03 September 2011

Lick of the Day: "Off the Hook" Riff by Vinnie Moore

The lick is from Vinnie's song "Off the Hook," which appears on his album, "To the Core." It's a funky-sounding, Jimi Hendrix-inspired riff that features strummed octaves, double-stops, pull-offs, subtle bends and fret-hand muting.

When playing through the lick's funky, syncopated rhythms, Vinnie uses a pick-hand technique called "16th-note pendulum strumming." Pendulum strumming involves maintaining a constant down-up-down-up strumming or picking motion regardless of whether or not every 16th-note rhythm is played. As you can observe in the picking prompts, any chord or note that falls on the first or third 16th note (including eighth notes) receives a downstroke, while any note falling on the second or fourth 16th note is played with an upstroke.

For rhythmic durations longer than a 16th note let the pick hand pass over the strings without touching them, effectively producing a silent "ghost" strum while the previous note(s) continues to ring.

The bends are all performed by pulling the strings in toward the palm slightly.

The tempo is 115 beats per minute, 90 for slow practice.

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