Watch the Buckshot online guitar lesson by James Hogan from Essentials: Soul Rhythm Guitar
By the mid 1960's, Berry Gordy's Motown Records in Detroit was one of the most successful record labels in the music business. The Supremes, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, and The Jackson 5 are just a handful of the incredible soul and R&B artists signed to the 1960's Motown roster.
Due to Gordy's carefully controlled production methods, most Motown artists were backed by the label's in-house rhythm section affectionately known as "The Funk Brothers": Eddie "Chank" Willis, Joe Messina, and Robert White were three of the go to guitarists in Motown's Hitsville, U.S.A. studio. Typically, all three of them would record direct to the board and were then summed together onto the same track! Willis typically played a Gibson 335, Messina usually played a Fender Telecaster, and White preferred a Gibson L5. None of them used amps in the studio!
"Buckshot" is reminiscent of a groove from the hit record "Shotgun" by Junior Walker & The Allstars from 1965. The rhythm guitar part is in the style of Eddie "Chank" Willis and features a one chord vamp with some funky little fills mixed in. Eddie played a Gibson Firebird in his early years but started using a 335 by the late 1960's. This riff is a one chord vamp on Ab7. Have fun with this one and be sure to stay "in the pocket" when jamming to the backing track. Note: the timing can be deceptively tricky due to the counter line with the bass. You'll get it!