This is a public version of the members-only , at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of .
Join Now

Basic Guitar
Intermediate Guitar
Advanced Guitar
The Improv Workshop
30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: Crosspicking - Etude 1

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials Quizzes
information below Close
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +

+Basic Guitar

+Intermediate Guitar

+Advanced Guitar

+The Improv Workshop

Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   
Bluegrass Guitar
information below Close
Course Description

This is only a preview of what you get when you take Bluegrass Guitar Lessons at ArtistWorks. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
Here's an etude for cross picking.
It's a way to isolate cross picking as
it's kinda commonly
used in tunes like Beaumont Rag.
And so it's, it's a sort of an etude or
exercise that I've written that will,
you know.
The first half is fairly common sounding.
The second half of it gets a little more
We'll give you a lot to work on.
I'll play it here at 70 beats a minute and
then kind of talk through it.
One, two, three.
Right there.
A good bit of challenge again the first
half if you're familiar with tunes like
Beaumont Rag it's real common you know
we're using an alternating picking stroke.
You've heard that a lot.
Kind of uses out of a G, G nine,
Kind of pivots this open G
with the second fret, A.
And you do more of a C shape.
And a way
to think about this as far as practice,
again, these down beats are strong.
You want to sort of feel that role.
You know, the more you can the more you
can think about the, the, the you know,
sustained ring that's possible with these
the more effective this cross picking
style is.
Now, we get into the back half there
starting on what is bar six on the tab
incorporate some hammer ons in cross pick.
And we've got some other exercises on the
site with cross picking with hammer ons,
and this kind of puts it into a little
You know, musical phraseology, if you
It's a,
it's a lot of work on your, on your
fretting hand right there.
The goal, again, with, with hammer ons and
pulls offs are we really want to use them
as well timed legato effects.
So, we're not gonna be playing every note.
We're using the hammer-on, to establish
the pocket of that bar.
then the pull-off at the end of the bar.
It might be a good thing at this point,
you know?
That bar just right there is a good thing
to isolate.
And like we've talked before about
our picking pattern and, and the relaxed
nature of what we want to feel in our,
in our forearm.
That's really gonna make the a little
phrase like this pop like it should.
Cuz again, it's a coordination in in what
your left hand or your fretting hand and,
and your picking hand is doing.
And the more you can sorta relax and
trust that the more consistently rhythmic
that you're playing will be.
Especially with crosspicking stuff like
So you know, as it works the first half
is, is something that sorta isolate and
now we're into this back half and we got
some new challenge here.
The bar seven of this kinda gets back into
little bit of a respite back into some of
the, the way we'd work before but.
Right here.
And now back into some hammer-ons and
some string changing.
that kind of climbs through a, a basic C
With that A as part of the C sixth
kind of sound.
And all these, as
far as these little two bar segments, you
can isolate these as individual exercises.
This is an A tune that sort of exists of a
collection of three or
four individual things you could work on.
That provide good challenge for
Again, the bar eight, up.
So working our way up to that high C note
sort of sets us up to climb into the,
the, the F, F chord shape there.
Now our, I'm leaving my index finger down
as much as possible again this idea with
cross picking is to try to create as much
sustain as possible.
So the more you can leave your fingers
down on the, on the fret board the better.
Notice I keeping all that down.
Now we're in the back
the home stretch here.
Now for an extra little bit of challenge,
I threw in some yet another, kind of, left
hand bit of madness there.
With this, this D7 chord.
If you've played Daley's reel.
On this site, with this,.
It's another way to use that
kind of d seven.
It's another way to use that kind of d
Kind of a shape.
And you, you'll, you can see this in,
from, some tunes actually use this as a,
the melody, of, as, as the phrase ends.
You know, it comes from the,
the ragtime tradition.
So the bar before that.
So what I'm gonna do during that
the bar before this
This shape here,.
I'm gonna start making that move,
cuz again we want these, talk about smooth
transitions, and smooth transitions from.
What is that, bar 11 to bar 12?
I don't wanna wait till the downbeat
of that bar to have to shift,
and that's gonna cause me to lose the
rhythm right there.
So, I've gotta, I've gotta settle myself
through practice of this,
I mean isolate ri, isolate that spot right
In a commitment to a full sustained ring.
As you practiced that is, is going to
So there's, there's a lot in this back
half to just,
You know two bars at a time kinda, kinda
isolate that's gonna.
As far as the, the approach of cross
picking this is, this is a good challenge.
One more time from the top, real slow
It's a challenging little piece but
again in this interest of
sort of finding what's
ways to work on aspects
of flat picking like cross
picking or hammer-ons or
pull-off slides.
Embellishments like that.
This is a, a good thing to practice.
Again be, be aware of hammer-ons and
pull-offs and their role in keeping the,
the consistent groove.
Understand with your pick even though
there's a roll,.
Within this, within the cross-picking,
their are strong downbeats,
strong melody notes that need to be,
emphasized, especially on that
You can kind of hear that, and, and
in the back half.
And right here.
There's a bit,
enough of a melodic thread through all
that to where it kind of makes sense.
And so it may help you to kind of as you
work through this, to sort of sing along
a little bit and, and recognize that you
know, work, work slow through this.
I'll look forward to seeing how, how, how
everybody kinda deals with this.
And I'll look forward to getting some
videos, and, and, and
working through this etude, so, thanks,
good luck.