Do You Have an Accent? (Guitar Lesson)

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Do You Have an Accent?

Make sure you're thinking and playing behind the beat...Check! Now Bumblefoot makes sure you are thinking about each note and each beat you play. Just like the spoken word, good guitar playing is punctuated. Learn a great drill for working accenting into your playing!

Taught by Bumblefoot in Bumblefoot's Artist Series seriesLength: 9:54Difficulty: 3.0 of 5

Video Subtitles / Captions

Scene 1

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I think there's one very important aspect of playing which sometimes gets overlooked which is accenting.

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Not just in rhythm but in soloing, in everything.

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The importance of just how it makes what you're playing speak so much more when it's not at this linear volume

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and it's pushing and pulling and doing all sorts of things.

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Example: No accenting.

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With accenting.

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Just adds these little things to it, yeah, it does a lot more and makes the freezes a little more like a voice.

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When we speak we don't just speak like this and do everything the exact same way and it just does not say as much as if we had inflections

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and when we spoke there are pushes and pulls and breaks in the phrase and strong points, things like that.

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You want to have that in your playing as well.

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In all your phrasing you want to have accenting so we are going to do a little exercise to help you develop really good, strong accenting

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and it's going to go on a three octave major scale.

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Here's how the scale is going to go, we're going to start on F and we're going to go a whole, whole-half, next string starting a fifth higher

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and the two whole steps and then we repeat that shape starting with the next octave of F right here and then the next octave of F.

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Then we finish it with a final note right there.

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So, whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half, whole, whole, half, whole.

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What we're going to do is we're going to pick as hard as we can the accent and then as soft as we can, almost nonexistent when we're not accenting.

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This would be the accent and this would be not.
That soft so it would be like going…

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Now let's try it worth our dreaded, brutal forty BPM metronome setting.

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We'll do triplets and we're going to accent the first triplet which lands right on every beat of the metronome so we're going to go...

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Loud, soft, loud, soft, soft, loud, soft, soft, loud, soft, soft.
Ready, two, three, four.

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Stay behind it.

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Good. Now let's do it again only now we're going to accent the middle triplet.

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So it would go one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three.

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Nice, let's do it again.
Right here.

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Loud, soft, soft, loud, soft, soft, loud, soft, soft, loud.

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Very nice, that was lovely.

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We're going to do it again and we're going to do it with the third note of the triplets being accenting. So the first two are soft, the last one is loud.

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So it would go like this one, two, three, one, two, three.

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Ok, very good.

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Try that. Nice. Yes.

Scene 2

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Ok. So we're going to do them again, we're going to do the accented triplets, accenting the first of the three triplets,

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then the second, then the third going in this big long F major scale that's going from here to here.

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Oh and now we're going to double the speed instead of forty BPM's we're going to do it at eighty BPM's.

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Alright here we go.

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So I'm accenting the first so I'm with one triplet, two triplet, one triplet and we're going to accent on the first one. So it will go…

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Ooh I was too soft.

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That's what happens when I talk while I am accenting.

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Ok and again.

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The hardest thing with it as it gets faster is maintaining the really strong accent and the really quiet non-accent.

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You might find that as you're accenting the following note is also loud.
It's going…

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I can't even do it.

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Stuff like that and eventually it just becomes like that.
So keep working on it.

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Let's do it again only we're going to do the second of the three notes in the triplet accented.

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So just go loud, soft, soft, loud, soft, soft.
Do it again, one more time.

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It's tough, it's tough.

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It's tough!

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Alright, the very last one.

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We have the third triplet we're going to accent so it'll go soft, soft, loud, go soft, soft, loud, go soft, soft, loud.

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So practice that it's a real good way to get those nice strong hits in the stuff so instead of just playing you can actually give the stuff a rhythm.

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Cool. Alright. Enjoy. Yes.

Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

Martin2014Martin2014 replied on January 13th, 2015

Excellent exercises...40 bpm, very challenging! Ugh!

studiobuddystudiobuddy replied on February 11th, 2014

i liked his non sccented sound personally. it was really impressive

suriakumarsuriakumar replied on February 8th, 2014

Greatest player on this planet.You might think this first lessons are boring,but ask yourself how good is your timing.You might be the flashiest guitarist but in the context of music your timing might might br out.

mikehabadamikehabada replied on January 14th, 2014

thumbs the fuck UP!

pattiblackpattiblack replied on January 6th, 2014

OMG! Remembering back to my guitar professor at UM. During our first lesson, he took out his metronome and turned it all the way to the slowest setting and told me to play note...note...note....note. It hurts to slow down like that and yet, it was painfully disciplining. Okay, okay, it was worth every beat and I'm still playing!!! lol!

VTkombatVTkombat replied on January 5th, 2014

I love this guy. His style gets me to pay attention for some reason. I've learned more in his few videos than I taught myself in 6 months. Keep em coming bumblefoot and thank you.

Mighty.MikeMighty.Mike replied on January 4th, 2014

His voice is entrenching and his style and attitude are captivating! The first few lessons are for anyone willing to hit play!

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on January 2nd, 2014

ya, bumblefoot's style is sooo cool, cause there's a lot of crazy playing, but he's so solid on the fundamentals. This really comes across in this series for sure... and especially in the later song lessons which I'm excited for you guys to see!

rucan2rucan2 replied on January 2nd, 2014

this dude is insane he does stuff kinda like Mark Kroos Only electric

rucan2rucan2 replied on January 2nd, 2014

alot of rock guitarist dont have a good sense of rthm this is very important

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on January 2nd, 2014

oh... just you wait!!! :)

tangohuntertangohunter replied on January 2nd, 2014

I don't know if these lessons are brilliant or complete Mr miyag, but I enjoy them.

dvaneyldvaneyl replied on May 24th, 2014

They are brilliant. Pleasure to see someone who knows what he is doing deconstruct his style/approach and share perspectives like this.

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Lesson 4

Do You Have an Accent?

Make sure you're thinking and playing behind the beat...Check! Now Bumblefoot makes sure you are thinking about each note and each beat you play. Just like the spoken word, good guitar playing is punctuated....

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Sharpen your mind like a samurai sword with this exercise! While playing one note, think and speak the next note you will play. Practice this to a metronome with different note values...EEK!

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Take 2 hand and 2 right hand finger tapping to the next level. Don't forget rhythm! Rhythm is still important when notes are flying by!

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About Bumblefoot View Full Biography "Making music has a greater purpose - anything I can do to help others, I try to do."

-Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal

I love spicy food - working on recipes for my own line of hot sauces. Been upping my tolerance - currently at 7,100,000 Scoville Units (that's 3x stronger than commercial-grade pepper spray weapon) If anyone asks me about Scoville Units, I'll bore them for a half-hour talking about capsaicin molecules, habaneros and heat measurements.

One time in Japan, I stayed up 43 hours straight doing gigs, interviews, instructional videos and going to clubs.

I take oral hygiene and fire safety seriously.

As a kid, I'd lay the guitar on the ground and play Bach pieces with two hands and one foot. Been a while since I tried that.

When I can, I like to do home improvement stuff - mostly drywall and electrical, some simple plumbing. Last thing I did at my house was install recessed lights in the ceiling going to a dimmer, and put in a new bathroom sink and faucet.

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