablature and standard notation. but don't strike the strings. In standard notation: • Notes that are plucked by the thumb have stems pointing down. keep the rhythmic down-up wrist action going. This makes your rhythm flowing and musical. During the spaces that rests or tied notes indicate. eJ) 5 .The second rule is keep your wrist going down-up-down-up smoothly. Occasionally. (r) • Notes picked by the fingers have stems pointing up.Fffi J HtH t ~ tW t ~ t ~ t ~ (t nt W t W t a&a2a&a3a&a4a&a tJTl n Ht) Ht) Damping Sometimes you play staccato chords (clipped. even when there are rests or tied notes. If you playa steel-string guitar. 1&2&3&4& J nJ>J J>ar . a damped note has a dot over it: ~ or J If a chord is damped by your fretting hand before you strum it. it is written like this: or Fingerpicking Most popular styles of fingerpicking (blues. Players who do a lot of fingerpicking often wear a thumbpick (plastic or metal) and a fingerpick or two (on the index and perhaps the middle finger). the index and middle fingers play the top three (treble) strings.

Find other tunes with that same groove in songbooks. 2. try playing along with it. A few practical tips: • Each rhythm pattern has a name that is used to identify it in the book and on the recording. Play a tune that has that rhythmic feel and use the pattern as your accompaniment. Listen to the pattern on the recording. 6 . 5. If you know any of the tunes mentioned in the notes. the pattern is yours and it's part of your repertory. • There is a tempo indication under the name. • Rhythm slash patterns include a boxed chord grid located to the right of the tempo indication. Track numbers are indicated by the following symbol: • 3. Most are one bar long.Practicing Here's a step-by-step method for learning a strumming or picking pattern: 1. If you have a recording of a tune with the same feel. 4. Play the pattern over and over. Once you can do this. especially ones that are familiar to you. think about their rhythm groove. Read about the pattern. to the left. Play it several times and get the groove to match the recording. and use the pattern as accompaniment. some are two bars. It shows the chord that is played on the recording.

which goes back as far as the beginn ing of the twenti eth century. Since so many guitar styles grew out of the blues. Use for moder ate tempo s like "Help Me" (Sonny Boy Willia mson) and "Pride and Joy" (Stevie Ray Vaugh an). most blues guitari sts (espec ially acoust ic player s) used their thumb and fingers. don't assum e that "rural" strums can only be played on acoust ic guitar and "urban " pallern s must be electri c. slap the strings with the palm of your fretting hand instead of carefuJly dampi ng them. heavy metal. In this strum. Rura l Blue s Shu ffle. itt ~ tr--. the Travis -pickin g of countr y and rockab illy grew out of blues fingerp icking . Contem porary electri c blues guitarists often sel their tunes to a rock or funk beat. Rura l Blue s Shu ffle. this chaptc r is a good startin g place for a study of guitar backup . and funk/soul music. As in ttl. This chapte r covers picking and strumm ing styles of nmtl "folk" blues. or faster tunes like "Baby Please Don't Go" (Light nin' Hopkin s. 7 . in additio n to using the traditio nal blues shuffle. Van Morrison. so try all the blues strums and picking pattern s acoust ically and electrically. Stru m #2 Tempo: Fast shuffle + ON THE RECORDING 1"4 rT IJ . Check the RpCK and R&BI FUNK ISOUL chapte rs for the appropriate backup pallcrn s. There has always been crosso ver. and the boogie -woog ie guitar backup style of rock and heavy metal goes directl y back to rural blues guitar backup . but it has cvolved and develo ped in tandem with European musical forms and has affected all Ameri can music. As you listcn to and play the pallerns.11 + ON THE RECORDING 0 shuffle > > 14 JT TI JT TI itit itit E 00 • :11 I I Throu gh the 1950s and even into the I960s. and many others have record ed it). Stru m #1 Tempo: Mode/ we 10 /0._ t ) '1 . the fingers brush up. Damp the strings with the palm of your pickin g hand. The strums and pickin g pallern s of both urban and rural blues are uscd in rock. For examp le. the thumb plays downs trokes. . o E 00 J :11 This is for faster shuffles in the "Boog ie Chill un" (John Lce Hooke r) vein. you brush down with your thumb and up with your fingers. folk. and urban electric blues styles of the I940s up to thc present. For a percus sive effect and to enhanc e the beat./II BLUES: THE ROOTS OF ROCK (0 The blues is an Africa n-Ame rican music form derived from spiritu als and work songs. country.

B . Classic tunes in the style include "That Will Never Happen No More" (Blind Blake). Mississippi John Hurt. For more possibilities. Merle Travis' style was derived from this rural blues genre. ''Warm It Up to Me" (Willie McTell). M T I i M T I M T T T T This is one of many possible variations of #1. rhythmic style seems to come from the popular ragtime dance music of the early part. of the twentieth century. and "Candy Man" (John Hurt). Rockers who have played in this style include Eric Clapton (as in "Can't Find My Way Back Home") and the Rolling Stones ("It's AllOver Now"). Mance Lipscomb. as in the previous pattern. Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern Rag Style #2 Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle + c ) ~ I • r T I r T I i . Blind Boy Fuller. Furry Lewis. Willie McTell. They all played a steady alternating thumblbass. see the Travis-Style Fingerpicking Patterns in the COUNTRY section.Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern Rag Style #1 Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle + c ) I • r T I r ~ I ft T M T T M Fingerpicking blues guitarists Blind Blake. and Gary Davis are often called "ragtime blues" players because their bouncy.

The steady. but they all share the saine rhythmic feel.J -v -v T T I T I T - r r T T ~ > T T This is a slower version of the Texas Style #1 pattern. as in ba-bump. ba-bump. Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern Texas Style #2 Tempo: Slow shuffle E7 + . 1 I 11 1 r r r r r r r r T M I T T M T v v M T I T M T T Lightnin' Hopkins popularized this fmgerpicking blues style in which the thumb thumps out a steady bass on every downbeat.. I I - > ll. Muddy Waters). as in "It Hurts Me Too" (Broonzy. Elmore James.Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern Texas Style #1 Tempo: Slow to moderate shuffle + E7 " II > I to. and Brownie McGhee) are not from Texas. and others) and "How Long Blues" (various artists).l. ba-bump. while the fingers pick melody or rhythmic fills on the treble strings. John Lee Hooker. and others) and "I Wonder When" (Broonzy. Eric Clapton. as in "Key To The Highway" (McGhee. Many of the players noted for this style (Big Bill Broonzy. thumb bass plays two notes per downbeat. 9 .. instead of alternating bass notes. ba-bump.

JlHoochie Coo chie Man " Blues Uck #2 Tempo: Slow to moderately fast shuffle G + " • §ifl'" . 'I T T T T #2. Ii + t II E · ~ ~ • ~ ~ ~ · ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Man" (Muddy Waters) This popular blues lick is associated with the tune "Hoochie Coochie and "I'm a Man" (Bo Diddley). made on the barred E chord formation. 7- ~ . As in "Bad to the Bone" (Georg 10 . · v ~ ~ ~ ~ .. JlHoochie Coo chie Man " Blues Uck #3 Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle Ii + II E . this lick includ es A faster versio n of "Hooc hie Cooch ie Man" Blues Lick #1 and e Thorogood). -..--. I ~ • r r r v '. thumb/downstrokes and finger/upstrokes. It's based This is the same lick as "Hoochie Coochie Man" Blues Lick #1.·JlHoochie Coo chie Man " Blues Uck #1 Tempo: Slow to moderately fast shuffle ...-. ~ • . I ~. v ~ ~ ~ t v v v moveable. ~ ~ -.

and "Say What?" (Stevie Ray Vaughan). It's for slow tunes like "Caress Me Baby" and "Honest I Do" (Jimmy Reed).. 11 . "Farther On Up the Road" (Eric Oapton). "Dust My Broom" (Elmore James and many others). ~ ~ ~ u ~ "1 ~ "1 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ u ~ "1 ~ "1 -~ ~ :< :< ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ u u u u u u This archetypal boogie backup lick is usually played with the thumb or a flatpick. ""I " r r This is the same as #1.. IT IT I T I Tete. to moderate and fast songs like "Don't Start Me Talkin'" (Sonny Boy Williamson). ~I • rr rr TIT I TIT I r r r rr etc. r -r -.. l. It's all downstrokes. the index finger brushes up on the treble strings. The index finger plays the higher of the two bass strings. the thumb plays the lower. this and the next lick were often played by rockabilly guitarists in boogie tunes like "Matchbox" and "Blue Suede Shoes" (Carl Perkins). The thumb plays bass.I ~ ~ ~ ~I ~ ~ ~ A I l.Fingerpicking Boogie Lick #1 Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle •• Jj + E A -. Suitable for "Boogie Chillun" and "Baby Please Don't Go" grooves. Fingerpicking Boogie Lick #2 Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle E • Jj + l. but the thumb starts it. Basic Boogie Lick #1 Tempo: Slow to fast shuffle • II E A + :< :< ~ ~ --. .

but made moveable. :0. and "Smokestack Lightning" (Howlin' Wolf). "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" (Sonny Boy Williamson).Basic Boogie Lick (Moveable) Tempo: Slow to fast shuffle + II --{IFl- ~ -4- • :: :: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ :: :: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ -<I -<I -<I -<I -<I -<I -<I -<I ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ • This is the same as the Basic Boogie Lick. (Moveable chords or licks use only fretted.) c c Boogie/Rock LiCk #1 • Tempo: Moderate rock E A II ~ ~ :: :: + + ~ 11 ~ :: :: + + ~ ~ ~ 111 :i + :i + :0. but simplified slightly. based on abbreviated versions of the barred E and A chord formations. they can be played all over the fretboard. 12 . Elvis Presley. :0. and many others). strings. not open. therefore. :0. It's the same as the Rock/Boogie strums of the ROCK section. + + + t + This is the strum for "Big Boss Man" (Jimmy Reed. "Memphis Tennessee" (Chuck Berry). :i + :i + :0.

