Learn how to play I Shot The Sheriff on one acoustic guitar!
As there is a capo on, what you hear is in Gm, but you think in Em as you play the Verse: Cmaj7, Bm7 and Em.
The Chorus is even more simple moving just between Em and Am, or VI and II.
The world famous riff at 0:53 following “…and I say” use the minor pentatonic scale.
Playing with a Capo
In the key of Em we get the advantage that every open string is part of the scale.
By using a capo we can capitalise on this phenomenon and put ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ in the key of Em, rather than the more awkward key of Gm.
As the chords are so simple in this key there is plenty of room to play a bass line and even add some licks to the chord changes.
Building a one guitar arrangement
When you build a one guitar arrangement you have to first work out what the most important parts are. To build ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ I focused on:
- The bass line
- The back beat
- The riff
Make sure the bass lines are solid rhythmically and dynamically well pronounced, you can vary it in an improvised way, but it need to be the right notes from he scale.
Decide if double or single back beat work best for you in general, still, keep varying them in relation to vocal.
The riff was at first difficult to get sounding big, therefore the use of open strings has been applied to fatten the sound.
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