Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

The 'Ruffians' Rhythm

Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

The 'Ruffians' Rhythm

Article excerpt

On the surface, Ray Wylie Hubbard's guitar on "Stone Blind Horses," from his new album, The Ruffian's Misfortune (Bordello), might not seem particularly striking. But upon closer listening, the accompaniment on this song and elsewhere on the new album is teeming with the sort of details that make it a textbook example of great rhythm work.

The song finds Hubbard making the most out of five simple open chords-Am, C, G, D, and Em, which, due to a capo at the second fret, sound a major higher (Bm, D, A, E, and Ffm, respectively) than fingered and written. Glance through the chords before you dive in to the song. Note that on the C grip, wrapping your thumb around the neck to fret the chord's fifth (the third-fret G) will add fullness to the sound, but if this feels too awkward, you can just play the C chord in the more standard way, omitting the sixth string. …

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