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Flatpicking Essentials, Volume 1: Rhythm, Bass Runs & Fill Licks

You FGM subscribers may remember that back in the "Pioneers" issue of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine I laid out a step-by-step flatpicking learning method that followed the chronological development of the style. This method started with a solid foundation in the rhythm guitar styles of flatpicking's early pioneers--a style that includes a liberal use of bass runs and rhythm fill licks, combined with rhythmic strums.

I have just released Volume 1 of the Eight Volume Essentials of Flatpicking instructional series. This series follows the chronological progression of instruction that I outlined in the Pioneers issue. Volume One starts by teaching the rhythm style of the early flatpicking pioneers. If you want to learn how to add intersting bass runs and fill licks to your rhythm playing, check out this 96-page book with accompanying CD. The book and CD are available in spiral bound hardcopy form, on CD-Rom, or as a digital download.

If you'd like to check out the table of contents for this volume, click here.


Dan Miller
Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

Views: 639

Comment by robin jones on December 31, 2008 at 5:04pm
I can't wait to get into it! Thanks.
Comment by Mark Thatcher on January 14, 2009 at 8:24am
I got this downloaded yesterday. Pretty good so far. I read the Intro and History yesterday and this morning I got started on the actual meat of the book. In an hour I completed up to exercise 8 on page 18. I am taking my time and am really going to try and give this method an honest shot.
One little epiphany I had right off the bat was Dan's rule on Alternating Bass notes. Always aim for the lowest , whether it is the Root of the 5th. I never looked at it in that simple of a way before. It is obvious when you think about it. I had learned in G use the Low G note and the open D note, in C use the C on the 5th string and the G on the 6th string, etc... but I didnt realize the simplicity of the rule. strum. Corrolating that with what I already know and use and the lights went on. It was one of those 'Duh' moments.
In the book, Dan outlines the next 7 volumes in his series and all I can say iss ...Wow! Pretty ambitious.
Comment by Dave Engel on February 1, 2009 at 4:46pm
Just ordered mine yesterday. You really have 7 more volumes of material you want to put out? Whew! That's more music than most guys will do in a lifetime. Can't wait to get it! Thanks.

Comment by Joe Beckett on February 7, 2009 at 5:41pm
I've been working on bookand CD's as well. It would be convenient if Dan made it easier to go right to the specific excercise for practice purposes. However with use of a guitar trainer it's not a big problem.
Comment by Curtis Olson on February 13, 2009 at 9:23am
I've been enjoying this volume. Dan is right, my self-education thus far was to grab some tabs and instructional DVDs and try to fire off some blazing hot licks. I learned a few, but when I get in a jam, there is little I can do but boom-chuck. Memorizing somebody else's lead licks is fun, but unless you have the full knowledge behind it, you'll immediately get lost and be unable to recover. I realized that I skipped over the basics and tried to go straight to imtermediate. I'm glad this volume is available to take me back. It's amazing how challenging these "simple" rhythms are when I thought I was starting to get pretty good. Thumbs up, Dan.
Comment by Ty on February 17, 2009 at 3:33pm
Hey Dan,

I bought the download a few days ago and I really think it's great. The idea about following the same path of learning as those who came before us seems like common sense but....I think you are the first I've seen to state it clearly and pull it off....Well done for sure. Do you have any idea when the next volumes will be available?

Thanks Dan !.....this is one of your Great ideas !

Comment by Doug Lindhout on February 26, 2009 at 1:20pm
I've been chipping my way through the lessons, and then I came across the 20 G runs lesson. That one stopped me for a while (but in a good way). Now many of those have become part of my warm up routine. I'm just a beginner, but already, when I get with some of my BG pals in little jam sessions, the base walks/runs/fills that I have learned and am inserting are gathering very positive notice, especially when we don't have a base player. Talk about positive feedback!
I'm now ready to start on the lessons teaching faster picking techniques. That ought to be interesting... it's been hard enough to learn how to strum...
Comment by GhostPicker on June 29, 2009 at 9:06am
Like most everyone else that is "self-taught", I've developed all the bad habits that you could possibly develop. The first two volumes in this series have been a great help in undoing some of the damage. I particularly appreciate that the audio samples are slow enough that they are very easy to play along with and make you feel like you're making progress when you crank the metronome up a notch or two. I've also noticed that there are many "subtle hints" that are brilliant. For example, Dan talks about most players being in either the "slow - medium - fast" categories. Recommending that instead of taking "speed leaps", we take small hops. This is great advice. You never know what speed a particular jam session might be paced at. Doing it this way you can adapt to almost any speed. (Well, at least until the jammers reach your crash and burn speed, which wouldn't take me long.)

Great series, even though I'll work on volumes 1 and 2 for a long, long time, I can't wait for the others in the series to come out. Five stars and two thumbs up.
Comment by Bluesy1 on September 14, 2009 at 1:56pm
I just got Vol. 1 a few days ago. I'm really impressed with the amount of information and history included. I'm looking forward to working with the material.


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