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Watch the Shackman online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Funk Fission

As I mentioned before, since I so strongly ingrained the hybrid picking motions in my pick hand, when not playing with a pick I tend to play two note nuggets with my 2nd and 3rd fingers (P2 and P3 respectively) as well as pop single notes with 2nd finger. I encourage you to train your hands to pop with the 1st finger (P1) as it has more snap and, contrary to what you see from me, is more comfortable.

Another factor to consider is dynamics. Notice how the E7/D I dropped in the previous segment at the tail end of the 2nd bar on my second run through of the riff was played with a soft touch. I can’t stress enough how important playing with varied dynamics will instantly improve your playing and make you sound like a pro.

To further address the bike riding analogy I use in this segment to comment on the inevitable clams that will come about as you play all this stuff even after starting to get it going comfortably, there’s another benefit to getting back on your six-string two wheeler and that is this: I’m really good at screwing up. Say, what? You read right! What I mean by that is I learned to keep the mistakes under control and to keep going without losing the groove and more importantly, without losing my place in time. Nothing upon nothing feels worse than getting lost when playing with other musicians, especially in front of a live audience. To that end, I always keep going in practice sessions, which helps me relax and stay the course when it counts. I also do it to train myself to make good on a mess up. Have you ever been told if you make a mistake to play it again? Thank whoever passed that along because it’s the real deal. Embrace the clam and make it part of what you’re putting together. More often than not, it becomes a great idea and one that you probably would never have played otherwise.