What do i need to play RHCP snow riff?

Discussion in 'Tab & Music Forum' started by ManyRaam, Mar 9, 2021.

  1. ManyRaam

    ManyRaam New Member!

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    Hey there, i have been playing for 5 months and i always wanted to play Snow riff by rhcp, i have tried it but it is still difficult to me so i want to know what areas do i need to reinforce and how to do so i can play that riff in the correct way?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. guitarchaeologist

    guitarchaeologist Le Misanthrope Silver Member

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    That's a very advanced riff for a beginner! It's an advanced riff for an intermediate player as well! But if you want to give it a shot, check out videos and tablatures.
    Here's one vid that breaks it down slowly...


    I have a neighbor that is 16 and has been playing guitar going on a year (along w/ bass and trumpet). He is jumping into more advanced riffs and songs (RHCP and John Mayer are his go-to stuff) before getting the basics down. He can get the notes, but it has no tempo and no feel, no level of comfort or fluidity, so it generally doesn't sound good.
    My advice to him was to start with more basic songs and build up, and even though I haven't heard your playing, I might suggest the same for anyone that's been playing such a short time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  3. JonnyBGood

    JonnyBGood Strat-Talk Member

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    What you need is lots more experience I'm afraid. Its a pretty quick arpeggio pattern with several position shifts and no let up, your alternate and cross picking needs to be very accurate, your left hand shifts need to be flawless and the two hands need to synchronise to pull it off. That's before we even think about the stamina needed to maintain it. There's no way I'd be giving that to a student who had been playing 5 months.

    My advice would be this:

    Yep. Get a teacher maybe, who can help build your skills towards this as a long term goal, by learning riffs with more manageable picking patterns and easier shifts. You build this stuff up slowly, not be leaping in at the deep end.
     
  4. systolsys

    systolsys Strat-O-Master

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    This is an awesome piece to build your stamina. Good choice.

    It's challenging, but a good general approach to anything complex:

    - break it into small segments. Practice those individual pieces. Slow before fast. Soft before loud. Aim to get it even. Listen to your notes. If there is one note that sounds wrong, focus on that note each repetition until it sounds right. Then shift your focus to the next dodgy note.
    - practice the transitions from the end of one piece to the next segment (that might actually affect the fingering of the first part in some places.
    - start putting the segments together. Not necessarily in order. Else you'll end up playing the first segment over and over and over again, and neglecting the later ones.

    Where does it hurt?

    If there is something that's just not working... a particular fingering, or a picking transition... look for an exercise to improve that. Take it out of context, work on the problem. You'll naturally bring that
    improvement to the whole piece.

    Be aware of your hand muscles. Focus on relaxing while you play. To keep this up for 6 minutes, you don't want to be tense. Like learning to run... aim for 20 seconds. 10 second break. 20 seconds. 10 second break. three times. Take a day off. Next day 25 seconds with an 10 second break four times. Listen to your body. If it says stop, stop.
     
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  5. Jasco

    Jasco Strat-Talker

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    Focus on accuracy and timing. Don't worry about speed. Practice with a goal to get it easy and groovy at a slow speed before trying to speed it up. Then gradually speed it up over the course of weeks or months.
     
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  6. Boubou

    Boubou Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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  7. systolsys

    systolsys Strat-O-Master

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    Interesting picking order. I have no idea how John F plays this, but I've never necessarily thought that the way it was originally fretted nor picked is sacrosanct. We all have different hands after all.

    From the vid, it's pretty strict alternate picking:
    D U D U D (H P) D U

    But to me, that means your pick is moving in the wrong direction for notes 2 through 5, which I don't feel is conducive to coming up to speed.

    Looking one string ahead, I play:
    D D U D U (H P) D U

    Possibly even more efficient:
    D D U D D (H P) D U
     
  8. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 DEEPLY SHY.

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    Hi @systolsys

    Please wondered what is an (H P) ?
     
  9. duzie

    duzie Senior Stratmaster

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    I’d assume hammer/ pull off
     
  10. systolsys

    systolsys Strat-O-Master

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    Sorry.. yes. Hammer on, pull off. You don't actually pick those notes. It's already ringing from the pick on the 5th beat*, then you hit the note 2 frets higher and flick it off again on beat 6. This means there is a little breather for your picking hand on the 6th beat of the pattern, which gives you a fraction more time to line your pick up to hit the 7th.