.. -... You can play the same lick "up one string..j:-:<:-:< --.. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ . 13 ." i.c II E " --=<i ~ G --. :.~ == ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ t ~ ~ ~ The moveable version of the Boogie/Rock Lick is based on the same chord formations as Basic Boogie Lick (Moveable). Here are the first position and moveable versions..e. Urban Blues Comping #1 Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle beat ON Tl-IE RECORDING + ) JTn ~ ~ t ~ t :11 root~tttffj Rim6fr root-~12fr ~l1fr tttfijfOOI-ttfjjj NOTE: These 9th chords are often used in all the Urban Blues patterns. . Tempo: Moderate rock mJfi3fr ~ G i . ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~:~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ • ~ ~ t ~ ~ . .j ~ T ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ . This is a variation of Boogie/Rock Lick #1.~. abbreviated A chord.Boogie/Rock Lick (Moveable) !'.~ .' ~:- !r. Boogie/Rock I. ~:~:~ ~ ~ ~ t ~ --::JI --:. .ick #2 Tempo: Moderate rock + ~ .'\.. on an A chord or a barred. ~ --:.

and it describes what the rhythm guitarist often does in a large electric blues band with a hom section (e. King. and olhers). B. The flat sign (l» over the last stroke of this pattern tells you to play that chord a fret lower than the others and slide up a fret for the next stroke. The pattern works with or without this embellishment. George Thorogood)." and "Three O'Clock in the Morning" (B. Bobby Blue Bland). King). 14 . King's band). This strum is appropriate for tunes like "Everyday I Have the Blues" (B. Joe nuner. It's a swing band riff that crossed over into rock and roll. You can combine the two to make a two-bar pattern."Comping" is a sWing/jazz expression for strumming backup chords. Eric Clapton). One Scotch. B. and it works as a backup camping pattern as well. x E9 Urban Blues Comping #3 Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle beat + ON THE RECORDING OO5 E9 6r . and many others). Uman Blues Comping #2 • Tempo: Slow to fast shuffle beat ON THE RECORDING §m}6fr This is a variation of Urban Blues Camping #1.g. and "Eyesight to the Blind" (Sonny Boy Williamson. This rhythm figure is played often by horns and guitar in tunes like "Rock Around the Clock" (Bill Haley and the Comets) and "Shake. "One Bourbon. Lowell Fulson. this pattern works for slow tunes like "Stormy Monday Blues" (I-Bone Walker. The Who. The chords are usually moveable and can be damped with the fretting hand. "Sweet Little Angel. Besides the tunes mentioned for Urban Blues Camping #1. One Beer" (John Lee Hooker.. B. "Kansas City" (Wilbert Harrison and others).B. Rattle and Roll" (Bill Haley.

. Paul Butterfield).. · · · · This strum is used for the tunes mentioned in Slow Urban Blues Camping #1 and Slow Urban Blues Camping #2.L II fffm'& :. They are based on the 9th chords so often played in that genre. t t "f } t :11 ~mr E9 This is a faster variation of Urban Blues Camping #3..t. + .Urban Blues Comping #4 Tempo: Fast shuffle + ON THE RECORDING . ~ t . 4' A9 . 15 . ! t I JTIl ~ . These two sliding licks are often heard in Chicago-style blues bands." . "Blues With a Feeling" (Little Walter. Slow Urban Blues Strum (6/8) Tempo: Slow shuffle + ON THE RECORDING E9 mffi Slow Urban Blues Strum #2 Tempo: Slow to moderate x 6fr This works with the blues tunes mentioned in Urban Blues Camping #2. ~ .t ~ x D9 ... t '-":j: ffiID'& • • -- · · · · · · · /fI. More titles are: "Reconsider Baby" (Lowell Fulson and others).. as in ''Eyesight to the Blind" (mentioned before) and "Stang's Swang" (Stevie Ray Vaugban). They are played usually on electric guitar. t .

it was not unusual for electric blues players to use ROCK and R&B/FUNK/SOUL grooves or patterns. Basic Soul/Rock Strum #1 to #4. Sliding Funk Pattern #1 and #2. "Why I Sing the Blues" and "The Thrill Is Gone. Uptight Funk #3 and #4. Rock Boogie Shuffle #1 and #2." and Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign" are examples. R&B/FUNK/SOUL Chapter: Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strum #1 to #6. Rock Boogie Variation. Funk Ballad #1 to #3.6/8 Rock Strum #1 and #2. A slow version of "Stormy Monday" could use one of these! ROCK Chapter: Rock Boogie #1 to #3.B. and 6/8 strums from the ROCK and R&B/FUNKISOUL chapters. Soul 6/8 Time #1 to #3. 16 . Soul Shuffle #1 and #2. King's hits. B.Cross-References By the mid 1960s. Contemporary blues artists also use boogie patterns from the ROCK chapter. which are a bit fancier than those found in the BLUES chapter.

As in the BLUES chapter./ ROCK At its inception in the early 1950s. They are played both ways in rock recordings. and pop-the name reserved for everything else. the guitar has become more prominent. "Maggie May" (Rod Stewart). with honking saxes and a boogie beat.and downstrokes This has a slightly more relaxed rock feel. funk-rock. R&B. "Kokomo" and "Sloop John B. "Bad Medicine" (Bon Jovi). as in "Proud Mary" (Creedence Clearwater Revival [the Ike & Tina Turner version would be better with all downstrokes]). "La Bamba" (Richie Valens. Los Lobos). The strums and picking patterns that follow apply to early Chuck Berry boogie woogie. "I'm a Believer" (the Monkees). doo-wop (the intricate vocal harmonizing style invented by black and white urban street corner singing groups). "Many Many" (Tommy James and the Shondells." (the Beach Boys). Some examples are "American Pie" (Don McLean). "Jump" (Van Halen). Latin rock. As rock has grown. play all the patterns on electric and acoustic guitars. Southern rock. Rock has expanded over the decades to include many more musical influences. and many electric and acoustic guitar styles have evolved. Billy Idol). Basic Rock #1 Tempo: Fast or medium rock + > > ON THE RECORDING or All downstrokes I! JJTI JJTI :11 ! t ! t ! t ! t mH]Sfi A This is the basic hard rock beat as in "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (the Beatles). "Every Breath You Take" (police). Alternating up. and "With or Without You" (U2). Basic Rock #2 Tempo: Fast or medium rock + ON THE RECORDING n JTTJ :11 '---' ! t t! t mH]Sfi A This has a looser. country rock. usually lacking the strong beat of the other styles. folk rock. and more. "Beat It" (Michael Jackson). "rock" meant many things: rockabilly (a white Southern blend of R&B and honky-tonk country music). the harder-edged strumming of the Stones or Bon Jovi. reggae. and "Got My Mind Set on You" (George Harrison). 17 . lighter feel than Basic Rock #1 and is used often in country rock. "Brown-Eyed Girl" (Van Morrison). and "Time After Time" (Cyndi Lauper). Beatles-style and contemporary rock ballads.-------r. "Solitary Man" (Neil Diamond).

"Loves Me Like a Rock" and "Slip Slidin' Away" (paul Simon). On tunes with moderate tempos. Red Hot Chili Peppers). "Mountain of Love" (Harold Dorman. as in "Chains" (the Cookies. "California Girls" (Beach Boys). the Beatles). Johnny Rivers). Rock Shuffle #2 Tempo: Moderate shuffle > + ON THE RECORDING nrm "-" ~ > t t ~ t :11 m!ES& A This is the same as Country Strum #2. and "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" (Otis Redding. James Taylor). as in "You're No Good" (Linda Ronstadt. "It's Too Late" (Carole King). "Pride and Joy"(Stevie Ray Vaughan). A Rock Shuffle #1 Tempo: Moderate to bright shuffle + ONTHE RECORDING I! JTJl JTJl ~t~t~t~t > > :11 m!E5& A This basic shuffle strum fits tunes like "Bad. Bad Leroy Brown" (Jim Croce). "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" (Marvin Gaye. "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (Marvin Gaye [the Creedence Clearwater Revival version sounds more like Basic Rock #1 with alternating up and downstrokes]). "All Shook Up" (Elvis Presley). Michael Bolton). "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (Queen). Betty Everett). you can use all downstro!ces to give this strum a harder edge. "Higher Ground" (Stevie Wonder.Basic Rock #3 Tempo: Moderately slow to moderate rock + ON THE RECORDING m!E5& This is for rock with a slightly funky feel. 18 .

• ~ .. Mama. u u u u u u · This is the same as Rock Boogie #1." "Mystery Train" and "My Baby Left Me" (Elvis Presley). "Mrs. and "Hanky Tonk Women" (the Rolling Stones). ~ .. It's based on the barred E7 and A7 chords (see Basic Boogie Lick [Moveable] for more explanation). · · Rock Boogie #1 variation Tempo: Moderately slow to fast rock + .... Billy Idol). c • . Robinson" (Simon and Garfunkel).. · · ...Fast Rock ShUffle.. Mix the two patterns together.... Goode" (Chuck Berry).. ~ ~ ~ · · .....:J .. > . It was used in countless fifties rock tunes and is still a favorite today: "Many Many" (Tommy James and the Shondells.. "Get Back" (the Beatles)... ~ .. '---" > ~ ~ ~ · . 19 . Tempo: Fast shuffle > ON THE RECORDING n JJTI Rock Boogie #1 Tempo: Moderately slow to fast rock C F ~ t ~ t ~ t :11 The same as Country Strum #1.u... and "Mother's Little Helper" (Rolling Stones).. ~ ~ ~ . ~ ~ ~ . but the first beat is anticipated to make the strum more syncopated. this is the rhythm strum for rockabilly classics like '"That's All Right. ~ · . "Johnny B. + · · > > . ~ . It's usually played on an aco1L~tic guitar. ~ > > ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ · · · · Popularized by Chuck Berry. this is a variation of Blues Boogie #1.

. > .. as in "Sweet Little Sixteen" (Chuck Berry) and "That'll Be the Day" (Buddy Holly)..... + v + ~----~ v · · · · · · · · ~ ~ + + ~ + + + A · · This is yet another syncopated variation of Rock Boogie #1... ·· t or • .... ~ . as in "Blue Suede Shoes" (Carl Perkins. For still more variation.. + + t ~ .. Variation.. > . + v ... > .. ~ ... Elvis Presley) and "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" (Billy Joel).... ~ + + ~ + .. > . > + + ~ .. .. anticipate the fust beat by tying it to the last beat..Rock Boogie #2 Tempo: Moderately slow to fast rock + I c F • .... Rock Boogie #3 Tempo: Moderately slow to fast rock + · > > c • J F .. + ~ -=4 · · + ! · · This is similar to the Moveable Blues Boogie Shuffle. t ~ . and a more driving rhythm when you only play downstrokes. as in Rock Boogie #1. . c • ~ . Rock Boogie Shuffle #1 Tempo: Moderately slow to fast shuffle C + .... + v t ~ .. 20 . + ~ . + · ·· · > · · > ~ ~ ~ ~ + · · · + ~ 16 > ~ ~ 16 ~ ~ ~ + · 6 12 1 · · This is used in the same types of tunes as the other two Rock Boogie strums. It has a relaxed feel when you alternate down and upstrokes. + .

