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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: Adding Attitude

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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're gonna
continue to add to a lot of the real tools
that I use for improvisation.
We covered relative minor [COUGH] and some
of its, you know, expanded forms and.
At this point, I'd like to just go over a
few things we're talking about what makes
bluegrass bluegrass and specifically with
guitar soloing.
And some of the things that we can use to
kind of add, add personality.
Bluegrass is all about being being, you
know, hard driving and
how lonesome, and mournful and sad.
And, and you think about a lot of the
blues, elements that are, at play here.
And we also, you know, when you think
about that you can't,
the great thing we have, a great tool,
another great sorta resource are all,
you know, a lot of great recordings, and
you think about a lot of the influences.
And so, when I think of directly about my
style with improvisation,
I have to you know, think about a lot of
the greats.
Tony Rice, Clarence White, Charles
Sawtelle is another guy that just,
was a great improviser, you never knew
what he was gonna do,
it was always going to be something
special and powerful and.
So, what we are gonna get into you know,
again, just opening doors,
showing you a few things here's some
ideas.
We're gonna add, have some exercises
later, you know, so you guys can work on,
you know, trying some of these things but
here's here's a few things.
So we talked about in bluegrass.
[MUSIC]
Kind of based out of G at this point.
[MUSIC]
And
some of the the concepts with relative
minor.
How with, with that G form, there's no
thirds, and so some of the minor and
major stuff works.
And so, knowing that, how the.
[MUSIC]
How all those notes work for,
you know, to kind of basically lay the,
lay the foundation for
at least a solid note choice in bluegrass.
So, how do you go from that to creating,
you know, interesting lines with,
with the music?
And, and to make real appropriate sort of
bluegrass kind of sounds.
You know, I'm thinking of [COUGH] guys
like, Tony Rice.
One of the things that he's sort of known
for, and you know, applies,
you know, a lot and just right back with
our.
[MUSIC]
Minor pentatonic basic form
[MUSIC]
Is his use of, of, of color notes.
And, so what that does is, it adds a
little bit of flair.
We talk about attitude here.
Adding attitude and, and a sassiness in a
certain bluesy kinda twist about things.
And so one way to get that immediately
within this scale form.
[MUSIC]
We got the one and
the flat, flatted seven there, and then
the fifth for a minor pentatonic.
[MUSIC]
And this flatted fifth, in the key of G.
It's this D-flat or C-sharp.
[MUSIC]
You can hear how that connects that whole
scale form from this.
[MUSIC]
To if we added
two of those flatted fifths.
[MUSIC]
And because we're in G, and, and
we're in bluegrass, and some of the minor
and major stuff kinda works, you get.
[MUSIC]
So,
as you can see, just within that basic
form there, a lot of that basic Tony Rice.
[MUSIC]
And then moving it up a neck.
[MUSIC]
And, and
bending is another another great attitude.
Adder.
[MUSIC]
Looking at where our D flat is.
[MUSIC]
So that again,
this powerful scale form here.
[MUSIC]
You hear Tony do that a lot.
[MUSIC]
And a lot,
a lot of blues based bluegrass guitaring
when there is bends.
[MUSIC]
So all that, all that does again,
we're just hammering home the concept of,
of how to make these solos.
You know, suddenly we've got, we've got
our legs.
[MUSIC]
And so now, we know how to use them.
[MUSIC]
And so
there, and now they're licks, there are
rifts and
there they're phrase enders and things,
you know, here's a big Tony Rice.
[MUSIC]
You know,
that's all based out of those things, and
so, as you're,
as you're working with that, just listen
to a lot of Tony Rice.
Listen to a lot of Clarence White.
Lot of more of the modern players.
Some of my stuff, if you got it laying
around, or Cody Kilby,
he's another great bluesy bluegrass
player, and.
So, those are, those are again opening
doors to different sonic ideas, and
so we got, I got one more beyond this to
cover, and we'll just continue and
kind of get in deeper and deeper into this
bluegrass sound.
[MUSIC]