Lesson #7: Word Up (Song Example)


It’s really fun to combine chords and beats to play this tune, so what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

The beat remains the same throughout the entire riff with the bass played on ‘1’ and ‘3’ and the snare on ‘2’ and ‘4’. Start by playing bass and the B minor chord followed by a short break to release the pressure of the chord. On ‘2’, play the snare hit followed by an upstroke on B minor. Then play bass on ‘3’ with muted a hi-hat downstroke on the ‘3+’, the snare on ‘4’ and finally the open top strings with an upstroke on ‘4+’. Please watch the video to see how this is played.

We’ll start the second bar by playing a chord hammer-on. Play the A Major and play the bass at the same time. On ‘1+’, accentuate the chord by playing a downstroke, then hit the snare on ‘2’ and on ‘2+’, position your ring or little finger on the 7th fret and play the harmonics by pulling your fingers up again. The second half of the bar is the same as the first, so play a bass hit, hi-hat, snare and open top strings. Okay, let’s play the first two bars!

The third bar is played the same way as the first half of the second bar, but played with a G Major chord followed by an A Major instead. Finally, in the last bar play the same thing again on B minor without the harmonics. End the riff with bass on ‘3’, a muted hi-hat downstroke on ‘3+’, snare on ‘4’ and finally the open top strings with an upstroke on ‘4+’.

Play these four bars as many times as you want. When you want to finish the riff, end it on ‘2+’ of the fourth bar and slide downwards. I know this isn’t easy, but give it some time - when you think you are ready, let’s play it together!