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Watch the Spy Hunter: 7 online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Guitar Cubed

Guitar 2 follows suit with playing opposite of the snare drum’s placement in the groove by putting emphasis on beats 1 and 3. At those junctures you’ll notice that key scale degrees according to Am are played--the root and 5th respectively. That’s not to say the backbeat is ignored--just check out the low E string thud on the downbeat of beat 4 in the 1st bar.

Since Guitar 2 has a looser feel that calls for a freer pick hand wrist motion, that’s cause for attention to be paid to fret hand muting. Utilizing this type of pick attack may induce unwanted string noise as well as some faulty misfires where other strings get picked in addition to the target string. While no one is perfect and this will happen all will be copasetic if you apply some clever, yet simple fret hand muting techniques. With momentary help from your fret hand thumb, all it takes is a combination of fret hand 1st finger strategies and you’ll be good to go. Be sure to really examine the techniques shown here in this segment as they will not only serve you well in your Guitar Cubed endeavors, but in your overall playing.

The smartest way to approach playing the 16th note groove contained within Guitar 2, as well as many other 16th note passages, is to use a ghost stroke motion in your pick hand. That simply means no matter if you’re striking the strings or not, your pick hand is always in the 16th note groove--four strokes per 1/4 note with a downstroke on the 1st and 3rd subdivision and an upstroke on the 2nd and 4th.