Percussive Rhythm

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Percussive Rhythm - Backing Track (150bpm)

Welcome! In this lesson we're going to work on an exercise that utilizes a significant amount of percussive rhythm with our fret-hand. What is percussive rhythm on guitar? It basically involves the use of mutes, slaps and dead notes that create rhythmic sounds as opposed to melodic sounds. In this exercise we'll learn a riff that will force you to concentrate strongly on how both of your hands interact with each other rhythmically.

The first thing to note in the tablature are all of the "X" symbols. This symbol simply represents a dead note. With dead notes, you only hear the click of the string rather than an actual melodic note.

You'll also see some places where the "X" symbols go across all 6 strings which I labeled as "FHS" for "Fret-Hand Slap". When you see that, that's where you'll use your fret-hand to slap the strings. No action with your picking hand is required here, only the fret-hand. You should hear a "click" sound if done correctly.

This whole exercise is mostly sixteenth notes, and when you practice it make sure that every note (whether melodic note or dead note) is in perfect sync with the beat. Overall, you'll be using a lot of legato, palm muting (indicated by "P.M." in the tab), and fret-hand slaps so a lot is going on at once. Be sure to practice slowly as you gradually get all these techniques fluid with each other.

Once you have it down, try creating your own riffs that utilize fret-hand slaps. Have fun!