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

The single note hybrid idea is hidden within punch comping albeit being a vital component to my overall approach. As you discovered in the previous segment there’s many cool, intricate sub-techniques (downstroke picked bass notes, combination palm punch/percussive snap, for instance) lurking within the more obvious concepts (scratches, punch comping, etc.). With that in mind, this seemingly simple technique that involves super-staccato hybrid picking gets the limelight in this segment.

In Figs. 1 & 2 the pick hand 2nd finger (P2) forcefully pops a muted third string ala Larry Graham/Stu Hamm right before a thumping palm punch. This adds maximum snap factor to your riffs and, to my ears, ties all of the components discussed thus far together. Notice in Fig. 2 two more elements are added: An ambiguous, yet effective open D string and a downstroke picked bass note on the 5th string, 8th fret F root. In regards to the open D, I use that string often in this manner. It’s not the pitch of D I’m focusing on at all, it’s the snap that only the open fourth string delivers.

Fig. 3 brings out the Hendrix in me where I employ a 16th note triplet feel, aka swing 16ths, against straight 16ths (think Little Wing comping rhythms). Also my love for country techniques is evidenced in the banjo roll-like maneuver heard on the bottom three notes of the F9 chord I’m chopping up. Check out how downstroke picked bass note on the 5th string, 8th fret F root finishes off the idea making for a cool bah-buh-di-boom phrase.

Stu Hamm
Larry Graham