definitions, inspirations:

dB: decibel, a widely used measure of sound pressure levels

Ps. 98: make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; make a LOUD noise

AC/DC: let there be rock!

January 16, 2011

CIGRG, Ch 6: System of a Down, and Up, and Down, and ...

Chapter 6 is all about rhythm, from reading rhythmic notation, to basic strumming techniques, to practicing various rhythms including triplets and "swing eighths."

I've seen many requests on the Guitar Noise forum for help with strumming patterns for a particular song, so this chapter should be right up the alley for many people.

There's also an introduction to alternate picking, similar to up-and-down strumming but applied to single note playing. I'm willing to bet this technique will prove essential in later chapters, especially as we get into soloing. Here's something I did to make the alt-picking exercise more fun: first I dialed in a heavy metal setting on my Digitech RP1000, then I got out my metronome. Using palm muting at the bridge (look ahead a few chapters if you're not familiar with this technique), I started at a slow speed and did the exercise. Then I increased the speed by 5 bpms and did it again. And again. I got pretty fast before I totally muffed it, but it felt like a really good exercise for my fingers!

The chapter's final play-along track is a bluesy rock shuffle that incorporates many of the things we've learned not only in this chapter but in previous ones as well. Double stops, swing eighths, alt-picking, bends, and vibrato all come together in one rather short but very useful lesson. I'm going to spend some more time with this one before moving on, as I still struggle with accurate bending. In the meantime, here's the song that I'm reminded of when working on this lesson:

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