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Watch the Power chords and Riffs online guitar lesson by Jennifer Batten from Rock Sauce for Rhythm Guitar

Here’s a hip-hop-ish beat where I combine a I and V power chord with a simple riff. There are quite a few upbeats in the riff. Getting the timing right is critical on those. In this case, the bass is doubling my upbeats. In some tunes the drums will also hit the upbeats. Having everyone hit those upbeats right on the money is the difference between a band sounding tight or loose. There’s another element in this track which is the dead silence between sections. That kind of space can bring on a panic in inexperienced players as there can be a tendency to rush the tempo in your head during the silence, and not having everyone come back in at the same time. When you play along with this, relax during the silence and keep your foot tapping. See if you feel the snare on the other side of the silence early, late or right on the money.