    For those of us mere mortals who are not Frusciante or Petrucci or that ilk, playing fast isn't just playing slow sped up. We need to look for efficiencies that suit our playing.

    Part of my approach to that is wanting to have the pick moving towards the right place for the following note, in particular when I'm moving between strings. For this particular pattern, if you are trying to work out the most efficient way to pick this, that space gives more a fraction more time to change the direction your pick is moving if you need it.

    (Strangely enough, I learnt a lot about how my picking flows by learning some Japanese brush calligraphy - both about about fluidity of movement to place the right stroke in the right place. I'm not saying that's the right approach for everybody. Another thought could be pool/snooker - not only do you want to sink the ball you are focusing on, you want the cue to end up in the right place for the next shot.)

    While this is a completely different genre of music, the flatpicking exercises here may be something to help make this a more natural movement:


    I have a Petrucci exercise vid where he deliberately practices the in-efficient alternate picking pattern between strings. To me that feels "inside out"... but there's a good reason why I can't play like Petrucci. ie: Instead of playing between D and G strings by downpicking the D and up on the G, start up on the D and down on the G. Great exercise for building muscles and speed, but not something I'd deliberately choose to do while playing for real if there is a more efficient option.

    * Counting these 1 - 8, rather than 1-e-and-ah 16ths ... which might be a bit confusing at this stage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  11. Boubou

    Boubou Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Well, this now deserves to be posted

    You guys, now I am going to have to try it again, not that I was any good at it, but it’s definitely a good picking exercise.
    Once you have the picking precision, the speed, the stamina, then try to sing backing vocals, just for fun
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
  12. spyglass

    spyglass Strat-O-Master

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    I had a look at this and seriously its not that hard,Took me five minutes and never played it before.Not being a troll here but Its only a grip/voicing for each triad and a hammer on.I do a lot of sweeps so I just sweep the arp/triad and do the hammer on.For someone who is a beginner yes it takes work but its more of a lesson in triads and being able to finger the grip,These are common triads everyone should already know.Also this is pretty Hendrix based but sounding more modern.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
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  13. jaygold14

    jaygold14 Strat-Talk Member

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    I know there's no one right way to play anything but the hardest part of this song is the alternate picking, so yea if you take that out of the equation by sweeping the arpeggios I'd imagine that takes a bit of the difficulty away too.

    I'd also wonder what your version sounds like since the attack would be totally different.
     
  14. Boubou

    Boubou Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Well looking at the video, there ain’t no sweep picking. You can clearly see some alternate picking from John. But hey if it works for you.
    Everyone is a better player than me, so.....
     
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  15. spyglass

    spyglass Strat-O-Master

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    I pick it the same as the marty schwartz video posted, The picking is D D U D U (H P) D U This is a small sweep I suppose,But If john frusciante is alternate picking then yes it will be harder.
     
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  16. Boubou

    Boubou Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Need to look at it and try the different options , see what works best for me
     
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  17. systolsys

    systolsys Strat-O-Master

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    So based on the two videos posted above, Justin is alternate picking, Martin is economy picking. I can't get a clear view on what John does... but the song sounds creepy at 0.25x playback speed.

    OP is somebody who is a relatively new guitar player who has this as an aspirational song.

    If John Frusciante alternative picks the whole thing at speed, consistently, for a good whack of a six minute song, then there are clearly plenty of players out there who can mimic that. However, for those who can't, if changing the attack slightly due to the pick direction enables clean playing at speed, then I'd suggest that's a good stepping stone.

    I agree, it's not a particularly hard riff, but it is relatively quick and the clean tone will show up sloppy playing. The transitions that I thought may be more challenging position changes on closer inspections are audible slides, which simplifies it from what it could be.
     
  18. jaygold14

    jaygold14 Strat-Talk Member

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    Here's a vid of John doing it:



    it's all alternate picking, just like flat picking

    and to clarify my thoughts, I believe it is a very difficult lick. I would challenge you to try it at tempo, which is like ~100 bpm or something.

    after practicing this lick for a morning or so, the actual tempo is ~104 bpm. Very fast picking.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
  19. systolsys

    systolsys Strat-O-Master

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    It is. I can play it at speed using the sweep, but not the alternate picking. But I've been playing guitar since I was 14 so I'm not coming at this from the same place as OP.
     
  20. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    What do you need? Time with your instrument. Lots of it. Guitar playing isn't like making pancakes with Bisquick. No instant gratification. You need to spend the time. :)