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Watch the Stiff Upper Lip: 5 online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Guitar Cubed

Ah, the open E chord--probably one of the first chords you ever learned. Well, this first guitar part in Stiff Upper Lip takes that staple harmonic device and uses it as the basis for a guttural riff that just flat out rocks. Kicking it off with a solid thud on the low E, it’s important not to let that open string ring for more than one beat ensuring there will be zero clutter heard over what’s to come.

As stated, in this breakdown I present an optional picking technique for the diads and the final snappy b7th (D) in the form of hybrid picking--a combination of pick and pick hand finger action--as opposed to the straight picking I used in the previous segment’s performance.

The first instance of the duel between major and minor is stealthily played at the upbeat of beat 4 in the 1st bar where you have an open G grace note hammered-on into a 1st fret G#. This, in the key of E, is a slur from the b3rd to the 3rd making for a blues-approved push and pull that is answered at the upbeat of 1 in the following measure where the top note of the perfect 4th is a G (b3rd).

And, about that kick drum: Be sure to hone in on the kick and examine how Guitar 1 weaves in and out of it’s pattern making for a very cool sounding riff even the Outsiders would deem tough enough.