Technique Fo­cus Reg­gae skank

Guitar Techniques - - PLAY REGGAE -

There is a pop­u­lar myth among gui­tarists that the reg­gae ‘skank’ is played with up-strokes of the pick. Us­ing up-strokes means that you are guess­ing where the ‘skank’ should hap­pen in­stead of us­ing the me­chan­ics of the rhythm hand to pro­vide con­sis­tent re­sults. If you watch Bob Mar­ley play­ing live you will no­tice he uses down-strokes. This pro­vides more con­sis­tent re­sults and also means if you are play­ing a qua­ver per­mu­ta­tion you can fol­low the ini­tial down stroke with an up­stroke. The fret­ting­hand mut­ing is all im­por­tant with re­gards to cre­at­ing the cor­rect tone and length of note. Try lightly plac­ing your fin­gers on the strings above the de­sired frets. As you strum just press down enough to let the string make con­tact with the fret. As soon as the strings make con­tact let the pres­sure off. Ex­per­i­ment with var­i­ous amounts of pres­sure un­til you achieve the de­sired ef­fect. You can get away with not re­ally fret­ting the strings at all. Lis­ten to the in­tro of Stir It Up by the great Bob Mar­ley, as it’s fas­ci­nat­ing how he im­plies the har­mony with what is es­sen­tially muted strum­ming.

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