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Watch the Discovering the Upbeat online guitar lesson by Jeff McErlain from Blues Guitar Survival Guide - Lead

An easy and very cool way to put some life into some of your old licks is to start them on anything other beat than the down beat. Meaning don't start the link on 1, 2, 3, or 4. If we are playing an 1/8 note run try starting on the up beat. The hipper thing to do is to start on one of the 1/16 note accents. Buy just displacing the first note by a 1/16 we can really create some cool forward motion in the line. This is commonplace in jazz but it can be easily translated to blues or any style of music.