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Mandolin Lessons: Down and Up Picking Basics

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[MUSIC]
Okay.
Time for some more melodies.
I'm gonna focus now on the right hand.
And as you learn these tunes, I'm gonna
insist that you
always keep your right hand moving down,
up, down, up, down, up.
And that's a mistake I see in a lot of
students, where they'll get
the pick going in the wrong direction,
sometimes for just one or two notes, and
it can really disrupt the flow of the
rhythm and how the swing happens.
So we're going to take a tune like Whiskey
Before Breakfast.
Down beat, down pick, up beat, up beat.
So if you have bong da da da da da bou da
da da da da da.
I wanna hear down, down, up, down, up,
down.
Down, up, down, up, down, down.
No matter what the string crossing is
I want the pick direction to correspond
with the rhythm.
Some people, when they're playing like on
a D string, because the pick is falling
naturally towards the A, they'll get two
downs in a row, for instance,
at that moment in the tune, because the
pick just naturally falls there.
But I want you to be true, and the best
way to do that is just get the hand swing.
[MUSIC]
And get a natural flow in your body.
And, and just have the right hand
correspond to that and
basically you're inserting where the ups
are.
Do ka duk a do, kuk a kuk a kuk kuk kuk
kuk a kuk kuk kuka gong gong.
Whatever it is, you, you keep that, that
down, up constant.
So here's Whiskey Before Breakfast, nice
and slow, at 50 and
really focus on the pick directions on
this.
[SOUND]
One, two.
One, two, three and.
[MUSIC]
Okay, I'll stop it right there, so
this opening phrase, down, up, down, up,
down, down, up, slide,
slide with a down, down, down, up, down,
up, down, up, down,
down, down up down, down up down up down
up down, down up down up down.
Down up down up down
up down.
So really focus on those.
So here's the B section, with the click.
One, to, three and.
[MUSIC]
Okay, and if this is confusing for you,
I was actually starting to exaggerate my
picking arm so
that you could really see the motion.
And one of the other things to help
alleviate this,
this problem is to play all the notes.
[MUSIC]
So
that what you end up with are ghost notes.
The notes that you're not playing, you're
kinda, we call them ghost notes.
So, at the beginning it becomes.
[MUSIC]
And those little.
[SOUND] That's my hand moving back and
forth, so you never lose that back and
forth.
[MUSIC]
Now that's tricky.
[MUSIC]
Your pick ends up in the middle of
the pairs of strings.
[MUSIC]
Down on the E.
Up on the A string.
So it's kind of counter-intuitive.
What you'll see some people do is they'll
flip the pick,
cuz it's kind of natural to go up on that
and down on that, right?
But in actuality, if we're following this
rule, it should be down, down up.
[MUSIC]
Otherwise we end up with.
[MUSIC]
And then we're upside down.
[MUSIC]
So
we have to do two downs in a row to
compensate and get ourselves flipped back.
So, those are the things to think about
when you're learning a tune like Whiskey,
with some syncopation in it.
So let's go now, we're going to bring the
tempo up if you're ready.
To, I think it's 60, and play Whiskey
before Breakfast.
>> One two three and.
[MUSIC]