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: 109

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

Louis Ruoti posted a video

Jessie and Ginny Original Flatpick Solo Louis Ruoti

Progressive take on an old-timey rhythm base. Not much to it, the relationship ended quickly. Instrument; Blueridge BR 140, recorded on Zoom H-6 Handy Recorder
11 hours ago
Dave Siler commented on Downtown Freddy Brown's video
Thumbnail

Wreck of the Costa Concordia

"That is some very impressive songwriting! Fantastic, Gord would love it; you should send it to him."
Thursday
Dave Siler commented on Kelley Hatlee's video
Thumbnail

Aura Lee - Hatlee Band - Aura Lee instrumental video with lyrics

"Very nice, clean, rendition of this old civil war song, and the tone of your guitars is great! (You know that Elvis recorded this in the 1950's as "Love Me Tender?")  Wish I had  ason to pick with!"
Thursday
Dave Siler commented on Derek's video
Thumbnail

Ragtime Annie

"This has been my favorite flatpicking/fiddle sine I first heard Doc Watson do it 55 years ago! Your rendition is more than excellent! Guess I'll just have to keep practicing until I get it right!"
Thursday
Dave Siler commented on Derek's video
Thumbnail

Danny Boy

"Neat! I have 0015M, along with D28HVR, D35, and most recently, DR Centennial. Martin is the very best!:-)"
Tuesday
Derek commented on Derek's video
Thumbnail

Danny Boy

"Thanks Dave. Yes, a 00015m. Now supplemented by a Stonebridge DM32 :-)"
Tuesday
Louis Ruoti commented on Louis Ruoti's video
Thumbnail

Tennessee Waltz - Flatpick Guitar - Louis Ruoti

"You're all too kind, Dave, thanks much... Funny how the threads of musician's lives intertwine, as in your reference to King and the subsequent album by Roseann. Small world!"
Tuesday
billy jones bluez updated their profile
Monday
Dave Siler commented on Derek's video
Thumbnail

Danny Boy

"Very nice!!!! Is that Martin 0015M?"
Monday
Dave Siler left a comment for Ralph Schut
"Ralph, I learned more from your videos in two hours last night than i have learned in the past 6 months!! Thanks so much for your very excellent efforts. All fabulous stuff, especially the cross-picking.  Sie Sind Hollandisch. Sprechen Sie…"
Monday
Dave Siler left a comment for Andreas Fox
"Guten Tag, mein Freund. Was fur ein guitar spielen Sie? Gruss Gott, Dve Siler"
Monday
Jerry Scribner is now friends with Joe Dodson and Bill Jester
Monday
Jerry Scribner left a comment for Bill Jester
"Bill, do you still get out to Sugar Land Tx? Whaqt part of PA do you live in? Jerry Scribner"
Monday
Dave Siler commented on Paige Anderson's group Martin Guitar Owners
"Have owned D28VR, (80's) D35, (70's )  0015 (early 2000's) and recently bought DR Centennial, marking first century of Dreadnaught production. Has Martin VTS artificially aged top and braces. Greatest sound I have ever heard! I…"
Monday
Dave Siler joined Paige Anderson's group
Thumbnail

Martin Guitar Owners

Here is a group for people who have Martin Guitars, or is looking for one, or if you just really like Martin Guitars!
Monday
Dave Siler commented on Louis Ruoti's video
Thumbnail

Tennessee Waltz - Flatpick Guitar - Louis Ruoti

"Fabulous, Louis. Pee Wee King's brother,  Gene, Used to run a rare record shop in Louisville some 40 years ago. Johnnie Cash's daughter cut an album entitled "King's Record Store" Magnificent job on a great tune for…"
Monday

© 2017   Created by Dan Miller.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service