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GUITAR TECHNIQUES

WORKSHOP PLAYLIKE

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●6 MUTED RAKES

A relative of chicken picking, ‘muted raking’ involves using one or more deadened notes as grace notes leading into the main note. There’s a good example of this in Sweet Dreams at 3:04,and we’ve shown a way to approach this kind of effect below. One way that Buchanan produced muted raking was to finger the main note – in this case the note on the second string – with the first finger, placing fingers two and three on strings three and four respectively. The fingers are kept roughly spread out one finger per fret, although this

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doesn’t matter so much as long as strings three and four are touched lightly enough to damp them, but not heavily enough to sound actual notes. With all three fingers in place, ‘rake’ the plectrum through strings four, three and two with a downstroke.

●7 PICK AND FINGERS LICK

Like Richard Thompson, Roy Buchanan was a pick-plus-fingers player. ‘From playing steel, I learned to use a pick while also using my ring and fourth fingers – pick, third finger, fourth finger,’ he said. ‘You’re cheating yourself, really, if you just flatpick. It takes practice, but after you learn to use those other two fingers, it’s hard to just flatpick.’ The first bar below shows a descending pattern of sixths intervals across strings three and one – use pick to play the third string and a finger to hit the top string. First let the notes overlap, then allow

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only one note to sound at a time – both are useful techniques. The second bar is similar to a phrase in Sweet Dreams at 1:35, using the same selection of notes but in a syncopated rhythm and with added slides, accents and staccato to make it sound more interesting.

●8 C, F/C AND C/E CHORDS

‘A lot of the way I play the guitar is unorthodox. I use my thumb to make a barre chord all the time…’ Here’s a C chord fingered as Buchanan would do, with the thumb on the bottom string. Strictly speaking this shape isn’t really a barre chord, although the first finger does cover the top two strings at the eighth fret. The F/C chord below is fingered with a barre, this time with the third finger across strings four, three and two at the 10th fret. C/E is a three-note chord or triad on the top three strings.

C x

8th

T

1 (

1

2

3

x x x F/C

10th

(3 3 3

C/E x x x

8th

1 1 (

2

114 Guitar & Bass FEBRUARY 2012

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