Sick Riffs: Sam Cooper teaches you the lush CAGED chord progressions of Mt. Joy's Strangers

Sick Riffs #97: Mt. Joy's 2020 album Rearrange Us is a smooth, 13-track, guitar-sprinkled indie-pop-rock fest, and we're totally here for it. Its closer - Strangers - beautifully bookends the record, and features some silkily-played six-stringing and fantastic arrangements to boot.

Guitarist Sam Cooper joins us in today's episode of Sick Riffs for this humorous lesson on the track's smooth chord progression, which he plays using the CAGED system.

He plays a rather stunning 1969 Fender Jaguar electric guitar using the neck pickup through a Fender Deluxe Reverb amp. His pedalboard consists of an Electro-Harmonix Soul Food overdrive and a Strymon Big Sky reverb

"The coronavirus forced us to fly home in the middle of a tour and we’ve been here ever since," Cooper says. "I’ve just been trying to be patient and make the most of the time by writing and practicing as much as possible. Can’t wait to get back to playing shows as soon as it’s safe."

Support Mt. Joy

Sick Riffs is a Guitar World video series designed to help guitarists affected by the coronavirus. Self-isolating players around the world have each filmed a lesson where they teach you one of their own guitar riffs, up close and personal. If you dig the lesson, we encourage you to buy music and merch from the artist or stream their music.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.