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Rusty Andersons Pop-Rock Riffing

December 1, 2010
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REV_gp1310_less_RA_nrANYONE WHO HAS SEEN PAUL McCartney in the last ten years knows what a great player Rusty Anderson is. As great as it is to hear him nail Beatles and Wings riffs, though, it’s fun to hear what he sounds like when he’s being himself. That’s precisely what GP got to do when he sat down for a private lesson before Sir Paul’s San Francisco gig. “I’ll play the riff to the title track of my record Born on Earth,” he says as he launches into Ex. 1, a dropped-D figure in the key of E. (“I think the record is even a half-step below that,” he explains.) The part has a chugging feel, and having the low D beneath the E keeps it huge sounding. Anderson picks pretty much everything with downstrokes, but you can certainly use hybrid picking to grab the notes on the A and D strings. The flourish that happens on beat four of the 2nd full bar is trickier than it normally would be because of the tuning— that G is now at the 5th fret. Make the bend in bar 4 slow and greasy and when it comes http://www.guitarplayer.com/uploadedImages/guitarplayer/GP13.10AndersonEx1.jpgtime for the massive D chord at the end, hit it with everything you’ve got.

Showing off his incredible versatility, Anderson then goes into Ex. 2, the riff from his song “Private Moon Flower,” also off Born on Earth.

 

http://www.guitarplayer.com/uploadedImages/guitarplayer/GP13.10AndersonEx2.jpgThis is a delicate figure in 7/4, although it doesn’t sound super odd meter-y. In the video you’ll see that he plays it with a flatpick, but this line lends itself beautifully to hybrid or fingerpicking. The way Anderson moves the chords around creates cascading scalar lines as well as interesting unisons, with three different strings sounding the same G pitch in the 3rd measure.

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