Introduction To Bluegrass and Flat-picking

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INFO & EXPLANATION

THE PICK-STRUM METHOD

In this lesson you'll see one of the most common accompaniment techniques in Bluegrass and Country music, the Pick-Strum technique or method. The reason we call it this is because rather than strumming the full chord through to the next chord-change, you pick a bass note (one of the lower notes in the chord) by itself and then strum the upper notes of the chord followed by picking a different bass note and then another strum. Study the pictures and captions below.

PICTURES OF THE ALTERNATING BASS NOTES

Study the pictures below of your hand position for the C chord and the position of the 3rd finger when playing the alternate bass note, G, on the 6th string. Notice that the 3rd finger alternates from the 5th string to the 6th string staying in the 3rd fret. One little trick most bluegrass players use is to allow their 3rd finger to touch the string not being played with the 3rd finger. In the C chord example, the first picture shows the 3rd finger playing the 5th string and touching the 6th string. The second picture shows the 3rd finger touching the 5th string. The same thing holds true of the 2 pictures of the F chord.

The C chord
The C chord with the 6th string G bass note
The F chord
The F chord with the 5th string C bass note

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