This Week's Lesson: "Playing for the Song (R&B Style)"


Q: I'm a big fan of the Memphis Soul sound. Especially the classics by Otis Redding and Sam & Dave. Those weren't the days of guitar hero virtuosos, but guys like Steve Cropper had great feel with their riffs. Could you make a lesson on simple guitar ideas that, "Play to the Song?" I'm curious as to what your suggested approaches might be! Morris -- Atlanta, GA. USA

A: There's certainly something smooth and in the pocket about all of those slick guitar parts found in some of the classic; Bill Withers, Sam and Dave, or Al Green songs. And, guitar players like Steve Cropper had that unique way of playing for the song, devising those flawless guitar riffs and interesting compact licks & fills that really define both his talent and the great music that he co-wrote and produced. In order to make a study of how to approach, "Playing for the Song," we need to adopt a few simple attitudes, such as; the "Less is More Principle," and the overall ability to, "Imply Chords," with small lines and double-stops. In the video I focus in on the guitar neck and run through a collection of musical examples for things that you can start doing right away to help, "Play to the Song."

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