Flatpicking Guitar Network

For Fans of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

Hey FPers!

Could use some advice, or just start a discussion, on the merits of strum patterns that go both up and down, versus Boom-Chuck with straight down strokes.

I bring this up as I have recently broken the habit of resting my wrist on the bridge after many years of struggle.  The result is that I am faster, cleaner, and am now able to play with a heavier pick.  I now imitate the Brian Sutton model with a pinky posted to the pick guard.

While this has made my speed on fiddle tunes and single-note runs skyrocket, it presents problems with a strum pattern that calls for both up and down strokes.  If I stay with the classic boom-chuck -a bass note followed by a down stoke, it not a problem.  My timing is good, and the tone is clean.  I can keep the beat at even atomic-speed songs like "White House Blues".

But to get a nice sound on songs that use both up and down strums, I can't get the pattern without lifting my pinky and free floating.  I guess it isn't a real problem, as long as I'm keeping time, who cares?  But when watching videos of good rhythm players, I notice the pinky stays down all the time.

Any thoughts? 

Views: 178

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi! I'lm in a similar position as I recently started taking Bryan Sutton's online video lessons. So far, the experience has been transforming, but also difficult as I realized I had to unlearn a few bad habits. I, as well, used to rest my palm on the bridge, which gave me more control over hitting the right strings when flatpicking single notes and bass notes in strumming. But Bryan makes it abundantly clear in his lessons that it's a flawed technique, and he recommends a free-floating hand instead. Note that Bryan does not suggest to plant your pinkie in place. If I remember correctly, he says it's an acceptable way of doing things, but certainly not the preferred way. Now, when strumming and rhythm playing, you're not supposed to plant any part of your hand at all. Doing so will limit your range of motion and go against the "flicking water off your hand" motion that many flatpickers, including Bryan, advocate. I'm not sure where you got the impression of bluegrass rhythm players keeping their pinkie planted when strumming rhythm, because in all honesty, I can't recall a single time I ever saw that. So if that doesn't work for you, don't worry about it! It sounds like you instinctively want to do the right thing, which is play rhythm with a loose and free-floating hand. That's the way to do it. :-) 

Happy picking! 

RSS

Don't Miss These!

Badge

Loading…

Latest Activity

Jim Cornwell posted a photo
Dec 8
Jim Cornwell updated their profile
Dec 8
Profile IconMark Hubble, Marc Thebeau, James Ross and 16 more joined Flatpicking Guitar Network
Nov 19
Conch Hampton updated their profile
Nov 19
Bob Mesher replied to Bob Cron's discussion Norman's Preferences
"All I remember was when he had a Martin with flush frets on it (i.e. just markers for a guitar that was designed for slide only) and he had it converted for flat picking. "
Nov 2
Bob Mesher commented on Joe McColley's video
Thumbnail

St Anne's Reel

"Nicely played. "
Nov 2
Keith Mellinger updated their profile
Oct 30
jerry L. Pujol posted a song

 play Nine Pound Hammer Practice Tracks and Tabs (4) (1).zip

Sep 22
Sam Byerly updated their profile
Aug 29
Ralph Schut updated their profile
Apr 24
Ralph Schut left a comment for David Bullock
"Hello David, sorry for the late reply - I had not visited this site for years. Unfortunately, I do not have tabs for Man of Constant Sorrow - the video you saw was recorded by somebody who had requested me to teach them the song - I only played it…"
Apr 24
Ralph Schut left a comment for Dave Siler
"Hallo Dave, ich spreche auch ein Bischen Deutsch :) Danke für Ihre Nachricht! Alles Gute und viel Spass beim Flatpicking!"
Apr 24
Ralph Schut is now friends with Maria Calfa-DePaul and Dave Siler
Apr 24
Profile IconCary bowden, Donald S. Brazelton, Leland Tam and 6 more joined Flatpicking Guitar Network
Apr 23
Bob Cron posted a discussion

Norman's Preferences

I saw a video in which Norman discussed why he preferred a certain fret when refretting one of his Martin's. I am about to refret my D-35 Martin, and I would like to know if anyone remembers a video in which Norman discusses his choice over the Frets Martin uses. Thank You.7See More
Apr 6
Cams left a comment for Dr. Kent Gustavson
"Hey Kent - fancy meeting you here! "
Apr 6

© 2018   Created by Dan Miller.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service