.Rock Boogie Shuffle #2 Tempo: Moderately slow to fast shuffle + . "Your Mama Don't Dance" (Loggins and Messina).. "Faith" (George Michael). Bo Diddley-Style Strum #1 Tempo: Bright rock + ON THE RECOROING E ) ~ :11 mm There are many variations of this strum. and "Rockin' Robin" (Bobby Day. "Willie and the Hand Jive" (Johnny Otis. Eric Clapton).. which is identified with Bo Diddley. You can also play "straight" (without the anticipated first beat) and add the anticipation occasionally for variety and to give the rhythm an extra push. c • ~ .... 21 . ~ V t V ~ V ~'----" · · · · t V 'v This is more syncopated than Rock Boogie Shuffle #1. ~ V t V ~ .. "Some Kind of Wonderful" (Grand Funk).. t v ~ . Tunes with this rhythm groove include "Bo Diddley" and "Mona" (Bo Diddley). "The Doctor" (Doobie Brothers). "Not Fade Away" (Buddy Holly). so these effects are used often with this strum. Fast Rock Strum Tempo: l7astrock + ON THE RECOROING ~ 14 J nJ ~ t ~ } JTTJ t ~ t ~ t :11 fffi§Sft A This is a two-bar pattern for tunes like "Good Lovin" (Rascals). "Turn on Your Love Light" (Bobby Bland). and "I'm a Believer" (the Monkees). Michael Jackson) are some examples. EQUIPMENT NOTE: Bo Diddley played electric guitar with a lot of reverb and tremolo. and "Magic Carpet Ride" (Steppenwolt)....

Bo Diddley-Style Strom #2 Tempo: Bright rock + ON THE RECORDING 14) ) ~ ~ n ~ t ~ ») t ~ ~ ) :11 m + . Rolling Stones). "Bread And Butter" (the Newbeats). but a bit bluesier with the flatted 7th note added. . ~ c · · • · · · -<II t ~ ~ . Geils Band). ~ ~ ~ - ~ t t . . . . "The Boy From New York City" (the Newbeats. ~ ~ • · · · · -<II -iI -iI ~ ~ ~ -. .. • I . . -<II -<II -<II- -iI --iI J -<II -<II · · · · ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ t~ t ~ ~ • ~ • ~ ~ • ~ • ~ t ~ ~ • • . "Can I Get a Witness" (Marvin Gaye. . .... "Hi-Heel Sneakers" Boogie/ROCk Strum #1 Tempo: Moderate to bright rock c • I . . ~ . · · · . . as in "Memphis. Manhattan Transfer). the second a bit more syncopated than the first.. . Johnny Rivers). "Morning Train (Nine To Five)" (Sheena Easton). . . As in "Lay Down Sally" (Eric Clapton). Tennessee" (Chuck Berry.. ... .. "Hi-Heel Sneakers" Boogie/Rock Strom #2 Tempo: Moderate to bright rock C + . "Cold As Ice" (Foreigner).... · . ~ -<II ~ .-.. ... "Freeze Frame" (J. This is the same as #1.. This is one variation of the Bo Diddley groove. . . • • "Hi-Heel Sneakers" (Tommy Tucker) was such a popular bar-band tune that its rhythm groove became known as the "Hi-Heel Sneakers" beat. · · · · ~ .. .. . -<II -<II -<II -<II -<II -<II -<II c · · · . . Here are two variations of the groove. . 22 . .

. 10 c : ~ : 1 I • · · ! ! ! ! · >r >r >r L · · · · ! ! ! ! · ! ! ! !t . The three chord shapes used in this pattern can be fattened by adding first string notes: ~ tJ:::tl±j 3f. ~'1 :111: G C :11 23 . like all strums in this book.:< This is the same as the "Hi-Heel Sneakers" Boogie/Rock Strum #1. an abbreviated "barred E" chord. IIIm Sf/l mm'. with chords instead of the bass-note boogie lick.0 ~ " • c • · · · · · . IIIm'/ mm'. Consider the G chord. the C chord is an abbreviated "barred A": "Hi-Heel Sneakers" Rock Strum #2 Tempo: Moderate to bright rock G + • • ~ " --.. .. mm 'II mm'.. play these chords: II: mm '.~~Hi-Heel Sneakers" Rock Strum #1 Tempo: Moderate to bright rock G + 1". ! ! ! !t L ~ ~ This is the same as "Hi-Heel Sneakers" Boogie/Rock Strum #2. 1000' ! ! ! !t ! ! !t ! · · · · · · I · · · · ! ! ! !t ! ! !t ! --. but with chords instead of the bass-note boogie lick. it can be played in any key. For a still brighter sound. can be played: ~ 'fi tJ:::tl±j x x C x x x C t±:t:t±:J ~'ficanbe ffiff]'fi played: x x t:tt±tJ ~'f'canbe played: F x x x F ffim'" Mg" This strum is moveable: that is.

24 .Rock/Funk #1 Tempo: Bright rock/funk + ON THE RECORDING x m E 7 & This is suitable for fast. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" (the Beatles). Jimi Hendrix). "Sgt.:11 ~ t ON THE RECORDING m This is rhythmically tighter than Rock/Funk #1." Rock/Funk #2 Tempo: Moderate to bright rock/funk + t~t ~ ~ Itn ~ ~ > nm n ~ t~t ~ > ~ t In ~ ~ > nm n. EQUIPMENT NOTE: Often played on electric guitar with a lot of distortion. The second bar is optional and can be played every other time (as written) or at the end of a musical phrase or when there is a space between lyrics. and "Purple Haze" (Jimi Hendrix). strum-filled tunes like the Doobie Brothers' "Listen to the Music" and "Long Train Running" or Bachtnan-Thrner Overdrive's "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" and "Let It Ride. Sweat & Tears). "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" (Joan Jett). Geils Band). as in "Centerfold" (J. "Hey Joe" (Hendrix. as in "Wild Thing" (the Troggs. "Spinning Wheel" (Blood. The first bar is the main groove of this strum. "After Midnight" (Eric Clapton). EQUIPMENT NOTE: Often played on electric guitar with a lot of distortion. As in Rock/Funk #2. the Leaves). Rock/Funk #3 Tempo: Moderately slow and heavy rock/funk + ON THE RECORDING m This is for slower tempos. you can play the first bar most of the time and throw in bar two occasionally.

Rock/Funk #4 Tempo: Moderate to bright rock/funk + t!t!t > ON THE RECORDING 11nmn mlnmn. you can use just the first bar and play the second bar occasionally. "To Know Him Is to Love Him" (Teddy Bears. "Time Is on My Side" (Wilson Pickett. Bobby Vinton).:11 There are countless ways to vary Rock/Funk #2 and #3. A 6/8 Rock Strum #2 • Tempo: Slow rock ballad ON THE RECORDING ffmjSfr For slower 6/8 tunes like "Sleepwalk" (Santo and Johnny). or you can alternate the two bars as written. "Red House" (Jimi Hendrix). and "House of the Rising Sun" (the Animals). A 25 . Peter and Gordon. the Rolling Stones). "This Boy" and "Oh Darling" (the Beatles). and "You Send Me" (Sam Cooke). EQUIPMENT NOTE: Often played on electric guitar with reverb. As in 6/8 Rock Strum #1. This syncopated version fits tunes like "Sweet Home Alabama" (Lynyrd Skynyrd) and "Magic Man" (Heart). This strum fits countless fIfties ballads like "Oh Donna" (Richie Valens). or you can alternate the two. 6/8 Rock Strum #1 • Tempo: Moderately slow rock ballad ON THE RECORDING ffmjSfr You can use the first bar and occasionally add the second bar for variety. !!!t t!!!t > > t ! !!t > n. EQUIPMENT NOTE: Often played on electric guitar with a lot of distortion. "When a Man Loves a Woman" (Percy Sledge). EQUIPMENT NOTE: Often played on electric guitar with reverb.

this lick was usually played on an electric guitar that was drenched in reverb and tremolo. phase shifter. even succession. Sonny James). The guitar plays first position or moveable chords. (See EQUIPMENT APPENDIX for description of these effects. It has more rhythmic bounce than 6/8 RockArpeggio #1. all downstrokes Use for the same tunes as the 6/8 Rock Strums. EQUIPMENT NOTE: In early rock. More recently.6/8 Rock Arpeggio #1 Tempo: Moderately slow rock ballad x xC + ~8fr • wlfbtpick. chorus.) 6/8 Rock Arpeggio #2 Tempo: Slow to moderately slow rock ballad xx C + ffffil • w/flatpick 8fr • ~ This works well in the same tunes as 6/8 Rock Strum #2. This picking pattern was especially popular in early rock ballads like "The Great Pretender" (the Platters) and "Young Love" (Tab Hunter. pick the notes of a chord in rapid. 26 . and flanger have been used. EQUIPMENT NOTE: The same as 6/8 RockArpeggio #1. To play an arpeggio.

moveable chord fragments are often employed. . To achieve that clipped effect. They are easier to mute (with the fretting hand). "Stir It Up" (Bob Marley and the Wailers). Reg gae Stro m #2 Tempo: Moderate rock + ON THE RECORDING Itt ! • . clipped rhythm strums in reggae music. but even sparser.Reg gae Stro m #1 Tempo: Moderate rock + ON THE RECORDING n ! 1 • n ! 1 :11 • A ~5fr The electric guitar usually plays very sparse. Reg gae Stro m #3 Tempo: Moderate rock + ON THE RECORDING Itt n ! 1 • t ! 'f A } :11 ~5fr This is yet another of the many possible variations of Regga e Strum #1. 'f } ! 'f A t } :11 ~5fr This is the same as Regga e Strum #1. as in "The Harder They Come" (Jimmy Cliff). EQUIPMENT NOTE: To get the appropriate biting tone. The tone is very sharp and biting. Eric Clapton). and "I Shot the Sherif f" (Bob Marley and the Wailers. use the back (treble) pickup on an electric guitar.

