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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: Hammer-Ons: Exercise 1

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Bluegrass Guitar

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[MUSIC]
Okay,
we're going to jump in here with an
exercise and you can download tab for
this and read along with me.
It's a exercise for, or for learning
hammer-ons.
And we've, I've mentioned before that a
lot of these basic scale forms and
things that we've worked on earlier are
gonna start applying to tunes and
things that we're learning later.
[COUGH] And so what we're gonna do now is
combine.
We just learned about hammer-ons, a
concept a, about them.
And we're gonna, this exercise works
basically right out of a G
pentatonic scale.
And so here's what's going on.
So the, the as you, if you're looking at
the tab there.
I'll show it to you slowly.
Starts on the low G.
[MUSIC]
And then we play the open A.
All these are downstrokes as well.
[MUSIC]
Into the open A, the hammer-on is B.
[MUSIC]
I'm not playing the B.
The, the finger's doing all the, all the
work there.
[MUSIC]
That's within so we're following the G
pentatonic pattern and if he had just to
get your hands familiar we can run that.
[MUSIC]
All right,
so I'm gonna read through the exercise now
with that, that basic pattern in mind.
Here's the, a picked G.
[SOUND] Pick on the A.
[SOUND] Hammer on to the B.
[SOUND] Pick on the open D.
[SOUND] Hammer on E.
[SOUND] Pick on the G.
[SOUND] Hammer on to the A.
[SOUND] Pick on the B, open B.
[SOUND]
And then open E.
[MUSIC]
To G.
And then an open E.
[MUSIC]
And then we work our way back down.
[MUSIC]
And
this is a little bit of a, a, more of a
pattern picking kinda thing.
Where we play a, a.
The open D after this first hammer on.
[LAUGH] And then the low G to end the
exercise, and
once again when I'm hammering on, I'm not
playing the note at all.
You can see all that, all that note is
made just made with the,
with the you know the left hand.
And so we're gonna add a little bit of
rhythm but
before we do the concept of, the next
level of concept,
once we, once you sort of get used to how
these hammer-ons feel and
how they sound and again the goal is to
try to make each note consistent.
You know every, every note you wanna play
in flatpicking especial,
at least starting out, needs to have, have
sort of a glide effect.
Of a, of a at least consistency of note
value and volume and tone.
And so those, those, those are things to
build.
It may not happen at, you know, at first
but it's certainly a goal and [COUGH] so
as we, I'm going to show you this exercise
at 50 beats a minute,
we'll start the metronome now.
[SOUND] And so here's what it sounds like
in rhythm.
Three, four.
[MUSIC]
One more time.
[MUSIC]
All
right.
So, so
that's the exercise at 50 beats a minute.
And one of the things you want to think
about as you practice is
is not trying to force the note with a
metronome.
You may, you may play a little bit of
rhythm.
Like, we'll start the metronome again at
50.
I'll show you,
this is a good way to practice all these
exercises that we're gonna do in songs.
So, here's some boom truck, boom chuck, at
50 beats a minute.
When you feel like you're kinda locked in
with the metronome then jump in.
[MUSIC]
So
the next challenge we'll stop the
metronome and
we'll put it put it at 7, or 60 beats a
minute.
How about 60.
We'll add a, add ten beats a minute and
we'll make it a little more challenging.
And so here's what that sounds like.
[SOUND] And we'll start.
Again, that we want our, our, our, our
approach to, to flatpicking to,
to try to start as, as, you know,
naturally and loose as possible.
So here's some rhythm.
[MUSIC]
And here's the exercise.
Three, four.
[MUSIC]
All right, so that's great.
And so what I'm, basically what I'm trying
to do,
the two things that I think are the, the
key elements of,
of an exercise like this first is, is the
sense of of, of rhythm.
We talked about having a rhythmic picking
hand, even when you're not just strumming.
Applying those same concepts and applying
that feel.
Physically with how your hand feels when
it's playing rhythm.
You wanna build a technique to where it
feels,
feels similar when you're playing playing
single note lead.
And so that's, that's what I'm thinking
about rhythmically.
And as far as tone and the, and the sound
I'm producing,
I'm thinking about making those hammered
notes as loud as the pick notes.
So one of the things you may work on is
actually playing a little more forceful
and, and really, you know.
One level trying to, trying to, you know,
produce a lot of sound.
[MUSIC]
You know,
you can overemphasize it when you're
practicing.
Or, you know really, and really listen
for, for where for
what your hands are doing.
You know, if it's if you feel like the
notes aren't consistent you know,
just go back to working.
[MUSIC]
And
one of the reasons that we're using this
pentatonic scale is that hopefully by now,
you know, you've, you've practiced these
things and, and
it's just basically along that form,
nothing's gonna change about that.
We're just, we're applying applying
embellishments and
really making the flatpicking style, you
know, take off with these kind of,
we've kind of, with these kind of things.
So we've got a couple more embellishments
to get into, and we'll move there now.
[MUSIC]