Here’s a couple of great guitar lessons I found from the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante.
In these lessons he gives us a demonstration of how to play Under The Bridge from the album Blood Sugar Sex Magic.
He also talks a bit about his youth and how he first encountered and began to develop his signature playing style which allows him to fill the air with licks, trills, chords and lead melodies in a combined fashion giving the listener the sense of listening to two or three guitars at once. This technique was pioneered by the godfather of funk Curtis Mayfeild and adopted by the late great Jimi Hendrix who was a major influence on John’s playing style.
This video really does help the listener deal with the age old problem of which way you should play your bar chords i.e using your thumb by wrapping it over the top strings or by barring your first finger across all six, an issue which I know many beginner guitarists including myself have had many sleepless nights over.
I think at the end of the day it basically comes down to your style, and what sort of music you play. As I tend to play a lot of covers during my live sets and when out busking, I deal with the problem by playing my bar chords both ways, depending on what song I am performing at the time.
At least you now know, if you want to play Chili Peppers stuff the way John Frusciante does, you’ll need to get frisky with your thumb.
The video above shows him performing the song with his electric guitar, but for those of you out there who think there’s no way they’ll be able to achieve this on an acoustic, here’s another video showing how he does just that.
Slightly more difficult but still playable.
More lessons from famous guitarists coming soon.