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New Song: Sharp Dressed Man for Guitar, Bass, and Singing

Posted on July 22, 2019

Let’s play this groovy blues-rock classic! You’ll notice the song has a strong driving rhythm that really makes you tap your foot. If you listen to the drumbeat, you’ll hear the bright crack of the ‘snare’ drum on beats 2 and 4. This is an incredibly common and important rhythm – it’s called a ‘backbeat’, and is the core rhythm of most modern music. If you clap your hands on 2 and 4, you’ll hear what it’s all about.

“Sharp Dressed Man”, made famous by ZZ Top, is now available in Yousician for Guitar, Bass, and Singing.

Sharp Dressed Man for Guitar
by: James Neilson, Music Education Designer for Guitar

In the basic riff exercise (level 4) you’ll play a simplified version of the original guitar riff, using single notes and power chords. There are some quick notes, so make sure you start slowly and learn part by part.

In the full rhythm exercise (level 8) you’ll play the original rhythm guitar part. On the recording, there are two different guitars playing, but in this exercise, we’ve arranged it for one guitar, which is the way it’s typically played live. Try using hybrid picking (pick + fingers), especially when jumping back and forth between different strings. Also, in some cases, it may be easier to use the thumb to fret the low E-string (especially on the 8th fret).

The rhythm & lead exercise (level 10) combines the awesome original riffs and solos! Solo 1 is originally played using a slide (in “open E” tuning), but here we’ve arranged it for normal playing in standard tuning. In both the rhythm and lead parts, it’s worth using hybrid picking (pick + fingers) in many sections, e.g. when jumping back and forth between strings, or playing double-stops.

Sharp Dressed Man for Bass
by: Vellu Halkosalmi, Music Education Designer for Bass and Ukulele

The basic bassline exercise (level 2) is the ultimate “walking fingers”-exercise. Focus on getting a consistent sound and timing with both your index and middle fingers of your plucking hand. If you feel it, you can also make some ZZ Top-moves 😀 (swinging the neck of your bass back and forth every 1st and 3rd beats)

The full bassline exercise (level 5) is a great “straight eight-note”-groove with a little “octave” twist every now and then to make the bassline more interesting. Look out for some fast little position shifts along the way. After you get familiar with the song, you can try out playing it by heart while wearing some “cheap sunglasses” 🙂

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