Example BEN HARPER STYLE
Don’t forget to de-tune your sixth string so you are in drop D tuning (D-A-D-G-B-E). What we’ll see here is how Harper uses this tuning to get some unique sounding chord and riff based ideas – in essence, he can follow standard chord progressions but make them sound more individual thanks to the chord voicings drop D tuning can provide.
There is quite a lot of legato (hammer-ons and pull-offs) within this piece and these must be executed with perfect timing or things will begin wander. Although we are working at a slow to mid tempo here, some of these phrases will require a turn of speed so ensure the fretting hand can play these up to tempo so isolate them if necessary.
For this folk-derived picking pattern I’d go with a traditional ‘pima’ approach to the picking hand – so, the thumb (‘p’) plucks the sixth string, followed by the ‘m’ (second finger) for the second string; the first finger (‘i’) for the third string and finally the ‘a’ (third finger) for the first.