Watch the The Pocket online guitar lesson by Robbie Calvo from Guitar Interactives

PRINCIPLE 27 - THE ‘POCKET’

The groove is the musical feel of a piece of music. ‘Playing in the pocket’ can be described as the perfect placement of your instrumental parts with the musical feel. Where you choose to place your rhythms is purely personal. Some players play on top of the beat, some in front and others behind the beat. Listening to the other instruments is key here...listen and find the pockets that you can slip your guitar parts into.

I tend to lay back on the beat because I’m more of a bluesy, R&B style player. Often though I’ll push the beat and play in front a little on choruses to add some excitement. Drummers often do this too, to give chorus and bridge sections of a song a lift in those sections. The example I’ve prepared illustrates a syncopated guitar part with percussive scratches, a single note riff that has a question and answer feel to it and a 3rd part that fits in between the single note line as a chord accent using inverted C7 chords for a melodic top line.