In Webisodes 3 & 4 (Tuning & Picking) of my Bluegrass Guitar Essentials series, you’ll learn about the various Tuning tips I've picked up over the years such as:
You’ll also learn the fundamentals of getting your picking and fretting hand in sync with the use of various techniques such as:
Lastly, we'll cover some helpful picking exercises in the most popular keys/chord positions for Bluegrass Guitar: G, C, & D.
You're sure to improve your speed, dexterity, and coordination by the time you've thoroughly practiced and applied all the techniques I show you in this course.
In this section, you'll learn the way I approach tuning my guitar and how to tune your guitar using clip-on, vibration-based tuners. I'll also share with you why you should only consider your tuner as a guide and not a definitive tool of tuning mastery.
Note: Make sure to download the companion ebook in the resources section of Lecture 2. Follow along with it as you complete each lecture in this course.
What happens if your clip-on tuner battery dies and there are no other means of tuning your guitar (piano, pitch-pipe, tuning fork, etc.)? You use the Relative Tuning Method!
In this section, I'll show you how to implement the Relative Tuning Method for the best results.
Ever had some of your guitar strings just refuse to get in tune? I'll show you what I've discovered to whip those pesky strings into shape. (Use the "Relative Tuning Method" handout in the previous lecture's resources for a visual explanation.)
In this lecture, you'll finally understand why you can't seem to get those fast licks and phrases under control. Why do you crash and burn in the middle of a solo?
You might be surprised to find that the key to increased picking speed is not your left (fretting) hand, it's your right (picking) hand!
Here's where we'll train your right hand to recognize eighth notes for stabilizing and synching your natural rhythm with your picking hand.
In this lecture, you'll learn how to make your phrasing even smoother and play licks and solos faster with the aid of such tools as:
Pay close attention because some of the downstrokes and upstrokes are eliminated when you incorporate these into your playing.
We're about ready to begin the picking exercises! Just a few more thoughts that will help you know what to expect before we move along.
From here on out, please pay close attention to the picking hand! I know it's easy to get caught up in all the cool things the fretting hand is doing, but this section is all about getting your picking hand under control...so look at it from time to time.
Note: In this section I accidentally refer to the fiddle tune "Beaumont Rag" when what I meant to say was "Texas Gales." The technique used when I refer to this can also be found in many other fiddle tunes like "Black Mountain Rag."
To begin your picking exercises, I'll show you some basic picking drills that mostly involve the open strings.
Learning how to hop from string to string is so important because it allows you to know which string you are on at any given time without having to look at your picking hand.
Not having to constantly check to see which strings you're playing plays a huge role in increasing your picking speed.
DO NOT SKIP OVER THIS LECTURE!
The main chord positions for Bluegrass guitar are G, C, and D. In this, and the following three lectures, I'll show you some picking exercises that can also serve as potential licks and phrases.
For this and the following lecture, we'll discuss exercises in perhaps the most widely used chord position in all of Bluegrass guitar: The G position.
Next up is the remainder of the picking exercises in G position. Only this time, I'll share with you one of the secrets that's had a profound impact on my own personal playing.
It's a technique I call "Backtracking," and it all has to do with switching the direction of your picking.
Now we come to the picking exercises for the C position. It's important to know how to do some of the same licks and phrases in more than one key; that's why you'll recognize some of these exercises as being very similar to the ones we covered in the G position.
This is all to set you up for a very basic, yet very important concept: Once you can perform many licks and phrases in multiple keys, the sky's the limit to what you can do in just about any song or fiddle tune!
The great thing about the picking exercises in the D position is that you have access to many of the open strings as well as some great fretboard real estate that comes with the D position.
Be on the lookout for a new way to play the D chord. This new D shape will aid you tremendously in the coming webisodes, especially where scales and chords are concerned.
The last exercise I cover in this lecture is a doozy—even for me—so be sure and practice, practice, practice. Remember, it's all about gaining control over the mechanics of picking, so don't forget to pay attention to the picking hand!
In the outro at the end of the video, I'll share with you what to expect in the next installment of webisodes, should you decide to further your Bluegrass Guitar education, so be sure and watch all the way to the end.
Answer these questions to help you retain the information you've already learned.
I have been teaching guitar online since YouTube first became popular back in 2007. To date, I have completed two MASSIVE courses for guitar entitled Texas Blues Guitar by Eric Beaty and Bluegrass Guitar Essentials.
Now, I'm in search of a place to host multiple future courses related to guitar, and perhaps business and writing. Basically, all the free videos I upload to YouTube don't really contribute to my overall financial health, so I'm looking for better avenues to support my family without sacrificing the desire to help others enjoy the benefits of learning new skills.