No Clapping On 1 & 3!

As the saying goes, “Friends don’t let friends clap on 1 and 3…”

So, yes, today’s video is with a little tongue-in-cheek irreverence… but it’s still important (we can have some fun and still do the good work 😉

This isn’t hard at all, in terms of what we’re playing, it’s a simple blues progression with open chords. If you are a beginner, this is super important stuff to get you going on the right foot.

If you’re not a beginner, and you can’t do this, stop the presses! This will affect every other thing you try to do (and have tried for who-knows-how-long) from here on out so fix it now, I’ll show you how (Hey, I’m a poet and didn’t know it 😉

 

27 Comments

  • Mark Levigne

    Reply Reply June 23, 2018

    Thanks, its the elephant in the room and needs/needed to be said. 🙂

  • Kruzer

    Reply Reply June 22, 2018

    What kind of guitar are you using

    • bogie

      Reply Reply June 23, 2018

      The guitar you are inquiring about is a
      G&L guitars Doheny model.
      G&L’s take on a Fender Jazz Master.

  • Ken T.

    Reply Reply June 21, 2018

    I’ve been messing (often struggling) with guitar (mostly to play blues) for several years (mostly a noodler) and have had difficulty starting riffs on the 2 rather than the one as you so often repeat. Playing along with you on this I discovered I am solidly in the 1-3 clap category. Now that you have simplified the concept, I can get my head around it and now I can start working on it. As you noted, for some (me), it is very difficult to change over but I see now why I HAVE to. Thanks.

  • Sean Drummond

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    Excellent point, Griff.

    A little earlier I was listening to “Oh Darling!” from The Beatles’ Abbey Road album. The rhythm guitar on that song is doing what Griff is showing here, hitting a single chord on the 2 and 4 of a four-beat count. (Just on the verses, not the chorus where the guitar does something else). Check it out.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sqogoRTxtmg

    Griff if I’ve somehow completely missed the point with this reference, feel free to disappear this post. Send it to the cornfield. But I think Oh Darling on Abbey Road is just a perfect example of the point you’re making.

  • Graham

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    Got it. Good on you Griff.

  • Greg

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    Griffin from the comments this video received there is a lot of confusion on the 2 4
    You might need to cover this better! I’m not sure how you could put it any different.
    Maybe with a couple of examples if they see your hand moving they might think you are
    Hitting the strings when you’re keeping time! Good luck with this one buddy.

  • Phil Smith

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    Not sure I fully understand. I agree about the clapping (usually) on 2-4, but playing, different. I looked at your Ain’t Nobody’s Business – Freddie King, and it looks like you are playing on 1-3 as well. Strumming rhythm on all 4 beats seems appropriate most times. My primary these days is bass guitar, and of course we play on the 1-3 a lot (following the bass drum). I also play drums, which uses 2-4 on the snare mostly. I’m not sure a blanket statement to only 2-4 is accurate. But LOVE your lessons, keep it up!

    • Griff

      Reply Reply June 20, 2018

      When I’m the ONLY instrument, then yes, I’ll play on beat 1 because no one else is going to do it. But otherwise, let the drums and bass do it.

      • Rod W.

        Reply Reply June 25, 2018

        When you play on your own, say singing to chords, would you play a chord on each beat but emphasise the second and fourth beat somehow?

        It’s great that you are getting folks to listen to and examine their playing closely so that they improve by gradually eliminating bad habits.

  • bogie

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    Oh and thank you Griff.
    One of the biggest take aways I have learned from watching your videos.
    It is to get in the habit of starting my solos on beat 2.
    🙂

    • PAUL

      Reply Reply June 20, 2018

      I GET WHAT YOUR TRYING TO TEACH. THEN WHO PLAYS RTHYUM GUITAR WITH A STRUM LIKE THAT. I CAN SEE PLAYING IT, WHEN YOUR COMPING THE KEY BOARD PLAYER, BUT YOU JUST CONFUSED ME. EG.. LISTEN TO SNADY COLORED CLOWN. BY ROY OBERSON. WHEN HE GOES INOT THE SONG THE GUITAR STRUMS 3 TIME AND HE HE STARTS TO SING.
      SO AFTER 50+ YEARS OF PLAYING GUITAR, THIS MAKE SENCE, BUT IS NOT THE WAY I HAVE EVER STRUMMED A SONG WHEN PLAYING. THANKS GRIFF, THE POET!! LOL!

  • David Abrams

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    Good stuff Griff thats the ticket play on 2 n 4

  • bogie

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    Thank you Griff for this lesson.
    It is kinda funny how bass players are told to lock in with the drums
    kick (bass ) drum on beats 1 and three… but seldom are guitarist told
    that we too need to lock in with the drums as well.. our beats are 2 and 4

    I cant tell you how much this 2 and 4 thing has save my butt playing live.
    If you ever get lost where the beat is follow the snare… it will either
    be beat 2 or 4… trust me very soon your mind will do this calculation
    automatically…

    Too sum it up.. I want to quote Duke Ellington
    “Don’t mean a thing ( if it aint got that swing)”
    that is pretty much what he meant in the song

  • mac

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    thanks for all your help, you are the best

  • Reverend Bill

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    “…if it’s got a back beat you can use it…”

  • Rod

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    Great lesson and just what I was looking for recently when I wondered exactly what was going on when people clapped or tapped their feet. Plus I think years ago I was told it was beat one that got the emphasis and so was a bit confused.

    I cant help thinking now of John Lennon’s words in the song ”Rock and Roll Music”. I believe he said ”its got a back beat you cant blues it”. That does not seem to fit the explanation if the back beat is beats 2 and 4 and they are emphasised in blues and rock? Anyone care to explain?

    • BillH

      Reply Reply June 20, 2018

      Rod, I think you are referring to the Beatles cover of the Chuck Berry song. The actual words are “It’s got a back beat, you can’t lose it” So, Chuck agrees with Griff also. 🙂

  • Stewart B

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    Appreciate the information 2&4 2&4 2&4

  • Phil H

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    Griff, You haven’t really explained WHY one shouldn’t strum or play on beats 1 and 3 – and you keep saying “if you do this, you have a problem” – Why?

    Surely in a 12 bar blues shuffle, you will be playing on beats 1 and 3 – as well as beats 2 and 4 – why make such a big thing saying ” you have a problem which this can fix ” – you even say – hey, playing on beats 1 and 3 – that’s not right! – huge deal – fix it now.

    • Griff

      Reply Reply June 20, 2018

      Good point, but I’m not sure anyone REALLY knows why we do it this way. I can tell you that it works this way, but this is how the music evolved so I think it would he difficult, if not impossible, to definitively say why.

  • Hoot

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    That line should be on a tee shirt!

  • Drew

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    Griff, Keep beating that into us. It is so easy to play on 1/3 when we are not thinking about genre specific details.

  • Kevin O'Sullivan

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    Griff
    Excellent reminder – got it nailed!

  • Jag

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    Excellent lesson as always Griff; thanks!

  • BillH

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    I believe one of the advantages of being relegated to the “rhythm guitar” slot was, my ear learned to hear the chords were on the 2 & 4 … and the bass was on the 1 & 3 (at least for R&R and blues). If I were to have rushed into learning to play lead, I would have missed that early ear training.
    It’s good when you remind us of the basics Griff. Thanks.

  • Rodney Burton

    Reply Reply June 20, 2018

    That was good i was playing on 1 and 3 now I can correct that.

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