the "Theme from M. as in Jose Feliciano's version of "Light My Fire. Latin Rock #3 Tempo: Moderately slow to moderate Latin rock + t ON THE RECORDING I~ t ) ~ t ~ ) ~ ) ~ ) ~ x Cmaj7 ~ ) ~ :11 ~3fr This is a gentler bossa nova strum.S. *NOTE: Bossa nova is a popular Brazilian dance music that has mingled with American jazz and pop." and bossa nova standards like "The Girl From Ipanema. "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" (Stevie Wonder). (Suicide Is Painless). and "I Say a Little Prayer for You" (Dionne Warwick. As heard in "Along Comes Mary" (the Association).Latin Rock #1 Tempo: Moderate to fast Latin rock + ~ t t ~»I») '"-" »n t t ) :1 ~ ON THE RECORDING §W5fr A This bossa nova* beat resembles the Fast Rock Strum. Aretha Franklin). 28 . more percussive beats than Latin Rock #1.A.H." At a slower tempo it works for "Killing Me Softly With His Song" (Roberta Flack)." "And I Love Her" (the Beatles). Latin Rock #2 Tempo: Moderate Latin rock + t ~ ON THE RECORDING ~ ) t » t I t ~ »n ) '--" t Am7 :11 ffim 5fr For funkier. as in "Oye Como Va" and "Evil Ways" (Santana).

. and "Little Darlin'" (the Diamonds)." and "Suite: . Judy Blue Eyes" (Crosby.. It also works in 1960s tunes like "Under the Boardwalk" (the Drifters)... Latin Rock #5 Tempo: Moderately slow to moderately bright Lqtin rock + ON THE RECORDING t t } } ) "'--" t } :11 A The wiggly line ( indicates a slow rake in which the flatpick hits one string at a time in rapid succession.. but with some damped strums. "Love the ODe You're With. "It's Now or Never" (Elvis Presley). like a quick arpeggio. this fast samba beat fits tunes like "(Marie) the Name) His Latest Flame" (Elvis Presley).. This rhythm was popular in 1950s rock tunes like "Love Is Strange" (Mickey and Sylvia). Stills & Nash)..Latin Rock #4 • Tempo: Fast Latin rock ON THE RECORDING ~ t } 1 } t ) . and "Stand By Me" (Ben E. King./ } rTTI t ~ t ~ t :11 ffmjSfr A 'Similar to Latin Rock #1. . "Diana" (Paul Anka). I) 29 .. John Lennon).

"1 Feel Fine" (the Beatles).Fingerpicking Rock #1 (SWamp Rock) • Tempo: Moderately slow to moderate rock ~ 1I E .. and "It's AllOver Now" (the Rolling Stones). If you leave out the tablature numbers that are in parenthesis. 30 . Dwight Yoakam). you can easily adapt the pattern to a flatpick. EQUIPMENT NOTE: Though this is an acoustic style. "Polk Salad Annie" (Tony Joe White). I l I I I - I I I - ~ ~ • - r " T I r \"/ - r r \"/ r r \"' [l) r M [l) [l) M [l) [l) M [l) M [l) This fingerpicking pattern is appropriate for swamp rock tunes like "Born on the Bayou" (Creedence Clearwater Revival). and "Little Sister" (Elvis Presley. it sounds very funky on electric guitar. It is the same as Rural Blues Fingerpicking Rag Style #1. Fingerpicking Rock #2 • Tempo: Moderately fast rock c ) • r T I r M T I T T This cut time fingerpicking pattern works in tunes like "Dust in the Wind" (Kansas).

chorus. 31 . acoustic or electric twelve string.Fingerpicking Rock #3 • Tempo: Moderate rock D I J I . or electric six string enhanced by chorus or flanger. or tremolo. As played in "Mr. as in "Tired of Waiting for You" (the Kinks) and "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" (Three Dog Night). EQUIPMENT NOTE: Often played on acoustic guitar. I I J I • I T M T M This simple pattern is a steady backup lick behind a straight rock beat. and "I Am a Rock" (Simon and Garfunkel).. Fingerpicking Rock #4 Tempo: Moderate rock • ~ [ u Jl ~1 I ~J> I I • r T r M T T T M This folk-rock pattern resembles Fingerpicking Rock #2. Tambourine Man" (the Byrds). but with a rock beat. EQUIPMENT NOTE: Often played on electric guitar enhanced by flanger.

Many rockabilly pickers simulate fingerpicking by playing the bass notes with a flatpick and the treble notes with the middle finger. • EQUIPMENT NOTE: All the Rockabilly Fingerpicking patterns sound good on acoustic or electric guitar. Rockabilly Fingerpicking #2 Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle First Position + _ I E Moveable A. and "All My Loving" (the Beatles). Move it up two frets. It is based on a barred E chord. rockabilly patterns feature a steady. " II r I l_1 " II 1 I~ I 1---1 i u 1 i M 1 r M T r M T I M T H T T T H T T This is a variation of Rockabilly Fingerpicking #1.._. Rag Style in the BLUES chapter). up one more fret. play an electric with a "slapback" echo effect (see EQUIPMENT APPENDIX)..Rockabilly Fingerpicking #1 Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle First Position + I Moveable A I • I i T r i u r r T I r -~ I M T T T M T T T This is played in first position in the key of E. The key-of-A pattern next to it is the same lick. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (Queen). Rockabilly fingerpicking is based on the style of Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. as well as country hits like "My Baby Thinks He's a Train" (Roseanne Cash) and "Heartbroke" (Ricky Skaggs). 32 . "That's All Right. As in raggy blues. but for an authentic rockabilly sound. and it's a B lick.. Use it as a repeated pattern or mix all four Rockabilly Fingerpicking patterns to make two-bar phrases.. alternating thumb bass. moved up five frets. Travis and Atkins embellished the raggy blues fingerpicking style of rural blues players and made their licks moveable (see Rural Blues Fingerpicking. This pattern and the other rockabilly patterns that follow can be heard in songs like "Blue Suede Shoes" (Carl Perkins. Mama" and "Good Rockin' Tonight" (Elvis Presley). etc.. Elvis Presley). it's a C lick.

Rockabilly Fingerpicking #3
Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle
First Position
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This is the same as Rockabilly Fingerpicking #1, with a hammer-on added. Try mixing it with #2. EQUIPMENT NOTE: Same as Rockabilly Fingerpicking #1.

Rockabilly Fingerpicking #4
Tempo: Moderate to fast

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This is yet another of the countless variations on this theme. EQUIPMENT NOTE: Same as Rockabilly Fingerpicking #1.

33

Rockabilly Fingerpicking #5 •
Tempo: Moderately fast
First Position

Moveable A7

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This pattern works well in faster rockabilly tunes like "Mystery Train" and "My Baby Left Me" (Elvis Presley), and country hits like "Workingman's Blues" (Merle Haggard) and "That's What I Like About You" (Trisha Yearwood). Fret the final barred chord of each pattern with your ring finger. EQUIPMENT NOTE: Same as Rockabilly Fingerpicking #1.

Rock Ballad #1
Tempo: Moderately slow rock

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ON THE RECORDING

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This is the same pattern as Basic Rock #3, only slower, as in "The Best of My Love" (the Eagles), "Right Time of the Night" (Jennifer Warnes), "Stand By Me" (Ben E. King, John Lennon), and "I'll Be There" (Jackson 5).

Rock Ballad #2
Tempo: Slow rock

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ON THE RECORDING

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This is slower than Rock Ballad #1, as in "Hey Jude" and "Let It Be" (the Beatles), "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" (Poison), and "Everytime You Go Away" (paul Young).

Rock Ballad #3
Tempo: Slower than Rock Ballad #2

+
ON THE RECORDING

ff!mSfr
The slower the tempo, the more sixteenth-note strums are added, as in "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" (Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton), "Helpless" (Neil Young), and "Don't Know What You Got ('Till It's Gone)" (Cinderella).

A

Rock Ballad #4
Tempo: Same as Rock Ballad #2 or #3

+
ON THE RECORDING

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This is one of countless possible variations of the ROCK BALLAD #2 or #3 strums.

A

Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #1
Tempo: Slow to moderately slow rock ballad Am

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There are many variations of this fingerpicking pattern. It's a typical backup for tunes like "You've Got a Friend" and "Candy Man" (James Taylor), and "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" (Jim Croce). EQUIPMENf NOTE: Use acoustic guitar, electric guitar enhanced by effects (echo, flanger, tremolo, chorus, etc.), or twelve-string guitar.
35

EQUIPMENT NOTE: Same as Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #1.--. and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (Bob Dylan. with a half-time feel G jj oj.J I l-. tIatpicking ~ + ~ t M t ~ t M ft T v V ~ t M t ~ t M fingerpicking T - T T T T This one can also be played with a flatpick. such as "Play With Fire" and "As Tears Go By" (the Rolling Stones) and "Lady" (Kenny Rogers). "Fire and Rain" (James Taylor).] V j. It works in songs with the same type of beat..-. Eric Clapton).] I . It fits rock ballads like "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" (poison). + ~ ). M M T This is an alternative pattern to Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #1. . EQUIPMENT NOTE: Same as Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #1. Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #3 Tempo: Slowly. "Killing Me Softly With His Song" (Roberta Flack).Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #2 Tempo: Slow to moderately slow rock ballad Em jj oj + ~ I ~ ~ ~ ~ • • fiatpicking ~ -rr - ~ ~ fingerplckmg T . 36 . "Sailing" (Christopher Cross).

