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Lyle Ronglien >> The Edge (U2) style >>

In The Style of The Edge (U2) - part 2

Lesson Sample

Lyle: This lesson is a continuation of part 1. During the first half of this lesson, I wont be using effects, but in the second half I will! Here's the jam track you need for the lesson:

Looping Sound Clip 1

Lyle: We are going to explore the rhythm style of U2's - The Edge. The jam track is a simple 8 bar jam, using 4 chords.

chord chart 1

Lyle: Here's the chords you'll need for this first part of the lesson:

Lyle: Some of these chords are easy and you might know them.

Lyle: I'll show you other ways to play them in a bit. Here's how these 4 chords lay out in the 8 bar progression:

chord progression chart 1

Lyle: The Edge uses strong 8th note and 16th note strumming patterns. Here's a couple video clips of this technique:

8th note strum pattern

16th note strum pattern

Lyle: Notice that my right hand (strumming hand) is the same motion for both the 8th note and 16th note strumming patterns in the videos. On the 8th note pattern, you'll use all down strokes. Just don't hit the strings on the way up. Try playing these chords and strum patterns with the jam track.

Lyle: The Edge likes to use suspended chords, like sus2, sus4. This means you take a regular chord which is built from the root, 3rd and 5th, and move the 3rd to the 2nd or 4th.

sus2 = root, 2, 5

sus4 = root, 4, 5

Lyle: Here's the next batch of chords I'd like you to learn:

Lyle: These sus chord offer a big sound.

Lyle: This next chord is like a sus2 but it's called an "add9".

Lyle: Root, 3, 5, 9

Lyle: Now you'll play the first 4 chords and insert these 4 chords like this:

chord progression chart 2

Lyle: As you can see in the chord chart, you are filling in the open measures with these sus chord variations. Here's a video of me playing this new chord progression:

suspended chords

Lyle: Hear how the addition of the sus chords bring this simple progression to life? There's more harmonic and melodic movement.

Lyle: OK, time for the Edge delay! This jam track is set for 125 beats per minute (bpm). Edge likes to use what's called a dotted eighth note delay setting so set your delay to 360 milliseconds (ms). The Edge sometimes mutes all the strings creating a sharp, percussive sound. Watch this video of this technique:

echo example - muted string rhythm

Lyle: The delay effect is a part of the Edge's style. The Edge also plays harmonics by gently sliding his muting hand over the strings while strumming the rhythm. This next video clip shows this technique over the open D string:

echo example - open 4th string harmonics

Lyle: The Edge also plays open string harmonics that create chords. Here's how to make a D chord at the 7th fret:

Lyle: To make this harmonic, lightly touch the string on top of the fret at the 7th fret and pluck. Here's a video of this example:

echo example - 7th fret harmonics

Lyle: Now I'd like to show you a couple more examples of how to play this chord progression using the techniques from above. First, here's a chord progression that's just a little different:

chord chart 3

Lyle: Using this chord example, with delay, here's a video showing a 16th note rhythm pattern:

chord progression 3 rhythm 1

Lyle: Next are two video examples. Rhythm 2 uses the muted string technique, rhythm 3 uses the 7th and 12 fret harmonics:

chord progression 3 rhythm 2  

chord progression 3 rhythm 3

Lyle: When playing simple chord progressions in the style of The Edge, it's always good to know different places on the neck to play the chords. Here's another look at this chord progression way up the neck:

chord progression 4

Lyle: Before I go, I'd like to leave you with....tonight's secret riff....

Lyle: Hope you can see the use of these techniques that define the Edge's style. Strong rhythms, sus chords and the use of delay to fatten it up, along with different chord variations that help give the song some dynamics.

Lyle: That’s all for this lesson. If you would like further study on this topic or any other topic, email me at for info on how you can get your own customized guitar lessons like this using Riff Interactive technology. Your private lessons can be downloaded to your pc for anytime, anywhere study. Thanks and see you at the next lesson. - Lyle


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