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Arlen Roth Lessons
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Arlen Roth
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This is a very rewarding and enjoyable riff to be able to play, and I find that as simple as it may be many students and players alike have never happened upon it. This is probably because most players are just happy and satisfied to know the standard shuffle patterns and never think to create them in a harmonized way.
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This is perhaps the single most important aspect of understanding rhythm and rhythmic guitar playing. One must remember that any instrument is to a certain degree a “percussion” instrument, and that it’s the constant and unrelenting rhythm of the right hand that determines the true sound of the rhythm lick, and that also carries over into the lead fills and licks as well.
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Jimi Hendrix had a truly powerful rhythm guitar approach that was beautifully designed to incorporate both lead and rhythm guitar, and accommodate the fact that he was basically in a three-piece band. This enabled him to paint in broad strokes with his guitar, and his technique varied widely from heavy power chord licks to smooth R&B/country-like sounds.
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The guitar lick in the classic song “Green Onions” is a very oft-imitated and quoted riff that was originally played by Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the MGs. It is truly one of the real “foundational” licks of rock guitar, and has been the kick-off riff in countless jams ever since it was first heard. It’s also like a backwards version of the “I’m a Man” Muddy Waters lick, which is another archetypical riff that is used over and over again.
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Arlen Roth
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This is a classic variation on the kind of Blues guitar and bass unison lines that became so popular as the result of the great Chicago blues players. I’ve personally been playing this lick for years, even recording “Treat Her Right” on my second LP, Hot Pickups. If you listen carefully to the original recording by Roy Head and The Traits there are actually two guitars playing on this part. We’re going to be playing it as one part, homogenized together.
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