I Shot The Sheriff
Hi! Welcome to the musical madhouse.
Try palm muting. Rest the ridge of your palm lightly against the strings by the bridge as you strum the downstroke to mute it. Then let the upstroke ring out. See if that works. It might take a while for you to get the knack of it, but keep at it.
Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun. -- John Lennon
I don't understand the "percussion" that replaces the rest. I do not know what is being hit with what? ASre you hiting the pick guard instead of the strings? Are you hitting the strings with the back of your fingers as you go down?
Thanks for any suggestions.
P.S. Great website. I have found the lessons very helpful and the songs fun. Thanks
Here a a excerpt from the lesson that might explain it
And let's take a moment here to talk about tone. Reggae guitar tends to have a very clipped sound (or "chunky," as the good book tells us). There are several ways to get this effect. The easiest way is to use an upstroke when you strum. When I play reggae in an all upstroke style on my guitar, I will actually slap my palm on top of the strings after the upstroke. This accentuates the pause that takes place on the beat. When I do use downstrokes, I find I get good control of the tone by resting my palm directly on the strings when I stroke. This is particularly useful in a triplet rhythm.
Hope that helps.
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Yah, they sometimes refer to it as 'skank', or 'skanking.' The way I was shown it was muting, but by taking the pressure off the strings with the fretting hand, so it's a left hand mute (for righty players). It obviously works best with barre chords, which is what most reggae rhythm guys play anyhow.
OK this is my beginner's take on I Shot the Sheriff - it was tough to make it sound like a recognizable version of the song and I hope this video helps:
I am playing pretty much as per the lesson ( I think) using Em reggae triplets as the intro and and to mark the phrases - me with my bad habit of planting the lowest string especially for the C chord and then playing up to hide my slow changes (happily this works a lot of the time - or not , you let me know) and I did throw in a couple of easy extra riffs on the high E and B strings.
I am missing my whammy bar at some point - J/K@! :twisted:
Otherwise any change or accentuation that you hear is a result of me hitting the strings selectively (rather than doing a complete stroke) which gives the illusion ( I think) that I am doing some complex picking when instead I am banging away at the same old Em.
My apologies for the looming torso - video editing is turning out to be a whole other ball o' wax :lol:
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Hi from an absolute beginner and a big THANK YOU for your excellent 'Easy Songs' series. You say you usually play the reggae strumming with an up-stroke. So I guess for the two-stroke strum it'd be UD-that is the pattern is U UD U UD etc ? If so does that mean you pick the bass note with an upstroke? Sorry if this is a dumb question. I'm amazed you choose to use upstrokes when a D DU D DU pattern seems much easier. Keep up the great work!
I find the third example and fourth example confusing, too. I think I know where I should do up and down strokes because of David's previous discussion which indicates you should palm mute and stroke down then do an upstroke with a rest and an eighth note chord and a down then upstroke on the triplet. But I don't know what to do with the rest that starts out the triplet. Should I palm mute and stroke down, just palm mute it or just rest it??
Just listened to David on the Mp3 again and realized that my terminology on my previous post was probably not clear. I should have said that my understanding is that you do a percussive stroke then an upstroke on the rest plus eighth note chord pair and I think you do a down then an upstroke on the triplet but I don't know what to do with the rest that begins the triplet - just a rest or a percussive stroke or a palm mute? Hope that makes sense.
Towards the end of the song there's a section inserted between the last two repeats of the chorus that goes:
Gm, Cm, Gm, twice, followed by Eb, Dm, Gm.
Any suggestions for voicings for those chords?
Just that I'd play them a bit muted as bar chords-- Gm and Cm at the the third fret, Eb at the 7th, Dm at the 5th and Gm at the 3rd. Reggae chords sound best, I think, as partially muted bar chords.
Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun. -- John Lennon
thanks for the help. If i undestand the issue of keys correctly, then it's like playing a scale, only with chords instead of single notes, right? :shock:
It really depends. There are two ways of looking at keys, and some interchange one idea for the other.
In the broadest possible terms, a KEY is where the music resolves. Its the tone or pitch where the song feels "done"
Then in the beginning stages, you have whats considered the DIATONIC Key - This is a big college sounding word ok, but all it means is the notes in the chords all came from one scale. The Major scale.
So I have to say something in regards to Greybeard's comment. I'd say that all of music theory...including chords are based around the Major scale. I see what he's trying to get at in his zeal, but the Major Scale IS the foundation of harmony. You have none if not for it. The tree from where all else comes from is The Major Scale.
So In a Diatonic sense, a Key is playing nothing but chords that come from that same Major scale. In the Key of C, for instance all the chords are built from the C Major scale. That doesn't mean that we have ONLY C chords. In fact, every note in a C major scale is used to make up its own chord. So this means"
Scale - C D E F G A B C
Every single note above, forms a chord in the Key of C. This means there's "some kind" of D chord E F G etc.
Diatonic HARMONY is the study we take whereby to LEARN what those other chords ARE. This is rooted firmly in what many call Music Theory. That study is beyond the scope of the comments I wanted to make here, but I hope this helped clear up Keys a bit for you, without getting too technical.
It's fascinating stuff and can teach you a lot about what you are doing, why it works, and things that you might never have known about.
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Just thought I would share some things I've learned over the years about playing Reggae rhythm guitar.
I used to think using upstrokes was the best way to keep the Skank rhythm but then I realized that it only made it easier. It didn't sound right though. Implying the downstroke on the beat and using the upstroke on the off beat is easier than playing a downstroke on the offbeat. If you watch Marley play rythm to this song on live videos he uses downstrokes almost all of the time. It sounds better that way.
The best way I've found to make it sound right is to use downstrokes and keep the chord notes held down with your fretting hand. Let your picking hand mute the strings on the beat and downstroke on the offbeat.
by the way, is the pattern I usually use to play I Shot The Sheriff. Okay, one more step to go and we’re ready!
There are four numbered pattern examples.
Does all four get played or just 1 and 2 together and/or 3 and 4 together or a mixup of them throughout the song?
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