" BLUES Chapter: Rural Fingerpicking Blues Pattern (Texas Style) #1 and #2. Early rock was sometimes called "bop" (as Gene Vincent said. Disco Scratch Rhythm #1 to #3. and folk (e. Blue Caps!"). listen to Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock.. Often. this is for tunes like "Stairway to Heaven" (Led Zeppelin). "Let's bop again. while contemporary techno-pop uses disco and uptight funk* patterns. Rockabilly lead guitarists play many of the boogie licks found in the BLUES chapter.. Country Strum #1 and #2.. Fingerpicking Boogie Lick #1 and #2. Uptight Funk #1 to #6. Rockabilly rhythm guitarists (especially acoustic guitarists) play Country strums. EQUIPMENT NOTE: Same as Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #1. R&B/FUNK/SOUL Chapter: Basic Sparse SoulfRock Strum #1 to #5. (For example. and it borrowed the swing band comping found in the BLUES chapter. COUNTRY Chapter: Bluegrass Strum #1 to #3. the Rolling Stones' "This Could Be the Last Time" and "It's AllOver Now"). Cross-References Rock borrows heavily from all musical forms. Basic Soul/Rock Strum #1 to #4. Kansas' folky "Dust in the Wind"). "Let It Be Me" (the Everly Brothers) and "I'll Be There" (Jackson 5). Honky Tonk Strum. it has used R&Bffunk/soul rhythms.- r M T v T T T T Similar to Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #2. BLUES Chapter: Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern (Rag Style) #1 and #2 FOLK Chapter: Folk Fingerpicking #1 and #2. Chuck Berry played a bluegrass strum on electric guitar on his first hit.g. Rock steals fingerpicking from blues (e. . country. • Rhythms found in this book.g. "Mabellene.Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #4 Tempo: Very slow + c >• ~ ~ I I • i J 1 .") BLUES Chapter: Urban Blues Comping #1 to #4. The same licks are staples of swamp rock and Southern rock.

a crisp sharp-toned electric guitar has always been preferable. because they can be muted more easily than firstposition chords. It was used in many early soul tunes. this strum is played in a high register and highlights the snare drum accents. • Moveable chords are the chords of choice. funk. the Red Hot Chili Peppers). In soul or funk music. and the guitar responds to them. and many other names. and the bass and drums follow that riff. super funkmeister George Clinton produced the white rock group. 38 . Here are some other qualities that set it apart for the guitarist: • Funk strums are more rhythmically complex than rock strums because the beat is more subdivided. soul. the beat is often guitar-driven. • In rock and metal. listen to conga drummers and try to imitate their rhythmic approach. As the strums that follow illustrate.. Notice how the patterns that follow often contain "holes. and "soul" charts . A raunchy guitar riff defines the groove.. In spite of musical crossover and racial and musical integration (e." rather than constant strumming. there are still "soul" (read "African American") radio.-------{d R&B/FUN KlSOUL It has been called R&B (rhythm and blues). To make up syncopated funk patterns. and "Ain't too Proud to Beg" (the Temptations). "black" pop music has a funkier beat than "white" pop music.. and a "soul" section in your local record store. Notice that there are many sixteenth-note strums in the patterns that follow. This can push and syncopate the beat. Muting is needed for the same reason a sharp-toned electric guitar is used: it gives sharp definition to those sixteenth-note strums. the bass and drums are more likely to define the rhythmic feel.g. • Space is important in funk patterns. though many modem hybrid electrics can achieve the same sound. To give definition to those rapid sixteenth-note patterns. The Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster have long been standard funk guitars. "soul" video programming. such as "In the Midnight Hour" (Wilson Pickett). Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strum #1 Tempo: Moderately slow to fast rock ON THE RECORDING t t "I A }> }> "I :11 mID 5fr Like one of the most basic reggae beats.

t :11 §WSfr A A more syncopated version of the previous strum was used in early soul/rock ballads like "Stand By Me" (Ben E. 'f 'f t } . Basi c Spa rse Sou l/Ro ck Stru m #3 Tempo: Slow to moderate rock + ON THE RECORDING t } .Basi c Spa rse Sou l/Ro ck Stru m #2 Tempo: Slow to moderate rock/ballad + ON THE RECORDING t } . 'f t } t :11 §WSfr A This is another more syncopated variation of #1 and #2 3Il . Basi c Spa rse Sou l/Ro ck Stru m #4 Tempo: Moderate to fast rock + ON THE RECORDING t } ._ t ) . as in "Walk On By" (Dionne Warwick). . King) and "Under the Boardwalk" (the Drifters). 'f J :11 ffffijSfr A This is a slight variation of #2. 'f 'f tr-. t .

Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strom #5 Tempo: Moderate to fast rock + ON THE RECORDING n ~ t :11 A mffi Sft This is still another syncopated variation. ." Basic Soul/Rock Strum #1 Tempo: Moderate to fast rock + ON THE RECORDING nn 40 ~ t ~ t E9 TIlls strum is played in soul classics like "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "I Feel Good" (James Brown). I'm Comin'" and "Soul Man. and two-bar patterns can be created (i. It has a rhythmic feel similar to the Sam and Dave hits. The last stroke is played one fret lower and slides up a fret.e. so that the first beat of the repeated pattern is a slide. The strum also works well without this extra feature. "Knock On Wood" (Eddie Floyd and many others). All of these can be mixed and matched.. and "Mustang Sally" (Wilson Pickett). play #2 followed by #4). "Hold On. Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strom #6 Tempo: Moderate rock + ON THE RECORDING x E9 6fr :11 ffiffi This strum has a funkier feel than the other Sparse Soul/Rock Strums. The sixteenth note adds syncopation.

Try alternating #3 and #4. for tunes like "Let's Stay Together" (AI Green). it is sometimes called a "scratch rhythm." Basic SoulfRock Strom #3 Tempo: Moderate rock ballad to moderate rock + ON THE RECORDING It ) ~ tmn ~ t ~ t ~ t ~.B. t } :11 ti" + E9 This is a slower variation of #1. Basic SoulfRock Strum #3 (Variation) Tempo: Moderate rock ballad to moderate rock ON lliE RECCRDING x §Im6fr This is the same as #3. 41 . "The Thrill Is Gone" (B. "Midnight Train to Georgia" (Gladys Knight and the Pips). so that the "anticipated first beat" happens every other bar. If a strum includes many muted strokes. King). and "Just My Imagination" (the Temptations. with a slightly funkier feel (because of the extra "scratch" strokes). which creates a very syncopated feel. as in "She's Lookin' Good" (Wilson Pickett). the Rolling Stones). with one variation: the last beat is tied to the first.Basic Soul/Rock Strom #2 Tempo: Moderate to fast rock + ON lliE RECORDING ti" This is the same as #1.

His arranging in the late 1960s pushed soul music in a much funkier "rhythm groove" direction." Though each tune had a different guitar part." and "Baby 1 Love You" (Aretha Franklin). Here.Basic Soul/Rock Strom #4 Tempo: Moderate to fast rock + ON THE RECORDING x t } fj ~ ~ ~ • E9 :11 BIm6fr This strum fits songs like "Shotgun" (Junior Walker) or "Respect. you achieve the same groove with a scratch rhythm (many sixteenth-note strums). Uptight Funk #2 Tempo: Moderate funk + ON THE RECORDING x E9 :11 ffffB 6fr This is the flip side of Uptight Funk #1. Uptight Funk #1 Tempo: Moderate to fast rock + ON THE RECORDING x E9 t 14 )) ~ :11 BIm6fr James Brown popularized this "uptight" (funky/high tension) feel in a series of tunes like "Say It Loud-I'm Black and I'm Proud. as in James Brown's "Cold Sweat" and "There Was a Time." "Think. the overall groove was the same. which had few strokes and a lot of space." 42 ." and "Ain't It Funky Now." "I Got the Feeling. Note all the "space" in this pattern.

It has more sixteenth notes. and "Disappear" (INXS). as in "I Give You My Heart" (Baby Face).rn ffim x ~ E9 6fr :11 This is one of many ways to vary #3. Upti ght Fun k #4 Tempo: Moderate funk > + ~t ON THE RECORDING 14 n ~ ~ ~ ~t~t~ > J7 ) m . as in "Don' t Wanna Love You" (Shani ce) and "Hold On" (En Vogue). 43 .Upti ght Fun k #3 Tempo: Moderate funk + ON TI-lE RECORDING = 14 n ~ ~ x E9 6fr ffim This is a modern funk strum. "It's Gonna Be Alright" (Aaron Hall). Upti ght Fun k #5 Tempo: Moderate funk + ON TI-lE RECORDING x E9 :11 ffim 6fr This is another modern funk groove. as in "Seven Day Weekend" (Grace Jones).

Early examples of this style of strum include "Want Ads" and "StickUp" (the Honey Cone). all on the strength of one stroke of the pick. then down. The pattern also works without slides. then slide back up to normal position.• F B~6 • ! t -- v . Slide the whole chord down a fret. As in Isaac Hayes' "Do Your Thing. and "Clean Up Woman" (Betty Wright). 44 . three-note or four-note formations to make the rapid shifting easier. E and A). use any closely related chords. I and V (E and B)..- iiiiiiii t ! 5 ! 9 ! 5 t This is an "uptight funk" beat that manipulates space and shifting chords." and "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" (Sly and the Family Stone). The chord shapes are abbreviated. such as I and IV (e.- It- . or I and ii (E and F#m). Sliding Funk Pattern #1 Tempo: Moderate funk ballad to fast funk + ON THE RECORDING x Em9 ~5fr The slides are part of the rhythm of this pattern. When you make up variations on this theme.Uptight Funk #6 • Tempo: Moderate funk mID"'im . Sliding Funk Pattern #2 Tempo: Moderate funk ballad to fast funk + ON THE RECORDING x 'I m ~n ! t t ! :11 Em9 ~5fr This is a variation of Sliding Funk Pattern #1.g. then up again.

Slid ing Fun k Patt ern #3 Tempo: Moderate funk + ffff§6fr E9 I" t E9 The slide in this pattern is used in a different way in Slow Urban Blues Strum #2 (see the BLUE S chapter). The high E9 chord at the el}d of the pattern could be any higher inversion of the original chord. Sliding Funk Pattern #3 works in one-chord vamp songs like Sly Stone 's "Than k You" and "I Want to Take You Higher. first popularized in Marvin Gaye' s "Wha t's Gain' On" and "Let's Get It On" as well as the Jackson Five's "Never Can Say Goodbye." 45 . The strum would also work if you played the same invers ion throughout." and Wilson Pickett's "Don' t Knock My Love" and "Engine Number 9. Since it's a two-bar pattern. This pattern is another ballad or moderately slow funk groove." Fun k Ball ad #1 Tempo: Slow to moderate funk + ON THE RECORDING 'if- Sliding Funk Patterns #1 and #2 are used often in soul ballads.

