Bryan introduces a series of crosspicking exercises that challenge both the left and right hands. He demonstrates this crosspicking drill by alternating his picking up and down while playing in the key of G. This lesson will reinforce the goal to be able to play smoothly and consistently.
- One of the best ways to work on crosspicking is to apply it into some tunes, and we have that at the end of this curriculum in the intermediate section. But first, and again in my effort with my method here is to break things down to some other core elements, how to build a solid flatpicking technique. And so these are a series of exercises that I've come up with that sort of work out of what we know, what we've kind of realized, basic scale knowledge, and we're applying a crosspicking technique to get through these scales, and it's going to challenge your left hand and your right hand, and that's part of the...
What these exercises are for is to, y'know, you can come and review these things and work on strength-building, and the idea is to maintain a solid sense of how these notes all kind of ring over... And the crosspicking style is so nice to hear when everything sustains and you get all these beautiful rolls. So the first one is a crosspicking scale exercise in G major. And so we basically have our, start with our G major scale, or our G chord, G major chord.
(plays guitar) Let's start with our middle finger on the G on this. (plays guitar) So there's our first, the one, the three, and the five. And so the exercise runs like this. First bar... (plays guitar) And I'm just alternating with the pick. (plays guitar) And the first challenge, when you start putting a lot of crosspick bars together, is usually the second of the two in the pattern, you've got a bit of a string change. (plays guitar) You've got an upstrike back on the low E string, which is...
(plays guitar) For me, it's the first thing that I need to sort of work on or remind myself to sort of stay loose. So moving on. (plays guitar) Now we have a bit of a stretch in the left hand to get through the next degree. (plays guitar) It creates an A minor scale. And then back to a G scale here. (plays guitar) Let's play this with the middle finger. (plays guitar) 'Cause you'll notice it actually sets up better for the next bar, which is a C.
(plays guitar) Now we're gonna move up to a D chord. (plays guitar) Which is a pretty good stretch there with your pinky on the D, your ring on the F#, and first finger on A. (plays guitar) And then D minor. (plays guitar) And then a D7, which is a really tough stretch. And then back to this G and in our F shape. (plays guitar) So one time through here, slowly.
And one of the key things to remember is to stay in this first position. (plays guitar) And then shift... Back... (continues playing) Shift... Back... (continues playing) First position, and then shift up to this shape here. Shape-shifters.
Lots of little things to work on with an exercise like this. You've got your pick, crosspicking technique that we've introduced now, we've got some pretty solid left hand stretches and some transitions within, y'know, they're not major shifting up and down the neck, but just within, just to get through the exercise. I think it encourages a lot of the things that we've been working on so far, and there's... So I'll show you one more time and then we'll move on on the next lesson. Here's again. (plays guitar) And the goal is to make all these notes ring as much as they can.
And that's when you're really gonna know that you're nailing this kind of exercise, is when you can get this beautiful sort of roll pattern that's almost hypnotic as it climbs through the scale.
Learn how to maintain flatpicking flow—consistent tone, groove, and musicality. Find out how to play along role-oriented lines, and find more musical opportunities. In chapters 3, 4, and 5, Bryan shows how to apply what you've learned to intermediate versions of popular bluegrass tunes. Each lesson helps you add a challenging new dimension to your sound, and improve your overall musicality.
Note: This course was recorded and produced by ArtistWorks. We are honored to host this training in our library.
- Adding feel
- Developing groove
- Playing intermediate bluegrass tunes