Art of Reggae

GUITAR COURSE 1: The Role of the Rhythm Guitar in Reggae Music

This course welcomes all levels of guitarists and focuses on RHYTHM reggae guitar playing. One of the most important and inspiring aspects of reggae music is its love affair with relatively simple, repetitive rhythms, played in layers and communally with other musicians. It is first and foremost meant to move both the musician and the listener on a physical (dancing) and spiritual level. Our primary goal as reggae guitar players is to deliver this rhythmic ecstasy by locking into the proper groove with the proper sound and feel.

In this course you will learn:

– How to work with a metronome to lock in your internal sense of time

– The single and double chop (also called the skank, bang, strum and other names)

– Swing and straight 8th note feel

– How to modulate note content (3 levels)

  •  – Varying levels of sustain length on the chop

    – When and how to use down and up strokes

    – Chord shapes, positions and voicings

    – The proper use of ghost notes

    – The articulation (accenting) of the two attacks in a double chop

    – Reverb use: for rhythm playing

    – How to play the stuck line (doubling the bass)

    – 9 different accents used to excite the chop

    – How the guitar chop relates to the piano chop & organ bubble

    – Using effects pedals for live dub sections

    – The Mento strum and how it relates to reggae and ska

    – Use of the wawa pedal

    This course uses many Art of Reggae ‘originals’ and a few classic Jamaican ‘riddims’ to demonstrate the concepts being taught. ALL of them, including the downloadable leadsheets that appear in the lesson videos are accessible in the Practice Loops section of the site. The guitar practice loops have the guitar track(s) muted and it’s highly recommended that you jam along with these to practice any of the concepts you are learning. They will challenge you to play in different keys with different feels.

The leadsheet PDF’s are written in standard notation with guitar tablature (TAB).  If you don’t know how to sight read, don’t worry, just use your ears. This music has been shared and taught more often than not, in a oral fashion, so you can learn everything you want without being able to read a note of music.

Lastly, don’t forget, as explained in the “How To Practice” intro video, make sure you have your notebook ready to go. Let’s dig in!

LESSON 1: Building Your Rhythmic Foundation
LESSON 2: Playing the Single Chop
LESSON 3: Chord Voicings and Positions
LESSON 4: Playing the Double Chop
LESSON 5: Combining the Single and Double Chop
LESSON 6: Using Reverb
LESSON 7: Stuck Line
LESSON 8: Rhythmic Variations on the Chop
LESSON 9: How the Chop Relates to Piano and Organ
LESSON 10: Dub Effects and Pedals
LESSON 11: The Mento Strum
LESSON 12: Using a Wawa Pedal

CURATED PLAYLIST FOR Guitar COURSE 1 
Curated Playlist Description for Guitar Course 1

GUITAR PRACTICE LOOPS

 

Other Art of Reggae Offerings

Interested in getting even deeper into keyboard playing, not only for reggae but almost anything else?  Contact Matt to set up private lessons (online or in person).

An experiential trip to Jamaica hosted by Matt and Jamaican master percussionist Maroghini. Receive a roots overstanding of what this music means and where it came from.

Book the Art of Reggae band for a live clinic at your institution, festival or private gathering. Fully customizable.

For musicians of all skill levels, Art of Reggae offers top rankin’ and inspired Lessons, Courses, Practice Loops and Curated Playlists that unlock the mysteries of this profound and transformational musical art form presented by master level performers who are also brilliant educators.

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