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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: Picking Pattern - Exercise 3

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have one more exercise here to, to explore
this picking pattern.
And this is picking pattern exercise
I'll play it here at 80 beats a minute and
we'll talk about it in a little bit.
[NOISE] One, two, three, go.
So, you can, you can see, if you've worked
from exercise one to exercise three,
that there's a lot more challenge in this.
In exercise two we incorporated some
string changes and
kind of looked at more use of upstrokes,
but still not breaking the pattern,
even though we weren't playing every down
stroke or every upstroke,
we're still trusting it, and you'll notice
if you are to again print these out and
write it down, if you were to write on
every down stroke or every.
Every down beat, every number note.
A down, you know, an arrow and then an up
the ands you'll notice that this pattern
never breaks.
And so that's what we're trying to build
here with these,
with these exercises is build that trust,
that muscle memory.
That sort of machine-like repetition.
The automatic that's at the heart of a lot
of these grooves and
the heart of, of flat picking as a, as a
So, again, we're picking up with an and,
with the and of four, the last eighth
note of the bar with an open fourth
string,so that's gonna be an upstroke.
It sets up the down beat.
So it immediately instead of playing, you
know notice that the ties there,
where the ties are in the in the standard
notation there.
That, that tells you that you don't need
to play that note.
But, you know, trusting our rhythm, we're
still gonna kinda allow for it like this.
Notice that the I'm still playing.
And I do this and I've got this broken
down into a very slow pace.
But, but anytime that I'm playing and this
is what happens as you build this trust.
You, your, your hand feels that down beat
and, and your body feels that down beat.
And you respond naturally even though you
don't play it.
And the pattern's not broken but
you're still feeling the note that your
not playing.
But you're feeling as though it's there
and it's kinda again we're as,
as singers kinda time their breaths.
This is sort of the way we, we look at
phrasing with a flat pick.
So notice all of those beat two of that
first bar and beat four of that first bar
weren't played in there, it's,
it's this last exercise kind of challenge.
It's a little more of the up stroke.
It feels.
It will feel a little strange the first
few times you do this.
But then that's, that's good.
That's your, that's your body kinda
responding, your hands and
arms kinda responding to what this kind of
exercise is doing.
And we're just focusing right here on this
pick pattern, so.
The back end of,
of bar two there kind of allows your hand
to get back into a steady
stream of eighth notes.
And if it begins to feel like okay I can
sort of rest a little bit knowing that
I have a steady stream of eighth notes
that, that's a good feeling to have
because it means that you're, you're
discovering kind of how that groove is,
is becoming more established and how
you're learning to feel what you play.
For, especially in, in bar two.
all sort of sets up again in this, in this
downbeat of measure three.
And it's back to that.
Establishing a, a,
an upstroke there on the and of one.
The first ending here is an interesting
little bar as far as what the pattern
the way it goes.
It, it sort of pushes the, the end of the
phrase to to the eighth note,
to the and of two and so, usually where
these things we have a strong down beat on
beat three or beat one.
This makes the end of the phrase the
But again, we're not gonna break the
pattern, so here's the measure before.
And then back.
But notice, in that bar.
Down, or.
Two or three.
Three and four and.
So I'm, I'm not stopping my hand in, in
You want your, to work from your forearm
and allow your wrist to kinda respond
naturally as it would, even though it's
not being used at that given time.
You still want it to be sort of engaged
in, in the rhythm that's going on.
And that's, again, what leads to this
bigger, smoother picture of your playing.
Is awareness of spaces like this.
so that last measure at the second ending.
This is similar sort of a thing, where
there's a you, you hold the initial,
the first up stroke on the and of one.
And then the and of two, there's two up
strokes together based on our pattern.
So we have our three picking
pattern exercises here that are based on
the pattern that we discovered of down up,
down up, down up, down up, one and two and
three and four and.
Looking at eighth notes that way, again,
the goal here is to learn to feel what you
play and play what you feel.
Playing that's felt is more settled and
more relaxed.
There's less of you know, emphasis on, you
again we talk about the minutia of the
pick hitting the string.
We want to sort of step back a little bit
think more about bigger rhythmic ideas.
Bigger groove and pocket ideas.
And allow our pick and our wrist and, and
everything that, that needs to be sort of
loose and respond naturally.
Let it do what it needs to do.
And so again, working using a pick stroke
that's sort of based
back here like we discovered earlier for
the rest stroke with the forearm.
We're going to you know, commit to that.
And even though we're not playing every
note in this eighth note pattern,
in some of these later exercises, we
learned to trust those.
And when you feel those notes, even though
you're not playing them.
And the the exercise of doing that will
to to further deepen your sense of groove.
As if you're new to this it's a great
habit to instill right now.
If you're if you've been playing a while
not familiar with this it'll, it'll really
step up your playing in in a good way.
So so good luck with all these exercises.
Look forward to seeing some videos of, of
you guys working on these things.
I really want to know that, that students
are, are aware of this.
This is again such an important part of
flat picking as a discipline and
everything you do from here forward will
be based on this pattern.
So I look forward to seeing how you, how
you work with this, so
good luck with all this.