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Watch the The Basics online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Funk Fission

Did you know, in addition to all the possible pitches you can produce with your axe, you hold in your hands a wealth of percussive tones, too? While laying your fret hand over the strings to mute them, scratch-strum different sections of the six strings and listen to the ensemble of string percussion that awaits. By varying the location of where you strike the strings when utilizing scratches to propel the groove, you open up a whole new set of tones that enhance the overall sonic picture. This approach comes especially handy when playing one chord vamps so common to groove based music and injects some variation without interrupting the almighty pocket to which you’re ultimately responsible to deliver and maintain.

Speaking of those one chord jaunts, in addition to varying the locations where you scratch the strings, this approach will open the doors to playing various chunks of the chord making that static harmony sound like so much more.