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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: Introduction to Improvisation in Bluegrass and Flatpicking

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[MUSIC]
Wanted
to speak a little bit about improvisation
as it applies
to being bluegrass guitar players and, and
flatpickers.
I feel like my improvisational style and
my general style of the guitar when it
comes to, you know, creating things,
creating solos on the spot is is based on
you know, it's
built on strong technique and a lot of the
things that we've tried to cover here.
And so my goal I feel like my solo's are
only as effective as my technique
is able to kinda support it.
And so and what I, what I'm, what I'm
looking for, for me when I feel like sorta
defines a lot of my style is that and my
goals, which will always be in control.
And what control allows me to do is if I
need to play fast, I can play fast.
If I, if I wanna play quieter and use
dynamics, use space.
My technique kinda gives me sort of a
complete tool bag.
And, and so what happens is I feel like
the music that I'm able to make whether it
be, you know, arranging a fiddle tune or
playing a rhythm part behind a vocalist.
Or blowing through chord changes, you
know,
at a high rate of speed at a bluegrass
festival.
I feel like I'm able to realize deeper
music and
it's all, all kinda based on a lot of the
strength.
And, and technique that we've talked about
here, and it's hard.
Bluegrass guitar is a hard thing, and
we're in the advanced section now.
And I think one of the things that I've
seen consistently in,
in a lot of guitar players you sorta
plateau when it's.
There's, there's a point in which your
technique kinda gets and
you still wanna solo but you feel like I
just can't keep up.
How do I build speed?
How do I, how do I build a sense that I
really gonna make in music here on
the guitar?
And it's a hard thing.
The, the guitar you know, getting it out
there is the,
is the out of all the bluegrass
instruments if you are in a band,
you realize that the, the guitar is the
quietest instrument.
And a lot of times it makes soloing hard
just how, when the other guys
just quieting down so you can hear a solo
it's kind of the,
the shift in that is, is just sort of
disconcerting.
And so one of the things about, you know,
strength and
control is that I don't want a bluegrass
band to feel that way.
Bluegrass to me, is, is, you know, like we
said earlier, it's emotional music.
And, and I really wanna feel it.
And I really wanna convey the, that
feeling to a listener.
And so, you know, it's, all, that's, all
that's a lot.
It's, it's a tricky thing.
All this, we're talking about like,
at this point we're talking about soloing
being a a blend of, of your mind and
your soul and your body, and it's kinda
what the way, you know, I basically what I
say about bluegrass guitar soloing it's,
it's a blend of all those things.
And not only a blend but it's a,
you can look at it as a tricky balance,
it's a tricky balance, it's hard to learn,
it's, it's, learn and maintain, it's the
kind of thing I'm always working on.
You'll never find any professional guitar
player that will say yes I
figured this out.
I know how to do it.
It's a journey.
And the journey is you know, is ultimately
what's you know,
the most fun of this thing.
All this process of, of making music in
this, especially in this style.
And so you know thinking about that I've,
I've found a few things that I think
are I've in my journey are, have found
that have been helpful to me.
And I wanna try, try to teach them.
We'll go through, there's a few things
here that helped that opened doors for me.
Opened my mind to different possibilities
on the neck of the guitar.
And once again you know, I felt like these
things coupled with as you know my
technique improving, I started, starting
hearing myself play better solos.
And, and so that's what I really hope for
this website, and.
So, as we move from here we're gonna keep
all that in mind, and so you know,
whatever I can do help you on your
journey,
I'm really excited about doing that.
[MUSIC]