If you are playing this on acoustic guitar then I would recommend playing the full barre chords in a bass / chord strumming pattern. The best way to learn that would be to watch Bruno Mars perform it on his acoustic guitar in the Billboard live performance. Keep in mind he is playing it a whole step down ( two frets ) so the Key of the song is A Major. For the regular version on electric guitar I would play only on the top 3 strings, clean tone, and a sharp attack for the reggae rhythm guitar.
The rhythm and accents of this solo is different from most classic solos because most of the accents are on the upbeat. Also the solo has lots of big bends so make sure you are bending to the correct pitch. This solo can take a while to learn so, I broke it up into 3 parts. I recommend learning how to play one part really good before moving on to the next part.
This Bob Marley song is one of the best reggae songs off his classic album “Legends”. The key to playing this song is using a sharp right hand attack for the rhythm part. The main guitar riff uses a palm muting technique, which is resting the right hand palm over the bridge of the guitar to dampen the sound of the strings. Listen to the rhythmic accents when you play along to this song.
To get that warm, organic acoustic guitar tone I am using my thumb to pick out the intro riff and strum the chords. I’m also picking closer to the bridge of the guitar for the strumming. These are the guitar technique’s Bob Marley used, as you can see in the video clip below.
I also am keeping my right hand in constant motion to keep the rhythm flowing. This is important to feel the pulse of the music and so your playing doesn’t sound stiff.
To get that funky sound you have to play really choppy and keep your right hand loose. Only hit 3 strings at a time and mute the strings with your right hand. For the reggae riddims and skank guitar check out my post on “how to play reggae riddims”