Watch the Stiff Upper Lip: 7 online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Guitar Cubed

This second guitar part here in Stiff Upper Lip is the first of many that are meant to mesh well with their Guitar 1 counterpart. Before dissecting how they do that, the first pair of facts to attract attention is the neck location and intervallic approach employed. Where Guitar 1 made use of an open position E chord, Guitar 2 uses a 7th position E as a background visual reference. In the 7th position much of what is played is actually the same as Guitar 1, but an octave higher spreading out the sound of the parts so they can better exist in the mix tonally and harmonically. Also, yet again you can get your geek on with an alternative hybrid picking approach that will be broken down piece by piece.

The real deal here in Guitar 2 is the interplay between the parts in regards to legato inflections. For instance, looking at the chart you’ll notice in the 1st bar there’s a hammer-on played on beat 3 in both parts. Following that is where the curve ball gets thrown by having Guitar 1 slur the 3rds on the upbeat of 4 with a grace note hammer-on while Guitar 2 pulls a diadic 3rd a 1/4-step up. On the very next upbeat (beat 1 of the 2nd bar) Guitar 2 plays a grace note hammer-on of it’s own on the 2nd string into a perfect 4th on the G and B strings to slur into the b3rd (G) from a half-step below to match the open string interval of a 4th between D and G played in Guitar 1. Therein lies the pistons of your Hemi.

This secondary riff closes out with a b5th or tritone interval between the 3rd (G#) and b7th (D)--the backbone of dominant harmony--that slides into a perfect 4th at the 9th fret. The catch is the tritone is not the same shape as the interval it slides into. No problem: After picking the tritone (G#-D) stationed at the 6th and 7th frets respectively, the 1st finger that’s fretting the 6th fret G# will make a smooth transition into a barre and proceed to whiz into the 9th fret from the 7th fret. To make this happen you gotta release whatever finger you’re using to fret the 7th fret D (I use my 3rd while some people may use their 2nd) at just the right time. Try it and you’ll be surprised at how natural it will be.