ON THE RECORDING x > > > E9 :11 S±m6fr This non-stop sixteenth-note rhythm was popularized in early disco tunes like the Bee Gees' "Jive Talkin'. 46 . as in "Tonight Is Right" (Keith Washington)." It is played with normal or muted chords. such as by removing a sixteenth-note strum or two.1.------.1.1.1. a rhythmically rocking wah-wah pedal gave it a distinctive sound. In tunes like "Shaft" (Isaac Hayes).Funk Ballad #2 Tempo: Slow to moderate funk + ON THE RECORDING Ir One of many possible variations of Funk Ballad #1. It can be varied in countless ways.1 > . for tunes like "Feel Like Makin' Love" (Roberta Flack) and "Do Your Thing" (Isaac Hayes).1.1. 5fr Disco/Scratch Rhythm #1 Tempo: Moderate funk + x I! fm fm fm fm . as in the two patterns that follow. Funk Ballad #3 Tempo: Slow to moderate funk + ON THE RECORDING x Dmaj7 ffim This is another variation.1.

this strum works in tunes like "Don' t Mess With Bill" (the Marveleues).Disc o/Sc ratc h Rhy thm #2 Tempo: Moderate funk + ~ ff fi ~ t t :11 ON THE RECORDING x §lm6h E9 This is heard in "Night Fever" (Bee Gees). Disc o/Sc ratc h Rhy thm #3 Tempo: Moderate funk x.-_ _----. and "Heat Wave" and "Jimmy Mack" (Martha and the Vandellas). . ~ ON THE RECORDING I! ) ~ ) ~ n) ~ t x :11 §lm6h E9 Essentially the same as Urban Blues Camping #1. Sou l Shu ffle #1 Tempo: Moderate to fast rock shuffle + x.-_ _----. "Suicide Blonde" (INXS ). and "1 Will Survive" (Gloria Gaynor). ON THE RECORDING x :11 §lm6h E9 This is yet another variation. "Morning Train (Nine to Five)" (Sheena Easton).

s Redding). "I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)" (Oti. taut 6/8 feel. James Taylor) and "The Way You Do the Things You Do" (the Temptations). as in "Anyone Who Had A Heart" (Dionne Warwick). Soul 6/8 Time #2 Tempo: Slow to moderate ballad + ON THE RECORDING m!ESfr This is a variation of #1.----. Soul 6/8 Time #1 Tempo: Slow to moderate ballad + • [~~ ~ ~t~t • JTI:[I ~ • ~ ~ ON THE RECORDING m!ESfr A This has a very clipped. as in "How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You)" (Marvin Gaye.-/ ~ t ~t t ~t ON THE RECORDING x :11 §006fr This has a slightly looser feel than Soul Shuffle #1. A 48 . and "End Of the Road" (Boyz II Men).Soul Shuffle #2 Tempo: Moderate rock shuffle x. E9 1 ~ JTn rTJl '-.

and both forms derive from the blues. 6/8 Rock Arpeggio #1 and #2." also covered by the Rolling Stones). Cross-Refe~nces R&B and rock have always shared musical ideas. Slow Urban Blues Strum #2. 6/8 Rock Strum #1 and #2. Basic Boogie Lick (Moveable). That's why rock and blues strums are useful in R&B/funk/soul music. BLUES Chapter: Basic Boogie Lick. All the boogie-woogie patterns occur. Slow Urban Blues Strum (6/8). Latin Rock #1 to #5. ROCK Chapter: Rock Boogie #1.Soul 6/8 Time #3 Tempo: Slow to moderate ballad + ON THE RECORDING I~ f)TTJ ) ~ t t ~ A ~ J :11 ffim Sfr This is a very syncopated variation of 6/8 time. 49 . Urban Blues Comping #1 to #4.. Boogie/Rock Lick #1. "Hi-Heel Sneakers" Boogie Rock/Strum #1 and #2. #1 Variation. Marvin Gaye's "Can I Get a Witness. Boogie/Rock Lick (Moveable). Rock Boogie Shuffle #1 and #2.g. Boogie/Rock Lick #2. #2 and #3. and many early soul hits use "Hi-Reel Sneakers" strums (e.

. They first appear in this book in the BLUES section. they are all to be played on electric guitar with the distortion turned up to "eleven. a foot pedal. There are chord/rhythm riffs and single-note melody riffs. an overdrive channel in a solid-state amplifier. Distortion changes the way you play. but for guitarists they all have a common denominator: distortion.) The chord/strumming riffs that follow are not lifted from specific tunes. Heavy metal rhythm guitarists play power chords more often than standard guitar chords. an effects processor." • See EQUIPMENT APPENDIX Power Chords Power chords are the two-note and three-note chords popularized by Chuck Berry that go back to the early blues/boogie licks. Metal and punk are both rock. AND GRUNGE These terms mean different things to different people. Naturally. (A riff is a short musical phrase that is repeated over and over. C5. G5. and they use these three shapes (the third note of each chord. in parenthesis. and many strumming patterns have evolved that are peculiar to metal and punk. just a root and fifth. is optional): 6th string root m 1m comes from: 1xxx x 2 xx x x xx 3 x 5th string root im comes'm from: I x 0 comes from: .-/METALr. so they are written like this: AS. PUNK. or any combination of these*. xx 4th string root Power chords have no thirds. Here are three ways to play AS: rtq:q tt::tt/j AS AS xx x 7& not to mention: ~ 50 . and they use the rock strumming and picking patterns. with the Basic Boogie Licks. etc. Metal is driven by heavy guitar riffs. They are an exploration of typical ways to construct metal riffs. It can come from an over-driven tube amp.

Met al Riff with Sust ain #1 Tempo: Moderate to fast rock + F5 ~ ) :11 Distortion makes the electric guitar sustain. Many riffs contain long-s ustaining power chords. Met al Riff with Sust ain #2 Tempo: Fast rock + ~ F#5 F5 m ~ ~ £5 ~ :11 This pattern would have a lot of empty space if it weren 't for pounding drums aod a sustaining wall of rhythm guitar grunge. This happens often during a verse. Met al Riff with Sust ain #3 Tempo: Moderate to fast rock + D Dsus t t :11 mm } } J '---" This is a third example of the infinite possible variations of sustain riffs. a busier (more chops) pattern is played for the chorus. S1 .

Metal Rock Riff #1 Tempo: Moderate to fast rock + D5 ~ ) :11 This is the first of a series of five metal rock riffs that illustrate some of the possible rhythms. Metal Rock Riff #2 Tempo: Fast rock + t A Asus ~ ~ t ~ t t gOO I~ ) n A sus ~ ~ t A t }) } I) ~ mE n }) + } :11 Metal Rock Riff #3 Tempo: Moderate to fast rock Metal Rock Riff #4 Tempo: Moderate rock + A5 ~ ~ I~n 52 n} ) } I) C5 ~ t G5 ~ AS ~ G5 ~ C5 ~ .

5 t~t nlJTTJn) '-----' :11 Fast Muted Metal Lick #1 Tempo: Fast rock + G5 » ~ :11 Muting the strings with the palm of your picking hand can add variety to your riffs. ~ ~ '-----'" ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ . · · "--... This is one.. 53 . --::. Fast Muted Metal lick #2 Tempo: Fast rock + ON THE RECORDING fIb Metal Boogie Variation Tempo: Moderate to fast rock (CS) + C5 p5 --. --::... ~ ~ --::.Metal Rock Riff #5 Tempo: Fast rock + t~ A5 '---" G5 1 ~ ~ ) n) ~ t ~ ~t p5 BJ. ~ · · There are countless ways to syncopate and vary the standard Chuck Berry-style bass/boogie lick.

.. think of the Red Hot Chili Peppers! Funk/Metal Riff #2 Tempo: Moderate funk/rock + This is another... Similar licks could be played using the open E (6th) and D (4th) strings." (Ratt). "Kick 'n' Fight" (Britny Fox) . =4 =4 :... It creates a powerful. =4 · · · · ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ This is typical of the many riffs that take advantage of an open bass string. droning." and "Love In An Elevator" (Aerosmith)... rhythmic riff. simpler approach to funk/metal. "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" (Joan Jett). =4 =4 =4 =4 =4 :. etc. 54 . "Walk This Way.Metal Open-String Riff Tempo: Fast rock + I AS I • :. Funk/Metal Riff #1 Tempo: Moderate funk/rock + t~ '-' I!n m ES ~~ ~t~ ~ ~t GS J7) m AS :1 Is there such a thing as funk/metal? Think of the grooves in tunes like "Way Cool Jr.

Punk Strum #3 Tempo: Moderate to fast rock + t :11 ON THE RECORDING I J ~ ~ '---_. The guitarist often uses first-position chords.Punk Strum #1 Tempo: Fast rock + ON THE RECORDING :11 Punk tends to rely on simple. Punk Strum #2 Tempo: Fast rock + !Tn ~ n) n ~ t ~ ~ t ~ I ) n ~ t t ~ t ON THE RECORDING :11 Play this one several times and you'll understand why they often call it "thrash" metal.-/ J)) ~ 55 This is like the metal sustain riffs. loud strums to push the beat. . This all-downstroke strum is about as basic as you can get. only simpler. repetitious.

