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  4. Sammm, Sammm, Sammm

Sammm, Sammm, Sammm

A Sam Bush style Rhythmic Figure

This, my good people, is the Nitty Gritty. This rhythmic figure adds a lot. That's why we're going to spend a lot of time practicing at a speed we can handle, right? If we get frustrated, we will not exit the browser window. We will accept our current limitations, and practice within them. That's what the tempo slider is there for. If you need to, play one movement at a time, and take as much time as you need in between to transition from one and setup for the next.

One of the most critical pieces here is lowering and raising the muting fingers at the right time. Our basic strum pattern is D D D DU D D D D. We're dropping our mute fingers after the second down strum, and not raising till the up strum. If you can get that, the other, more normal chops should be a piece of cake. Notice the small letter "x" that appears above the tab. Those markings indicate we should play the notes muted.

For the most part, we are hitting the low strings on the down beat, and the high strings on the back beat. It's much like a drummer would play, "Kick, snare, kick, snare"(1 & 2 & etc). Sam was in marching band in high school, and takes a lot of his rhythmic influence from that and other drummers he is a fan of.

On beats 2 & 4, we're hitting the down beats, but muting the strings before we pick them. The one hitch in this giddy-up, the little pebble in your loafer that makes this thing seem way harder than it is, is the up stroke in the middle of the measure. This little booger is on the back beat of the back beat!

We started this lesson series playing and muting on 1/4 notes- 1, 2 , 3, 4 etc. Then, we started chopping on the back beat in between-1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &. Now, we have one note that is in between those! It's a 16th note. Cue dramatic music: Duh, duh, duhhhh!

It's really not all that scary though. If you listen more than you play, you will get it. Try tapping out this rhythm before playing it on mando. Singing or speaking the rhythm helps, too.

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Now that we've worked on this short exercise, can you guess what we're gonna do next?