In this Can't Stop guitar lesson video I will demonstrate how to play all of this funky Red Hot Chili Peppers smash hit note-for-note.
Guitarist John Frusciante starts the song off with some subdued hammer-ons that gradually build in tension. He then begins to pick the notes right before he launches into the main riff of the song.
That main riff is pure Frusciante, funky, tight and fun to play. It may take a little bit of practice to assure that you are muting all the notes required during the entire riff. John Frusciante is for the most part doing some pretty large strums but keeps the main melody notes popping out due to the fact that he is heavily muting all the other strings.
This technique can be a little difficult to do correctly at first. The use of the thumb on the low E string can also give a lot of players a challenge. To make the thumb position a bit more comfortable try moving the inside of your wrist towards your face. This slight adjustment really helps the thumb achieve the optimal placement required to play notes on the low E string.
After the main riff we make it to the chorus. Once again there are lot's chords where Frusciante uses his thumb on the low E string. The C major 7th at the very end of this chord progression can be especially awkward. Once gain, experiment with positioning of your picking hand wrist to better facilitate playing these chords cleanly.
The bridge of the song is reggae influenced with accents on the upbeats and quick chord muting. The nice thing about this section is that for the most part, John Frusciante doesn't use his fret hand thumb to play any bass notes.
This bridge section also includes another guitar layer using arpeggiated triads through liberal amounts of guitar effects. I will demonstrate that guitar part as well in the video lesson.
To end this lesson we will then take a look at the guitar solo. Frusciante keeps everything relatively simple here using just whole step bends and simple melodies.
I think this Can't Stop guitar lesson would be great for any intermediate level player or higher. It does provide some challenging rhythm guitar parts that just about any player would find valuable to practice.
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