Rock Boogie Shuffle #1 and #2. It's similar to Metal Rock Riff #1. #1 Variation. 56 . Blues patterns also occur in metal. Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #1 to #4. Rock Boogie #2 and 3. Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern (Texas Style) #1 and #2. ROCK Chapter: Basic Rock #1 to #3. Shuffle Blues Lick #1 to #3. Rock Ballad #1 to #4. Boogie-Rock Lick #2. Cross-References Metal grew out of rock. Punk uses all of the boogie licks from the ROCK and BLUES chapters. Boogie-Rock Lick #1. and it uses many rock strums for uptempo tunes and ballads. Punk Strum #5 Tempo: Moderate to fast rock + ON THE RECORDING ~ 14 ). but simpler. and all the boogie licks: Basic Boogie Lick. BLUES Chapter: Rural Blues Shuffle #1 and #2. and all the boogie licks: Rock Boogie #1. Rock/Funk #1 to #4. } ) '----' ~ ) InTI) ~ ~ t ~ t ~ ~ o ) :11 m E 00 This is a slightly more extended version of Punk Strum #4. Basic Boogie Lick (Moveable).Punk Strum #4 Tempo: Moderate to fast rock + ON THE RECORDING ~ 14 ). Boogie-Rock Lick (Moveable). This syncopated strum has all downstrokes.

which is documented in this chapter. 5. c ) . Repeat steps 2 and 3 (brush down and up on the treble strings). 2. pop. the patterns that follow are of the more traditional country variety. 4. as did Lester Flatt and other early bluegrass players: 1. Since blues and rock guitar backup is covered in other chapters of this book. Pick a bass note with your thumb. EQUIPMENT NOTE: Usually played on acoustic guitar. r T ~ 5. and "I Walk the Line" (Johnny Cash)._ _---<icOUNmy _ Today's country music is a blend of traditional country. ''Wabash Cannonball" and "Wildwood Hower" (the Carter Family). Brush down on the treble strings with your thumb or the back of the index or middle finger. Contemporary country music often borrows rhythms and guitar styles from 1960s and 1970s rock and blues. t 5. Pick another bass note with your thumb. 4. Brush up on the treble strings with your index or middle finger. 51 . and it's a staple in modem country. 3. preferably the 5th in the chord (G in a C chord. Country rhythm guitarists use it. E in the key of E). r I r 3 I T etc. Bluegrass Strom #1 fnle caner Lick) Tempo: Moderate to fast E ) + D Jl) ~~. For example.) G Jl ) """' ) """' ~ ) - • ~~t 1. 3. did it finger style. 2. and western swing. as well as bluegrassers. B in an Echard). the Carter strum was popular in 1930s string bands and 1940s bluegrass bands. who popularized it. There is always a back-to-the-roots/traditionalist element popping up in country music that makes use of the patterns in this chapter. Early country fingerpicking was derived from rural blues. but Merle Travis and Chet Atkins put a new twist on fingerpicking. Most guitarists use a flatpick for this strum. in "Jambalaya" and "I Saw the Light" (Hank Williams). blues. It should be the keynote (C in the key of C. The alternating bass notes (root and 5th) are an important part of the strum. but Maybelle Carter. So look in the ROCK chapter for straight-eighths rock strums and boogie-woogie backup licks. rock.

" "Mountain Dew. with an extra upstroke added to fIll out the rhythm in a slower tempo. EQUIPMENT NOTE: Usually played on acoustic guitar. Some examples are "Orange Blossom Special." "Foggy Mountain Breakdown. The upstrokes are removed. • JI II E • ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 1 u 4 ~ ~ ~ This is the same as the previous strum-streamlined for speed. "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (Carter Family and many others). Bluegrass Strum #3 Tempo: Moderate to slow country shuffle JI + t ~ • ~ r ~ ~ t ~ t " This is like Bluegrass Strum #1. as in ''Your Cheatin' Heart" (Hank Williams). and "Cool Water" (Sons of the Pioneers). "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" (Willie Nelson)." EQUIPMENT NOTE: Usually played on acoustic guitar.. 58 . The alternating bass remains." "Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms." and the fast part of "Dueling Banjos.Bluegrass Strum #2 Tempo: Fast cut-time JI + D G ." "Rocky Top.

the Beatles). as in the bluegrass strums (but less precisely). as in "Bye Bye Love" (the Everly Brothers). "I Can't Help It If I'm Still in Love With You" (Hank Williams. "Hanky Tonk Blues" and "Move It on Over" (Hank Williams. Jr. Dwight Yoakam). "Detroit City" (Bobby Bare). and "Back in the Saddle Again" (Gene Autrey).). "Take Me Home. Country Strum #2 Tempo: Moderate to slow country shuffle > + ON THE RECORDING ~ ¢ ) m Play slower and more syncopated than Country Strum #1. and "Honky Tonk Man" (Johnny Horton. and "Don't Rock the Jukebox" (Alan Jackson). It is often accompanied by a walking bass and is used in rowdy honky tonk tunes like "I Never Knew God Made Honky Tonk Angels" (Hank Thompson). "Mama Tried" (Merle Haggard). Linda ROllstadt). Some examples are "Act Naturally" (Buck Owens. Honky Tonk Strum Tempo: Moderately slow to moderately bright shuffle > + ON niE RECOROING 1 t JTn JTn ~t~t~t~t > > > :11 m 59 This has a stronger shuffle beat than Country Strum #1 or #2. "Wake Up Little Susie" (the Everly Brothers).CCI by Strum #1 + ONniE RECORDING Tempo: Moderate to bright country shuffle > ~ > ¢ ) n ~ t !Tn ~ t ~ t :11 The first downstroke can be aimed at the bass strings. and Hank Williams. Sr. . Country Roads" (John Denver).

60 . etc. or electric guitar enhanced by flanger. and classic waltzes like "Amazing Grace. "You Light up My Life" (Debby Boone). phase shifter. you alternate the root and 5th bass notes. EQUIPMENT NOTE: Use acoustic guitar. Irene. but you strum instead of picking an individual bass note. "Lucille" (Kenny Rogers). Try the Country Waltz on "Norwegian Wood" (the Beatles).Bluegrass Waltz Tempo: Slow to fast waltz E Jl + ~ II ) - ~ j- • - r v ! t ! t r ! ! t ! t As in the other bluegrass strums. "Are You Lonesome Tonight" (Elvis Presley). the Bluegrass Waltz has more of an old-fashioned country sound. The two waltzes are interchangeable." "Goodnight." Country Waltz Tempo: Slow to fast waltz :> + ON THE RECORDING I ~ ) ! n n ! t ! t :11 !Hm This is the same as the Bluegrass Waltz.and "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys" (Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings). (see the EQUIPMENT APPENDIX). Try this on "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" (Hank Williams)." and "Tennessee Waltz.

Mama" and "Good Rockin' Tonight" (Elvis Presley). "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (Queen). Both Travis-Style Fingerpicking Patterns are also rockabilly patterns. Elvis Presley). is the same as the preceding key-of-E pattern. The index and middle fingers play the higher strings on or off the beat. The key-of-A pattern above. but use an electric to get the Travis sound. Use it as a repeated pattern or combine it with #1 and make a two-bar phrase. turned into a moveable lick. as well as country hits like "My Baby Thinks He's a Train" (Roseanne Cash) and "Heartbroke" (Ricky Skaggs).J> I r T r T r r All Travis-style picking is based on a steady. on-every-downbeat. picking melody or rhythmic fills. For a more authentic Travis. 61 . play an electric guitar with "slap-echo": digital or analog delay (see EQUIPMENT APPENDIX) will recreate that Sun Records sound. The thumblbass pattern never wavers. For a rockabilly sound. or Chet Atkins. alternating thumblbass pattern. EQUIPMENT NOTE: The Travis-Style Fingerpicking Patterns sound good on acoustic or electric guitar. 00 f§mSfr 1------. damp the bass notes with the palm of your right hand. ~ I A " II. "That's All Right. and "All My Loving" (the Beatles). They work well in songs like "Blue Suede Shoes" (Carl Perkins. EQUIPMENT NOTE: Same as Travis-Style Fingerpicking Pattern #1. TraviS-Style Fingerpicking Pattern #2 Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle E " II + r I I I I I_I " II 1 I_I rJ A • r -I r 1 r I This is a variation of Travis-Style Fingerpicking Pattern #1. It's based on the barred E chord.Travis-Style Fingerpicking Pattern #1 Tempo: Moderate to fast shuffle 0 + I I E " II ~ . J------. sound.

62 . but the Cajun Strum has more of a straighteighths rock feel. TIMTIMTI MTIMTITM This is a variation of Banjo Roll #1.Banjo Roll #1 Tempo: Fast cut-time + I I o Jl • I or TIMTIMTI MTIMTITM Borrowed from five-string banjo picking. Banjo Roll #2 Tempo: Fast two-beat E Jl + E Il I I I I I I I I I I or • II I I I . rather than a shuffie beat. as in "Down at the 1\vist and Shout" (Mary-Chapin Carpenter) and "Louisiana Man" (Doug Kershaw). this pattern is a tasteful backup lick in songs like "Mama Tried" (Merle Haggard) and "Guitar Man" (Elvis Presley). with some left-hand movement added. The second sample has the same picking as the first. Cajun Strum Tempo: Moderate to fast rock > ON THE RECORDING I ! JTTJ JTTJ ~t~t~t~t > > > :11 On paper this looks like the Hanky Tonk Strum.

ROCK Chapter: Fingerpicking Rock #2 and #4. all "Boogie" Strums. Acoustic country guitarists often borrow fingerpicking patterns from blues and rock for ballads and moderate-tempo tunes. 63 . Basic Boogie Lick (Moveable. but today's acoustic guitarist may be strumming a rock groove or a boogie-woogie feel. Rock Boogie Variation. The western swing feel is often evoked by playing blues comping strums. Country with a Southern-rock flavor may feature an electric guitar playing blues boogie licks. listen to the recording and compare the Cajun Strum to the Honky Tonk Strum. Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #1 to #4. BLUES Chapter: Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern (Rag Style) #1 and #2.The "straight-eighths rock feel" has eight beats to the bar and lacks the "dotted note" or "triplet" feel of a shuffle beat. BLUES Chapter: all "Boogie" Strums. Boogie/Rock Lick (Moveable) and #2. Urban Blues Comping #1 to #4. ROCK Chapter: Rockabilly Fingerpicking #1 to #5. R&B/FUNK/SOUL Chapter:Basic Sparse Soul/Rock Strums #1 to #4. Rock Boogie Shuffle #1 and #2. Funk Ballad #1 to #3. Boogie/Rock Lick #1. Basic Boogie Lick. Country songs regularly evoke the vintage rockabilly sound by playing fingerpicking and boogie patterns from the ROCK and BLUES chapters. Rock Boogie #1 to #3. To feel the difference between a straight-eighths and shuffle rhythm. Basic Soul/Rock Strums #1 to #4. Some contemporary country songs have a rhythm groove reminiscent of 1960s and 1970s R&B. Rock Ballad #1 to #4. ROCK Chapter: Basic Rock #1 to #3. Rock Shuffle #1 and #2. "Hi-Heel Sneakers" Boogie/Rock Strum #1 to #4. Fingerpicking Boogie Lick #1 and #2. BLUES Chapter: Rural Blues Shuffle #1 and #2. It still is. Cross-References A strumming acoustic guitar has always been the backbone of the country sound.

it means early acoustic blues or string band (country) music. and the Limelighters.." The bottom line is: It's folk if it highlights acoustic guitar and other unelectrified instruments and is less slick and commercial than most pop music. 64 . It has a gentle. For many people it refers to the folk/pop revival of the late 1950s. and "All My Trials" (Joan Baez and others).FOLK MUSIC To some people. "folk music" means British. e. Tracy Chapman." "Careless Love. "Skip to My Lou. straight-eighths beat (like a rock ballad) G JI + . BLUES. and COUNTRY chapters. and other pop artists who emphasize acoustic guitar in their performing and recording. soothing feel that suits songs like "Suzanne" (Leonard Cohen. or any nation's songs that are so old their composer is unknown. " • 'U" v T M R M Though it can be played with a tlatpick. J ." To others..g. American. Robert Flack)." and "Greensleeves. early 1960s led by city musicians like the Kingston Trio. Judy Collins). What follows are some patterns not found elsewhere that are heard on recordings of Joan Baez. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (Ewan MacColl. Singer/songwriters of the 1980s and 1990s who drew upon musical styles of the sixties folksters were called "new wave folk. Irish. the Weavers. Gordon Lightfoot. this arpeggio pattern is often played with the thumb and three fingers. Folk Ballad Arpeggio #1 Tempo: Slow to moderate. Suzanne Vega. Most of the picking and strumming styles needed to perform "folk" music are found in the ROCK.

