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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: Opening Up the Fretboard

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Bluegrass Guitar

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Flatpick Guitar with Bryan Sutton. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Bluegrass Guitar Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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[MUSIC]
We've talked about,
three-chord bluegrass songs and we've got
three chord shapes that we're learning to,
to move up and down the neck.
A quick review.
[MUSIC]
And
kinda like we've done in, in other levels.
We're gonna look at some scale forms now
and
how they sort of apply directly to those
forms.
And it, and this is, this is directly how
I approach the fingerboard
when I'm soloing or pla, or playing
melodies up and down the neck.
This is a, a lot of what I base my thought
on.
And starting with this, with this form
here, the F form.
[SOUND].
[MUSIC]
A cho, a scale form that I look to,
to sort of spell, that helps spell that,
that, that chord form out.
[MUSIC]
Looking at,
basically looking at the notes that are
used, and not quite the fingering.
[MUSIC]
So most, most of these, these chord forms
again are are sort of launching pads, ways
to think about shapes built around these.
And, and.
And this again is, this is the way I think
about the fingerboard.
And so we looked at this chord shape.
And the scale shape that.
[MUSIC]
That kind of accompanies the, the,
that helps spell that out.
[MUSIC]
And again it's based on the G and the.
[MUSIC]
Because that's the F shape there.
It works right around this really hard F
scale that we showed you a minute ago
[MUSIC]
So out of here
it will be in the key of A again, in this,
this same shape.
F chord shape.
So the scale here.
[MUSIC]
Right?
There's, there's that same, that same
chord shape that, you know?
There's a lot of stretching down here.
It's actually a little easier to play.
But because it's closed, you can, you can
move it up and down.
So that's, that's a closed scale shape
from the way it moves.
And how it applies directly to that shape
with this.
[MUSIC].
This basic scale shape that's covered
earlier.
And this basic scale shape.
[MUSIC].
[MUSIC]
So that's how you know,
the first shape that those are two scale
forms for the for the first shape.
The next, the next shape is this what we
call the D shape.
[MUSIC]
There and we and
already sort of alluded a little bit to to
how a scale form applies to that.
[MUSIC]
So
if we're up here now looking at that's an
E chord with that shape.
[MUSIC]
Right.
So all out of that
[MUSIC]
it's a that,
that's a really powerful position for, for
playing fiddle tunes and
improvising and bluegrass that we'll get
into later.
[MUSIC]
Which in the earlier lessons was the
closed D shape.
[MUSIC]
And so you know,
that applies directly to that chord shape
as well.
[MUSIC]
And as we, as we move around we'll,
we'll use we'll be able to use that a lot.
And the third shape.
As we're calling the A shape as it moves
up the neck.
Has, has like the first one it also has
two forms.
And in expanding the chord, the chord
form.
Again, some of these chords it's more or
less almost a shorthand or a, or a way to
just to sort of approach a bigger idea.
And the bigger idea here with the chord.
[MUSIC]
Because we have our A shape down here.
[MUSIC]
With this with the low fifth and the, and
the below the root if you apply that here.
[MUSIC]
And also,
because we have an open A down here.
What we can do is, you know, basically
looking, we can find that shape as well.
And this is, this is how these shapes sort
of expand into bigger ideas.
And this is, this is what I do here.
So out of, out of this kinda concept
that's all sorta built from here.
We have this chord shape
[MUSIC]
All, all those,
all those notes are in there, so as I'm,
if I'm soloing say, out of, out of D.
We're playing a song out of D.
And, and, or, you know, improvising.
I know I have all these notes to sort of,
to work from.
[MUSIC]
And
it's all based out of what we can say,
when we worked on the C.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
The shifting and everything.
So that's, that's based out of that.
Also another form of this.
[MUSIC]
Is a, is a sort of a cousin to that F,
that really sort of mean F shape down
here.
[MUSIC]
Starting here.
[MUSIC]
I'll run through that one slower.
[MUSIC]
And so once again it sort of passes
through.
[MUSIC]
Like that just sort of defines the middle
of those two cho, of those two scale
shapes.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
And notice for
here I'm gonna start on the fifth string.
[MUSIC]
So
that's a lot of information packed in
there, but again, this,
we're, we're starting to unlock some doors
now, in in how to, how to really make
some music up and down the fingerboard of
the guitar and so what I've got.
Next are a few exercises just to kind of
hone in some of these ideas of how these,
how these shapes can kind of connect a
little bit more musically and
we'll get into that now.
[MUSIC]