Cory Wong of Vulfpeck on His Funky Right Hand Picking Technique | Reverb Interview

(slow instrumental music) – Hey, I’m Cory Wong, thanks for joining us. (funky instrumental music) Well, I play guitar
with Vulfpeck, I am the rhythm guitar player. And, also, one of the fun
things with that band, and one of the fun things that
I do as part of my sound, is kind of bringing rhythm
guitar to the front. In certain aspects, rather
than just, like, when somebody thinks of lead
guitar, they think of this sort of stuff. But, a lot of just the rhythmic
things are what kind of gets brought to the front
with what I’m playing. So, it’s not necessarily
lead guitar or lead guitar, but a lot of the way that my guitar stuff comes to the forefront is still within the rhythm guitar context. (funky instrumental guitar music) I mean, I think a lot of
my right-hand stuff, a lot of it, it’s just really
loose in the wrist, and it comes from a lot of years
playing acoustic guitar. And, kind of, bringing
together some of just the traditional electric guitar rhythm with acoustic guitar. I don’t know, Nile Rodgers
meets Dave Matthews meets Dave Williams, or something. There’s a lot of different
right-hand techniques that I’ll use. Like, for instance,
for the accurate stuff, if I’m going. (funky instrumental guitar music) I’m thinking more just
one string at a time. But, sometimes I’ll open
that up, the same part. (funky instrumental guitar music) Which, on its own, sounds
sloppier there, but in the context, adding
some of the extra string percussive sound maybe
adds, like, a, a shake or a sound along with the guitar part. And, then even, even further. (funky instrumental guitar music) Even when I’m, the. I’m not just thinking really
accurate on that string, I’m thinking, kind of hitting all these bottom four strings. But really, only letting this one note. Rather than. (funky instrumental music) I’ve developed this
certain technique where basically once I start. (funky instrumental guitar music) What I do is, I take
the bones in my hand and I turn it into cartilage. And, I just turn it into
straight cartilage and let it go loose. (funky instrumental guitar music) And then, if you let it go really loose, you can go fast. (funky instrumental guitar music) That sort of thing, so just really loose in the wrist, and constantly up down, up down, up down. Even, whether I’m playing
or accenting a note or not, just thinking about. (funky instrumental guitar music) When I was in high school
and college, I played in drumline, where it’s
like shifting accents. On the down, on the E, the and, the uh. Switching off accents, so I have a lot of practice, like, mindfulness practice of where to place accents. But, as far as doing it
on guitar, it was just thinking more musical and musical phrases. I played a lot of disco
music, I played a lot of just R&B and funk music with groups. One way that I can describe
it is, like, things coming in and out. So, terracing, something
coming in, stair stepping, parts coming in, parts leaving. Whether it be a shaker
part coming in, or just the keyboard coming in,
or something like that. But, so, my own parts,
I will think about them as far as, like, if I’m muting something. Or, if I’m playing it more open. And then, also just the
number of notes and where I’m playing it on the neck. I normally just try to think
in a number of phrases, how dynamically, it just
pokes out through the mix. That sort of thing, so. (funky instrumental guitar music) Range has to do with
dynamics, how it a whole part pokes out. But, single no verse. (funky instrumental guitar music) And then there. (funky instrumental guitar music) That sort of stuff. That’s kind of how I
build my rhythm parts, stair stepping from one
section to the next. (funky instrumental music)