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Dobro Lessons: Alternate Picking

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[MUSIC].
In this lesson here, I'd like to talk
about alternate picking.
As we get into our advanced curriculum,
we're developing speed.
We're starting to use some more advanced
right hand picking techniques.
And alternate picking is something that I
have tried to develop over the years,
and has really helped me increase my speed
and accuracy.
And gives me a whole new technique to use
to play all kinds of different melodies,
that before I was good at this, used to be
sort of inaccessible to me.
But this alternate picking technique is
really great on the Dobro.
And what it is, is it's really what you're
doing
is you're sort of emulating a flat pick
with two fingers.
So, I tend to use my thumb and my index
finger.
One for going forward, the thumb, and the
index for coming back.
And so, the idea here, is to,
[MUSIC].
Get this kind of effect, where you might
be playing,
multiple notes on the same string.
[MUSIC].
So, you can see how much that can open up
your playing as opposed to if you're
trying to do this all with one finger.
[MUSIC].
There's really a limit to how fast you can
go, but with alternate picking.
[MUSIC].
So with this alternate picking technique
[SOUND], you can really develop speed.
And if you watch my right hand here, I'm
not just using the fingers on their own.
I'm actually incorporating a little bit of
the wrist to get a little bit more power.
So you can see it's not just the fingers
going, cuz that doesn't give you that much
power, but if you incorporate the wrist a
little bit into a back and forth motion.
[MUSIC]
That's how this is gonna really get going
good.
[MUSIC].
So, you want your hand to be relaxed but
you kind of,
you get a little bit ridged with these two
fingers, and that's okay.
There's a little bit of movement in the
finger, but
not quite as much as there normally would
be.
Because you are essentially turning these
into a flat pick,
so a basic exercise might go like this.
[MUSIC].
And so if I'm going low to high, in this
instance, I'm leading with my thumb.
Meaning, the thumb is the first
finger to play a note,
[MUSIC]
and then,
[MUSIC].
It sort of makes sense to have the thumb
lead when you are going forward,
it's sort of the strongest finger, so.
[MUSIC]
But you can also depending on
the situation start with the other finger
index.
[MUSIC].
So you might wanna try it both ways
because you never know
when a situation in the heat of the moment
which one you're gonna need.
So, you might think, well, I'll always try
and do it leading with the thumb.
But, when things get down to it,
you're gonna wanna be as flexible as you
can with your picking.
So let's just go to the next exercise,
which is really similar, but
you're just playing two notes per string.
[MUSIC].
That's thumb leading, and then you can do
index leading.
[MUSIC].
Now sometimes if I'm on the highest string
[SOUND] I might use the thumb and
my middle finger like this.
[MUSIC].
Generally, I only use the middle finger on
the highest string.
[MUSIC].
So, that's another way you can get this
alternate picking happening.
[MUSIC].
And you can move the bar around, and just
experiment with that.
So, that's all just mostly on open
strings, except for that last exercise.
But you can use this to do scales and full
on licks.
Here's an exercise where we do that.
[MUSIC].
So I'm just doing my basic G major scale
but
it gets a little more complicated when I'm
doing all alternate picking.
[MUSIC].
So this alternate picking exercise can
really help you develop speed,
and I'll think you'll really find a lot of
use for this as you continue your studies.
>> [MUSIC]