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Electric Country Guitar Lessons: Hybrid Technique: Block Chord Basics

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Country Guitar with Guthrie Trapp. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Electric Country 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]
Okay, we're ending the, we're coming
to an end of the beginning
curriculum here,
and I hope everything has been fun so
far, and
that we've made some progress.
We've covered a lot of
fundamentals that are gonna be
crucial to the next chapters
of this lesson series.
And then getting into playing
some real awesome country guitar
styles here of myself and people that
I've been influenced by over the years.
And it's such a fun style
of guitar to play and
it is a very intricate style and
it takes some work.
It's not an easy thing, but with these
fundamentals that we've covered in
the beginning lessons here, you've got
a great groundwork and a great foundation.
And some framework to be able to have
what it takes to move on here and
go into these next lessons.
So the last thing we're gonna do here is
we're gonna go into an introduction of
the hybrid technique
which is a huge part of
playing the country electric guitar and
I'm sure if you're here
watching this video,
that you're aware of this style.
And it's, what it is,
it's a pick and fingers technique.
So, you're playing with the pick but
you're also incorporating your, the
fingers that are left free on this hand.
So your middle finger and ring finger and
even your little finger, we'll get
into some stuff in the more advanced
sections on how to utilize that finger.
But now we're gonna do two exercises
that we're gonna incorporate
using the pick and the first finger,
the middle finger, and
then we're gonna do the pick and
using both of these fingers.
And we're gonna do just some real
simple exercises that are gonna be able
to give you a foundation
of this technique.
And just let you kinda see how
this works and what it looks like.
So this is what the hybrid technique is.
It's pick,
[MUSIC]
and then striking the string,
[MUSIC]
with the open finger.
And what I like to do just to get
you up to speed on how this works.
I like to use a little bit
of my natural fingernail.
And just keep it nice and
smooth with a fingernail file.
I've never been into using fake nails.
A lot of guys that play finger-style and
do Chet style and
different things like that,
they'll use fake fingernails.
I've never liked doing that, and
I don't even think I've tried it but
I've always liked just to
use my natural finger nails.
This one has gotten pretty long but
it's nice to have a nice rounded
edge on the finger nail and
then I'm using a combination of
the finger nail and the flesh behind it.
[SOUND] So
one kind of reinforces the next, so
you're not breaking your fingernail off.
But you're not just
using your nail as well.
So it doesn't sound [SOUND],
it's more [SOUND].
You're using a little bit more of
your flesh to kind of pop the string.
And that's
like a
[MUSIC].
And that's where the chicken picking
style comes from basically is
popping with that middle and ring finger.
So the way that I approach this is
I like to keep my hand pretty close
to the strings, and that comes from
playing fast and more uptempo stuff.
You know, you wanna keep your hand,
and it's more efficient as well.
Keep your hand pretty close,
these fingers kind of naturally curve in.
And that gives you a great little
approach to be able to do this.
So what's gonna happen here is
you're gonna pluck, we're gonna work
in the low E string, low E chord
with these two note block chords
kind of like what we used with the Luther
Perkins examples that we did earlier.
So this will be, [COUGH] pluck the string
[MUSIC],
Pluck the string with the pick.
[MUSIC]
And
then hit the high octave E
with your middle finger.
So, that'll go
like this,
[MUSIC]
[SOUND].
And what you wanna do is this,
what I'm saying is these free fingers,
they naturally curl right up into your
hands so this is a very efficient move.
And you notice my finger's
almost not even moving.
[MUSIC]
So it's really just this
little minute movement.
[MUSIC]
And I'm popping the string pretty good.
Not too hard.
And you do, again,
the key word in all this stuff,
is you do just really wanna relax.
And almost is like a little
muscle memory that's
just gonna be this
[MUSIC].
It's a little movement.
This part of my finger
is hardly moving at all.
It's mainly just this
that's picking that note.
[MUSIC]
So that's how you do it with
just the first finger.
And there's different exercises we can do,
the first exercise where we'll just,
pretty much what we just did a minute ago
where we're hitting the low E string with
the pick,
[MUSIC]
and then striking the E octave with
the middle finger.
Now let's see if you can go do
this with me a couple times.
One, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
Okay, now we'll
do it one more time where
we're not syncopating.
That was a little bit
of a syncopated lick.
We'll do one more time
just going like this.
[MUSIC]
So one, two,
three, four.
[MUSIC]
Okay?
Now, let's do another one where,
another exercise where we're gonna
hit the low E [SOUND] string.
The high octave [SOUND] right there.
And then we're gonna hit the B string.
[SOUND] B note on the A string as well,
second fret.
So just bar that like we were.
So we're gonna go,
[MUSIC].
And what this is gonna do is just it's
gonna gain a little bit more control over
that finger.
To where you're actually having to move it
and hit another string and then move back.
So this will develop your
control over that middle finger.
So let's try this again,
we'll do this exercise a couple times.
Play with me along here on this, okay?
