The Main Riff
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Can I Get A Witness – Main riff
As I speak about in the video, first work your way through all examples one by one. Then start improvising.
Here’s a loop that you can practice this Eb riff over. Use this as well as the TAB loops in the playlist above.
The first example uses a C shape for the Eb, a G shape for the Ab and a C shape for the Db.
It would have been possible to choose a D shape for the Eb chord but using string 2-4, this would have left out the 3rd of the chord so borrowing a C shape like this sounded better.
Here’s the TAB.
In the next example, we keep that C shape for the Eb but move the other chords up a shape. The Ab is now an E shape, the Db is now an A shape.
This is probably the best way to play the riff.
Next, the Eb starts with an A shape, the entire riff is now played on string 1-3. The Ab is a D shape and the Db, which should have been a G shape got an E shape instead. Why? It sounded better.
By methodically trying shapes like this you can make decisions using your taste. Maybe you prefer the G shape! Only one way to find out – try it.
Here’s the TAB, with an E shaped Db.
Next, we start the Eb riff with a G shape, the Ab is a C shape and the Db is (still) an E shape. We are using a lower part of the E shape this time as the entire riff is played on string 2-4.
It looks like this in TAB.
Lastly, the Eb gets an E shape, the Ab an A shape and the Db a C shape.
Again we skipped the most logical shape for the last chord which should have been a D shape but that won’t have a 3rd so we borrow a C shape from next door instead.
All these chords move a 4th up. Eb to Ab is a 4th, chord I – IV. Ab to Db is a 4th, chord IV – bVII.
When you can play all examples, start playing all over the neck in an improvised way until your allocated half an hour is up.
Next time, we look at what to play when the bass moves to chord IV, what chords do we need to play then?
Find out next time!
Dan (your guitar guru)