Adding Spice With A Quick Riff

In the first lesson we looked at one way to inject life into a basic strum pattern, in the second one, how to add some spice through chord modifications.  This time we’re going to learn a simple riff that can be used to spice up your rhythm playing, and then we’ll roll all through together to see how much we can add dynamics to the basic Em, C major progression.

Click Here For Dynamic Rhythm Guitar

Leave a Reply 67 comments

Dale Justice - November 26, 2014 Reply

Great info!

    chuck - November 26, 2014 Reply

    Can’t wait to use the Riff! Thanks Jon!

James G Rush - November 26, 2014 Reply

Great info still enjoying the I IV V course - November 26, 2014 Reply

I like the use of the hammer on in the riff. It reminded me that I can use the lead techniques I have learned and mix them in with plain scale runs embedded in the chords. Very nice.

Also heard you loud and clear, that sometimes less is so much more, when you play with emphasis. Thanks

Brian Forster - November 26, 2014 Reply

Makes such a difference. Adapted this to a rhythm pattern I've created in 'G" and it's come together nicely.

Bill Frey - November 26, 2014 Reply

Really puts flavor in your sound! Good job

Grady Dyer - November 26, 2014 Reply

Great insight. Am using this this weekend. - November 26, 2014 Reply

will i get lucky

Bill Rowley - November 26, 2014 Reply

I like this. It helps but so does frequent practice. .

Marc Bonnet - November 26, 2014 Reply

Just what I needed … - November 26, 2014 Reply

Just as I was in a rut…you come through with another cool lesson!

M E Rochford - November 26, 2014 Reply

This lesson proves that it doesn’t have
to be complicated to sound great, really
appreciated it, I will certainly be using
this asap.

Richard Prochowski - November 26, 2014 Reply

Thanks for the idea, Jonathan. With a few minutes a day, it'll be second nature. You, Colin and Griff helped get me back to playing guitar after a 40 year lapse. Thanks.. - November 26, 2014 Reply

very cool. love your lessons, helps me out very much - November 26, 2014 Reply

thi i great!!!!it started of with only a small thingie and now this sound great and i am going to teach it to my students too. thanks jonathan looking forward to your course!!!!! - November 26, 2014 Reply

i hope there will be a download option!!!

Barbara Czopek Long - November 26, 2014 Reply

I am going in for open heart surgery on December 12th. I was able to raise the money as a landscaper for my son to go to the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery starting in January, but that took all of my money. I will be unable to work for a couple of months after my operation. I would love to improve my guitar playing skills during my time of convalescence . I hope I win his drawing. It will give me something to look forward to. Sincerely yours, Roy Long

Roy Long - November 26, 2014 Reply

I am going in for open heart surgery on December 12. I was able to raise the money to send my son to the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery but money will be tight during my convalescence . This would definately give me something to look forward to after my surgery. I will be out of work for a couple of months.

Richard King - November 26, 2014 Reply

I like it! - November 26, 2014 Reply

Thanks, great lesson.
I feel like you are talking to me and not at me.
Well explained and fun to try.

Hemalatha Anand - November 26, 2014 Reply

Simple and yet very dynamic stuff!! Great Jonathan. Keep it up !

Stanley Fitzgerald - November 26, 2014 Reply

I picked up the guitar after putting it down over 30 years ago. I can see this study to make improvement it my come back.

Willis Derry - November 26, 2014 Reply

Didn't care for your program until I saw this third lesson ,You keep it simple for us old pluckers,from will age 71:) - November 26, 2014 Reply

Enjoyed all 3 lessons. You have a nice style of teaching.

Bob Walker - November 26, 2014 Reply

Love your stuff; I save every lesson you send out in my Google Docs 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

John A. Shaw - November 26, 2014 Reply

thanks, i'll give the little riff a try

Lynne - November 26, 2014 Reply

I love the way you have built on each lesson and tied it all together….pearls of information ! Thanks

Rick Brown - November 26, 2014 Reply

Great series of lessons. They seem to be very helpful in the short time I have been using the techniques.

Gordon Lawrence - November 26, 2014 Reply

I want to add spice to the strum! - November 26, 2014 Reply

I marvel at your simple approach. I can see myself causing emotions to certain listeners who will be hearing me already! - November 26, 2014 Reply

In Hawaiian Slack Key, there are “vamps” that transition or connect the verses. I can use this! Mahalo (Thank you).

Daireek Antwane - November 26, 2014 Reply

what a cool technique /tip. gonna implement this right away. Another tool to ad to my bag of tricks! - November 26, 2014 Reply

Thanks Johnathan,
Great , I put the riff in between the verses and chorus which breaks it up with .more variety and emphasises the changing of tempo going into the chorus. Makes the song sound so much more with just that small addition/change. Cheers! Dennis Bertram - November 26, 2014 Reply

My main goal in learning and playing the guitar is to enter a mini vacation. Just you the guitar and the sounds you create. If you have gone fishing or sailing you will know what I mean. I am not into preforming but at some time I might enjoy playing along with someone. I think the Dynamic Rhythm Guitar course will help expand what I might be able to do on the guitar either during my mini vacation or playing with other musicians.

