Watch the Pogo Stick online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Funk Fission

In regards to playing variations on Pogo Stick, it’s important to consider the overall chord vision, which is a 5th position Am chord and 8th position Cm chord respectively. Now, that’s not to say I only utilize the notes within those chords—in the previous segment I play a series of perfect fourth diads and chords with m2 clusters, for instance. It merely means I use those basic grips as visualization tools from which to build on.

To further illustrate that point, here’s some fodder for extra credit that may help you take these approaches even further: When you really get down to it, visually on the guitar, scales and chords are one in the same (stay with me here). I often think of a chord as a collection of notes from a scale, just frozen thus creating a stationary zone (or vision) from which to play off of. As for scales, I see them as massive collections of harmonic events just waiting to emerge. Sometimes I just turn on the metronome, get a groove in my head, and blindly play two or more note combinations within a scale fingering paying more attention to interval combinations and relationships than to what chord I’m playing. Check out the additive chords I drop when demonstrating ways to expand the Cm sections starting at 2:06 or go back to the String Percussion Performance segment and check out what’s played during the fifth set of four bars. You could think of this as a form of modal comping, just with rogue intentions! These are just two underlying concepts running in the background of everything I play.

Overall, I strongly encourage you to take the riffs contained in this course and change them up as you’ve seen in this segment. Make them your own by injecting your own variations. Need some more ideas? Play them backwards, transpose them (change keys), change their harmonic quality—if an idea is in minor like Pogo Stick then try to recompose into major. Go nuts!