LAST MONTH WE JUMPED INTO THE
funky and frenetic world of ricocheting sixteenth-
notes. Hopefully you’ve got a handle
on the concept and you’ve built up some
muscle memory, because we’re going even
deeper now. Previously we concentrated on
the higher strings, but how about calling in
the power of the lowest string, as in Ex. 1’s
massive three-E attack? (Tip: If your 4th finger
can handle it, feel free to throw in wildcard
grips such as the 10th-fret “Foxy Lady”-style
barre hammered on the highest two strings
in the middle of Ex. 1’s second measure.)
Now, if you’ll pardon the expression, let’s
really pimp this ride. As demonstrated heavily
in my video for this lesson, you can put
aside the pick and, instead, slap the notes
that were to be picked with the outside of
the picking hand’s thumb, as a bass player
might. (Practice this approach first on the
simple octave exercise back in last month’s
Ex. 5.) This yields particularly tricked out
sounds if each slapped note is struck precisely
12 frets higher than the fretting finger, right
over the octave fret. Do it correctly (and perhaps
with distortion or compression), and
sparkly octave harmonics will issue forth.
Last but not least, try playing ricocheting
riffs (picked or slapped) in triple meter.
You don’t have to learn any new moves, but,
rhythmically speaking, you may find applying
these patterns a triple time signature such
as 12/8 to be quite bizarre at first. That’s
because, in 4/4, the pick (or the slapping
thumb) falls on strong beats, but in triple
meter it will seemingly strike all over the
place, with a “three against four” feel, as
in Examples 2 and 3.
Let’s close with the sextuplet tour de
force shown in Ex. 4. We’re now back in
4/4 time, but playing a triple (sextuplet)
feel over the top of it, adding up to a whopping
24 notes per bar. And to think that it
all started with just two…
Jude Gold is the Director of GIT, the Guitar
Program at Musicians Institute, and GP’s Los
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