Judy Collins).. straight-eighths beat G . Little Baby. - r T M ~ R M T This is a variation of #1. + . Donovan). Folk Ballad Arpeggio #3 Tempo: Slow to moderate. and "Dona Dona" (Joan Baez.Folk Ballad Arpeggio #2 Tempo: Slow to moderate." the lullaby that was turned into a rock song ("Mockingbird") or "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" (the Sons of the Pioneers)... --. It can also be played as a slow shuffle beat. 65 . straight-eighths beat . ft T T R M This has a slightly stronger beat than #1 or #2. as in "Hush. as in "Danny Boy" (recorded by countless artists) and "Leaving on a Jet Plane" (peter. r --oc r R M . as in "Both Sides Now" (Joni Mitchell. Paul and Mary). J • --. + r _.

Folk Waltz Arpeggio #1 Tempo: Moderate waltz + J. Bob Dylan). the Weavers) and "Satisfied Mind" (Ian and Sylvia. 66 .I oJ + r1 r-- r1 . and "Plaisir d'Arnour" (Joan Baez). T A M A M This is another thumb-and-three-fingers pattern. airier feel than Folk Waltz #1. A M T M A M This has a lighter. ro . M ~ oJ • r T . as in "Scarborough Fair" (adapted by Simon and Garfunkel). Folk Waltz Arpeggio #2 Tempo: Moderate waltz G J.I • r . Irene" (Leadbelly. as in "Goodnight.

T M T T T There are countless variations of Folk Fingerpicking #1. "Blowin' in the Wind" (Dylan. Johnny Cash). Babe" (Bob Dylan.Folk Fingerpicking #1 Tempo: Moderate to fast cut-time + I c • I r T I r M T T T M Derived from the raggy blues styles (see BLUES chapter). this works for tunes like "It Ain't Me. It's All Right" (Dylan. Peter. "Don't Think Twice. and "The Boxer" (Simon and Garfunkel). ~ ~ J • r M I r . Joan Baez. as in "The Last Thing on My Mind" (Tom Paxton. Paul and Mary). Paul and Mary). and this is a popular one. Folk Fingerpicking #2 Tempo: Moderate cut-time + I Jl J. . Paul and Mary). Doc Watson. Peter. and "Puff the Magic Dragon" (peter. and many others).

68 .calypso Fingerpicking Tempo: Moderate to bright . This creates a rippling strum. and the tunes mentioned for Calypso Fingerpicking. You can do this strum with a flatpick.. using a loose strum that includes three or four fingers. is done by unwinding the fingers of The "rasgueado" effect. It's a popular Spanish guitar technique. 1 ). Calypso Strom #1 Tempo: Moderate to bright > + ON THE RECORDING In JTTJ '"---' ~ t t ~ t :/1 This is a strumming version of the Calypso Fingerpicking pattern. Paul and Mary). as in "Jamaica Farewell" (Harry Belafonte and many others). • Brush up with the thumb. that's why the Kingston Trio was so named. This fmgerpicking pattern works for folk hits like "Sloop John B. indicated by the wiggly line ( your strumming hand from the pinkie to the index finger as you strum." (the Kingston Trio. hitting the strings with the thumbnail. + r " J J • r T M T M T M Calypso was a mainstay of the folk boom of the late 1950s. the Beach Boys) and "Lemon Tree" (peter. "Banana Boat (Day-G)" (Belafonte). but many folkies used their hand like this: • Brush down on the top (treble) three or four strings with the fingernails.

and children's songs ("I've Been Working on the Railroad"). Basic Plucking Pattern Tempo: Slow to fast cut-time + • r T R M I r T R M I This very simple pattern is often taught to beginners as a first strum." Plucking Pattern #2 Tempo: Moderate cut-time Em > + . Belafonte. and ring fingers simultaneously pluck upward on the top three strings. It brings to mind Burl Ives' folk hits like "Skip to My Lou. as in "Marianne" (the Easy Riders.calypso Strum #2 Tempo: Bright > > + ON THE RECORDING I ~ + ) n + E > t '---' JTn t + t :11 This is a faster version of Calypso Strum #1." and "Froggie Went ACourtin'. middle. • > - r u r This variation of the Basic Plucking Pattern is often used on Russian songs ("Moscow Nights"). Christmas songs ("Twelve Days of Christmas").. 69 . and the thumb alternates bass notes. The index." "The Fox. and others) and "Tijuana Jail" (Kingston Trio). Jewish folk songs ("0 Hanukah").

Boogie Rock Lick (Moveable). BLUES Chapter: Rural Blues Shuffle. Strum #1 and #2. Beans and Barley. rock. Fingerpicking Rock Ballad #1 to #4. FastRock Shuffle. Peas. Basic Boogie Lick. This pattern fits the same categories of songs as Plucking Patterns #1 and #2: three-quartertime tunes such as "Cockles and Mussels.WalUlPlucking Pattern Tempo: Slow to moderate waltz + c " II > > • r r . Boogie/Rock Lick #2 70 . Cajun Strum. ROCK Chapter: Basic Rock #1 to #3. Basic Boogie Lick (Moveable)." "Thmbalalaika. Boogie/Rock Lick #1. Fingerpicking Rock #1 to #4. Country Strum #1 and #2. Rock Boogie Variation." "Cielito Lindo." CnBss-Refe~nces Folk music borrows strums and fingerpicking patterns from the blues. COUNTRY Chapter: Bluegrass Strum #1 to #3. and all the Boogie licks: Rock Boogie #1 to #3." "I Know an Old Lady." March/Plucking Pattern Tempo: Moderate to fast march Em + • r r This pattern is used for march-tempo folk tunes like "Johnny. Bluegrass Waltz. and country bags. Rock/Funk #1 to #4. Rural Blues Fingerpicking Pattern (Rag Style) #1 and #2 and (Texas Style) #1 and #2. The following list includes most of the patterns from those three chapters." "What Child Is This?" and "On Top of Old Smokey. Rock Ballad #1 to #4. Country Waltz. Travis-Style Fingerpicking Pattern #1 and #2. Rock Boogie Shuffle #1 and #2. I Hardly Knew Ye. Rock Shuffle #1 and #2. Fast Rock Strum." and "Oats. Honky Tonk Strum.

wave-like sound of variable depth and speed to your guitar's tone. Early amps were all tube amps. It's characterized by a brief but powerful single repeated signal. "Delay" and "reverb'" are electronic effects that produce echo. often built into amplifiers. Tube Amp: an electric guitar amplifier powered by tubes instead of transistors. It was pioneered by Bo Diddley and heard often in surf music and early rock. background arpeggios. reverberating. The electronic effects (reverb. It's often used for fmgerpicking. It allows you to get a range of distortion (from slightly fuzzy to completely broken up) at any volume. an effects processor. such as a shower. gymnasium. enriched sound you get singing or playing in a room that bounces sound around. a footpedal. and many manufacturers are producing them again. Distortion: the fuzzy. Slapback Echo: the particular type of echo associated with rockabilly music and the Sun Records' sound. distorted sound an amp produces when it is turned up so loud that the sound "breaks up. It enriches and fattens a guitar's tone. Chorus: an electronic effect that "doubles" an electric guitar's notes. 71 . or an echo chamber. They distorted more easily and had a warmer sound than solid state amps. screaming guitar sound associated with loud rock and metal. echo." Phase Shifter: an electronic effect that adds a sweeping. and solos. chorus." A variable overdrive channel is often built into amplifiers. Electronic effects that produce the same sounds are called "overdrive. and tremolo) can have several shapes.UIPMENT APPENDIX Here is a description of musical equipment that was mentioned in this book. often with a retro. it can be produced by delay effects. It can be produced by electronic effects or by turning up an amplifier (especially a tube amp) so loud that the speakers "break up" or distort the sound. Solid State Amp: an amplifier that has transistors instead of tubes. It produces an oscillating. It was originally invented to imitate the oscillating effect produced by a Hammond organ's Leslie speaker. Tremolo: an electronic device that was built into many early tube amps. They can be built into an amplifier. It's similar to a phase shifter. distortion. phase shifter. Overdrive: the fuzzy. vintage appearance. delay. wavering sound. or an individual rackmounted unit.---II Eg. Delay (Analog and Digital): an electronic effect that produces many types of echo. making a six-string guitar sound like a twelve string. Reverb: an electronic effect that creates echo. especially on ballads. Flanger: an electronic effect that produces a rhythmic sweep effect of variable intensity and speed. Echo: the repeating. flanger.

and they are harder to bend or choke.GUITAR STRINGS Strings come in different gauges (thicknesses). Fatter strings have a richer. the type of music you play determines which gauge of strings you use. • Use heavy or medium gauge strings for strumming and fingerpicking. So. They use lighter gauges on these because that's where most string-bending occurs. Some players use medium gauge strings except for the top two or three (treble) strings. but they are harder on your fretting hand than thinner strings. n . • Use light or super-light gauge strings if you do a lot of string-bending. fuller sound. unless you bend a lot of strings when fingerpicking.

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