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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: Developing Groove and Pocket

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[MUSIC]
One
of the points that I've tried to stress in
all these lessons so far is,
is what we'll call a rhythmic picking
hand.
What we're calling and we start these
exercises we,
we want to have a settled sense of how the
rhythm is falling in these notes.
One of the ways to communicate these kinda
tunes and flatpicking style of guitar is,
is to make it as, you know, what we call,
as groovy as possible.
Have a, have a, have a pocket that is
felt.
A lot of these tunes were originally
dances and
they're made to make people move.
And one of the things we discussed early
on of just rhythm.
[MUSIC]
and than going into an exercise and
how the bar are all eighth notes, you
know, one and two and.
[MUSIC]
And you sh-,
you can hear, and, and as a flat picker
you should be able to feel that pulse.
[MUSIC]
Right?
[MUSIC]
And so, and
when it comes to practicing some of these
exercises and scales that we have so far,
a way to kind of deepen your sense of
rhythm.
Take a, take a C-major scale.
[MUSIC]
With that sort of sense of of pulse with,
with, with the down beats are the down
strokes on the pick.
[MUSIC]
Right.
Da, da ,da, da.
[MUSIC]
And, the way I want you to practice.
All the, all the, all these exercises
scales need to musical and
our goal here is not just to run scales,
run scales, run scales, but,
try to, try to gleam some deeper musical
you know, lesson out of it.
And so the lesson here is, is, is just a
rhythmic feel, understanding what
different pulses feel like and do and so
we're just gonna be aware.
So let me show you this.
Here's a C-major scale.
I've got a metronome set at 70 and I'll,
I'll run some scales.
We'll start with a C.
I may, I may go to some other things but
I'll just show you how I think about pulse
and rhythm and groove and,
and what we'll call pocket and just all
the general sense of how things feel and
it, and it should translate fairly
obviously to the listener.
So here's a metronome at 70.
So a C scale.
[MUSIC]
With a consistent right hand, I'm trying
to emphasize the down beats.
[MUSIC]
Like that.
[MUSIC]
Make that obvious.
And so, a way to make that, that once you
sort of feel like your,
you've got that kinda working for
you a way to kinda go to another level of
how a pulse can feel differently.
And what it does is it sorta creates a,
a deeper sense of how to make all your
playing look rhythmic and feel rhythmic.
And, and, as you, as you, if you see my
right hand through anything I play,
hopefully you never see anything stiff and
rigid and, and
sort of, you know, forces the groove in a
certain sort of, you know,
militant kind of fashion where it always
sort of feels, has a certain swing.
And, and all these sorta deeper concepts
of how music can really feel, feel good.
So here's, here's the metronome again at
70.
[SOUND] And a simple way to shift a scale
around as you practice it,
is instead of dakka, dakka, from the top
of the scale,
make the second note of the scale the
downbeat.
So the first note is actually a pickup
eighth note so, three, four.
[SOUND] Three, four.
[MUSIC]
If you are doing that, once you,
once you have done it the first way, if
you start at that way you'll feel a little
bit differently about about how the how
the scale feels in your right hand.
It's all about sort of avoiding tension.
And it's, if you start this slow enough,
and you feel instead of.
[MUSIC]
Now you're sort of backwards,.
[MUSIC]
And it sort of gets back into the thing.
But it's, it's, it's mainly about the way
way this starts, and it's just,
you know, simple little things to sorta
guide you along practice,
practicing all these things and, and it
works with, with tunes.
And it's just, it's shifting awareness
away from certain ways to think about
downbeats to different parts of the bar
and it, and it kinda forces your
awareness into a different, a different
spot with your right hand.
But again, the goal is to keep things as
smooth as possible and
where the feel is consistent and
you can make these transitions
rhythmically as smooth as possible.
And I've got one more little thing to show
you about using your metronome after this.
[MUSIC]