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Watch the Marv's Thang online guitar lesson by James Hogan from Essentials: Soul Rhythm Guitar

"Marv's Thang" is inspired by the phenomenal Marv Tarplin. Marv was a fantastic guitarist and writer who spent most of his career playing his black Les Paul Custom alongside the great Smokey Robinson. Marv and Smokey started out on the Motown label with their group The Miracles in 1958 and are now both members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Though Marv Tarplin is typically known for his understated chordal work, this example is from a killer riff he played on the 1965 Marvin Gaye hit "Ain't That Peculiar" (Tarplin also co-wrote the tune).

For this one, we'll be using a bit of hybrid picking with a clean tone. Although, if you add a bit of dirt to your tone, you'll hear how Marv's piano styled chords influenced the next generation of rock guitarists! Also, there's some syncopation here so we'll need to be aware of that. If you need to slow the riff down to get the timing on point, you can always jam along to the Guitar Pro file I've included with the course, in addition to the backing track.