Mickey Duane - November 26, 2014 Reply

I hope I can win this course. Losing my house sucks. My wife being Ill and disabled sucks. Music is all I got to keep going and i need all the course help I can get. Every bit of information ties in to information I have gathered and helps with my playing.


Sid - November 26, 2014 Reply

Good info. Feels like the words “ground control to Major Toms should be sung” to this riff. Ha just kidding.

Nelson - November 26, 2014 Reply

Been playing for awhile now, mostly fingerpicking. Ive been moving towards flatpicking and enhancing my chord transitions. Your Dynamic Rhythm Course is simple to follow without the usual flourish and confusion found on other video sessions.

Heidi Hoffer - November 26, 2014 Reply

That riff you played on the intro to the mini lesson was different than what was covered in the lesson. I guess it was a “teaser” of sorts. maybe a bit more advanced or complicated than you had time to cover in the mini lesson. Anyway, the info in mini lesson was very helpful and fun even if different than intro. 😀

    Jonathan Boettcher - November 26, 2014 Reply

    Good ear 🙂 Yes, I did that purposefully as a bit of a teaser.

Geoff Arnold - November 26, 2014 Reply

And away we go! Good stuff. Useful. - November 26, 2014 Reply

Great Lessons - November 26, 2014 Reply

Great lesson. Hoping to apply this to my upcoming gigs.

Larry Densmore - November 26, 2014 Reply

Thanks for reminding us how the simple concepts are so expressive and necessary in our progress. Not to be forgotten.

Neville Horne - November 26, 2014 Reply

Thanks Jonathan I’ve really enjoyed these three lessons and I also want to learn that initial intro 🙂

    phil friden - June 29, 2016 Reply

    where are the first two lessons? i can only get 3/3 ?

      Jonathan Boettcher - June 29, 2016 Reply

      There are links below the video on this page to the first and second vids. - November 26, 2014 Reply

Even here in New Zealand we’re learning guitar Boethcher style. - November 26, 2014 Reply

I have picked up the guitar off and on for years but not until your Unlocking I, IV, V and Guitar Scale Patterns courses did I have any real understanding of the instrument. Now I am playing more often and enjoying it more just simply by having learned fundamentals and techniques from your courses.
I am very much looking forward to your new Dynamics course.
Ronnie - November 26, 2014 Reply

Really like this style … Fits well with my British/Canadian harmonic poetry & such … Please Gimme More ! - November 26, 2014 Reply

great info

Bazil Dicker - November 26, 2014 Reply

Thanks from Down under in Australia - November 26, 2014 Reply

I loved the 3 part series on how to make your playing sound more interesting using strumming, chord modification, and throughout in a riff. At 63 I need all the help I can get .
Thank you.
Mike Stinon

Kathlyn Nunley - November 26, 2014 Reply

Who says life is almost over at 50. I just picked up the guitar at 52 and my debut for family and friends will be your 3rd lesson and that is how I roll. - November 26, 2014 Reply

hey awesome lesson cant wait for the dvd

HalleluYah - November 26, 2014 Reply

Halleluyah this is awesome thanks for sharing your gifts with us! I look forward to sharing this with others!

Gerry Saddler - November 26, 2014 Reply

Great job again. I am learning so much from your lessons. I don’t fear the guitar as much since listening and watching you. You’ve become a friend and that makes it easier to learn as I am very comfortable with your method.
Thanks much,

Russell Hart - November 27, 2014 Reply

Short and very sweet!

mark Ludden - November 26, 2014 Reply

Modulation acousticaly in part I believe is the foundation of dynamics and I know that your lessons can be essential to understanding and applying. This theory. Thanks for these quick ways to better playing. Mark_L - November 26, 2014 Reply

Great. This little riff is awesome. Thanks so much for sharing.

Hubert Udhardt - November 27, 2014 Reply

I like your individual style of teaching guitar.

Lolo Sauceda - November 27, 2014 Reply

Thank you for making learning to play the guitar easy and have some fun at the same time. - November 29, 2014 Reply

This is fun to play. Thanks very much for this one - October 8, 2015 Reply

Hey Jonathan – that was perfect & just what I was asking for in my comment yesterday! You must be psychic as well as a great teacher.
Thank you so much for this mini series – as you can see from all the comments your generosity & style are really appreciated. So thank you again.

Michael - October 8, 2015 Reply

It’s a cool riff. But, why didn’t you teach the one you actually played at the beginning of the vid??

    Jonathan Boettcher - October 8, 2015 Reply

    Ah, sorry about that… but sometimes I love to drop little teasers. That particular riff is in the course 🙂

James Vaughn - October 29, 2018 Reply

This is something that I have done since I began playing back in the early 70s, so this was a Nice refresher for me, thank You!!!

Jim & Nancy Cinnater - June 29, 2021 Reply

Cool Takamine as well!! Much nicer than mine, Jonathan!! How’s the “little” pet pooch doing up there on the “B” Farm!!?? Jim

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