So we're
gonna go one,
two, three,
four,
[MUSIC].
Okay?
And just work on that.
It’s gonna take some time to
get that finger under control.
With those exercises, and just do it slow
you don't have to do it fast right away.
But that'll gain some control
over that middle finger.
And now we're gonna move on we're
gonna do a couple exercises using
both these fingers together.
And what this is gonna do is it's gonna
be great for enhancing rhythm playing.
And being able to get the funky snap and
pop of the country guitar
the chicken picking style.
And it's also gonna come in really,
really handy and
be super important when we start
getting into double stops.
And I'll be explaining that
too in the next section.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So we're gonna incorporate the pick and
then these two fingers, your middle and
ring finger, in these block chords.
And I'm just gonna show you a little bit,
how that works.
So what we're going to do is we're gonna
do the same kinda idea that we did just
a minute ago, with the pick and
the single finger, but
now we're gonna add both of these fingers.
[MUSIC]
So we're gonna go,
[MUSIC]
And I am palm muting a little bit
of this low E string.
If you can just rest that right there,
it's a great anchor spot, and
it makes this sound less like this
is the sound we're trying to avoid.
[MUSIC]
So we want, [SOUND] excuse me.
[MUSIC]
So
these two are gonna
ring a little bit more.
The D string and the A string
are gonna ring out a little bit more.
Then we're gonna focus on just muting
a little bit more heavily on the low
E string.
And that'll happen if you just
mute that with your palm,
like we talked about in previous lessons.
[SOUND] And if you do it and
this raises up a little bit down here,
[SOUND] I mean, it's hard to see,
cuz I'm doing this all with a really
close-to-the-strings hand
because everything's right here.
Nothing's flying out [SOUND] or
anything like that.
I'm staying,
[MUSIC]
I'm staying really close to the strings to
get a lot of power and
efficiency from playing close down here.
[SOUND] And
that's gonna come in handy when we
start playing stuff at faster tempos.
So with that being said,
this is almost gonna become one.
And this is gonna become a mechanism
that works together, these two fingers.
And they're gonna create
this power that is
gonna enable you to really [SOUND]
pop [SOUND] those strings.
[SOUND] And you don't wanna pop it too
hard [SOUND] to where it's obnoxious, but
just a nice.
[MUSIC]
Okay, so let's do this exercise
where we're playing this together.
And just practice on, even before
you start doing this up to time with me,
just practice going,
[MUSIC]
All right?
Now one thing I'm noticing that I'm doing
here, that I wasn't thinking about,
is when I'm hitting these strings,
[MUSIC]
They're gonna ring until I release this
pressure on my first finger
on the second fret, so watch.
[MUSIC]
So I'm stopping them from
ringing when I lift up this finger.
I don't even have to lift
it up off the fingerboard,
I'm lifting it up just off the fret.
So watch, here's ringing,
[MUSIC]
And here's
[MUSIC].
So if I lift it all the way up,
[MUSIC]
It almost creates a pull-off effect,
which you don't want.
So you just wanna stop the note,
which is like
[MUSIC].
So I'm hitting the note, [SOUND] but
I'm just lifting it up off so
it releases from the fret.
Cuz as long as it's on the fret,
[SOUND] I can do anything back there and
it's still gonna ring,
cuz it's stopping at the fret.
So as soon as I release,
[SOUND] let if up off the fret
[SOUND] just a tiny little bit,
[SOUND] it stops.
So with this technique,
[MUSIC]
You're pulling up just enough
to stop those strings from ringing.
And that's what gives you that effect.
[MUSIC]
Otherwise, it would be,
[MUSIC]
And you don't necessarily want that,
you want it to stop.
[MUSIC]
So one's kinda short, [SOUND] and
then one's a little longer.
[MUSIC]
And
that gives you a little bit
of a rhythmic sense also.
And we'll get into more of
that as we get down the line.
But for right now,
let's move onto this exercise.
And we're just gonna go,
[MUSIC]
We're gonna hit with this pick on the low
E string.
[SOUND] And then we're gonna pluck up on
the remaining A string and the D string.
The three wound strings, they're the only
thing that we're focussing on right now.
So let's do this, and I'll count us in,
one, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
Okay,
one more
time.
We'll do it a little bit faster,
one, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
Okay, now what I'm
doing is I'm letting these
two notes ring here,
[MUSIC]
Until I go back to hit the low string.
So,
[MUSIC]
So when I go back, when my thumb goes back
to hit the low string, my thumb and
first finger with the pick.
When I go back to hit the first string,
[SOUND] these two strings are being muted.
So it creates this.
[MUSIC]
So when I'm focusing on doing this
rhythm pattern, I'm going E string
[SOUND] and then the chord.
[SOUND] And then as soon as I go
back to hit the low E string again,
I'm muting these.
So,
[MUSIC]
And that's what creates this
rhythmic pattern.
And we'll get into more advanced stuff,
concepts and stuff, with that, too,
later on.
So I hope that helps.
[MUSIC]