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  3. How to Play Red Haired Boy
  4. Creating Variations in the A Section

Creating Variations in the A Section

Change is good

Let’s look at some of the available licks in the A section of Red Haired Boy, and a few different ways to use and combine them. Check out the Bluegrass lick for measure 4. It has a nice descending sound-perfect for an ending lick. First we move through some A major Scale notes on the E string. Try and place all three fingers down at once. This will allow you to play in an efficiently. That will help with speed. Lifting one finger at a time is much more efficient than lifting and placing down the next finger one at a time. Do the same for the descending line on the A string. Having fingers prepared and ready to go before you need them is the key to playing efficiently. This leads to speed and smoother overall sound.

Now let’s look at a combination of licks. Select Pentatonic for measure 2, and Chromatic for measure 4. Practice these individually before combining. There’s nothing two complex about the Pentatonic lick. You might notice that it has a repeating rhythmic figure. One 1/8th note followed by six 1/16th notes. You might play the eighth notes a little bit louder than the sixteenth notes. This is called an accent. It reinforces the unique rhythm pattern and helps bring the music to life. The Chromatic lick for measure 4 is a great one. It is a very cool descending lick that also has a slight drone sound from the repeated 5th fret note on the E string. This gives it the feeling of both moving and staying still. Very cool! Pay close attention to the fingering used in the video demonstration. The first finger gets the notes on the 2nd and 1st frets. The middle finger covers the 3rd and 4th, and the ring finger gets the 5th fret. After you’ve practiced both licks loop the entire A section. Once you get something right, practice it several times.

The B section is up next.