Watch the Pogo Stick online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Funk Fission
In this first variation-of-a-riff session I employ some simple maneuvers to take Pogo Stick to the next level. In addition to dropping the fourth string, 4th fret F# bringing out the Dorian-approved 6th degree and adding some raunchy sounding diadic fourths among other things, I introduce a picking technique that I call “clav picking”, which is simply picking the strings as close to the bridge as possible to get a more clanky sound akin to a Hohner Clavinet (think Stevie Wonder’s Superstition). I got the idea from two sources: Jaco Pastrious and Eric Krasno of Soulive. Early on I got way into Jaco, especially his first solo record and was blown away like anyone. I remember watching his REH instructional video that had Scofield and Kenwood Dennard playing with him and he talked about how he would play closer to the bridge so he can better lay down those ridiculously precise lightning lines he was known for. Since the tension of the strings is so much heavier as opposed to where we all normally play it allowed Jaco to really dig into the strings as well as produce a cool tonal alternative. Years later I saw Eric Krasno sitting in with some friends at the now defunct Wetlands in the Village and I noticed he was picking near the bridge, but he was doing it with some added phrasing and not pounding away for chops sake. After thinking back to the Jaco thing, I got to thinking and combined the idea with my techniques. After some experimentation and the discovery of how well the middle pickup sounded with this technique, I was more than psyched about the results. Just listen to the double sass behind the picked notes at the end of the phrases!