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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: Advanced Slide & Crosspick - Exercise 1

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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]
Here is an exercise for
bluegrass guitar that deals with some of
the things that we discussed earlier about
cross picking and sliding and ways to sort
of smooth out,
just general approach to this style of
playing a guitar, but.
With the exercise here I'll show you some
ways to kind of shift the tonal center
that's sorta more appropriate for the blue
grass style.
You know, talk about all the colors of, of
the blue grass notes and, and
the bluesy aspects and how to, how to use
that.
And so, I'm gonna show ya just give you a
few examples here within this exercise of,
of ways to do that, and ways to
incorporate cross-picking into that.
And, and, how that can kinda smooth out
the sound of the guitar.
[MUSIC]
So, again, it's in G.
[MUSIC]
When it starts, there's a lot of,
a lot of quick sliding and, at least, I
think, in the guitar, in bluegrass.
It's bluegrass soloing so it picks up
right in with that.
[MUSIC]
That's the first bar.
[MUSIC]
And
it leaves that sort of modal sound right
there.
Which is real prominent.
And then this-
[MUSIC]
And,
that kinda, that kinda passes through.
[MUSIC]
You get more of a modal version of the C
with that A shape.
[MUSIC]
And, then down to the.
[MUSIC]
The B-Flat.
We talked about the how G minor and B flat
kinda work together.
In bluegrass.
[MUSIC]
One from the time from the top.
[MUSIC]
It's a pretty lonesome-sounding thing.
[MUSIC]
It sounds like an old mountain ballad.
One thing to remember like with everything
we talk about solid down beats.
Nice, easy obvious rhythms with your, with
your picking hand.
[MUSIC]
That time I didn't slide all the way up
from the C to the D.
I, I, I kind of threw in an audible there
and went, ahead and went to the open D.
After the the C sharp.
The, the flatted fifth.
We talked about how it's like lotta, lotta
the Tony Rice influence and, and
the way the flatted fifth kinda gives that
[MUSIC].
Now you will see that a lot so I, I I
decided to use that in there.
And feel free to to expand on this
yourself.
On that last last two bars.
[MUSIC]
And
as it sort of makes it as, because we can
go straight to an open string, it gives
that, that, element that we really like so
much of smoothing things out.
[MUSIC]
You know, that tension.
[MUSIC]
That's so prevalent in bluegrass.
So here it is one more time a little bit
quicker.
[MUSIC]
I kind of, I actually like it better a
little slower.
It's got a little more emotion about it.
It sounds a little more mountain.
A little more like old Stanley brothers
kinda.
Has that sorta attitude and vibe about it.
Maybe you can, hopefully you can hear the
difference.
It's, it seems like it lost little bit, a
little bit of that as I sped it up.
So something to remember when
when playing blue grass is it doesn't
always have to be fast and kinda furious.
It can also be slow and mournful.
And, this is an exercise where you can
kinda work on that,
work on the emotion of the piece.
So we got a couple more of these things.
I'm looking forward to it.
Now you can submit a video of I'd like to
see how you're coming along
with the slide and cross-pick bluegrass
ex, exercise here.
I can evaluate what I see.
What I am looking for is some of the
things we talked about when,
when we worked through the lesson and the
exercise, is how, it is kind of a lonesome
sounding kind of a thing, and again,
bluegrass is as much about attitude and
emotion as it is about strong, powerful
notes, and so.
This exercise is set up to kinda look at
some of those chord shapes and some,
chord shapes and some of those the way
those notes sorta roll around each other.
And, so, I'm really gonna be looking for,
you know you know,
the attitude behind things.
And and, and, it, it's, it's one of those
deeper levels of, of music making, now.
And and fe, and when, I can heard how
those those shapes.
And it's cross-picking, so there's a bit
of technical aspect.
So, I'm looking for, you know, the
complete picture of how the technique and
the, and the attitude behind the music
that you're trying to deliver is,
is working or not.
And I look forward to seeing that and
evaluating and giving some feedback.
[MUSIC]