Learn how to play bluegrass guitar with Grammy-winning flatpicker Bryan Sutton. Course 1 covers holding the guitar and pick, picking and fretting, and rhythm and chords.
(bluegrass guitar music) - Hey there, I'm Bryan Sutton, I've been playing bluegrass guitar and flatpicking for over 30 years. I love this style, I love this sound, I love talking about it, and I love teaching it. Here in Course One we're going to get into some of the most important components of bluegrass guitar and flatpicking, which is fundamentals. This style of guitar is a very technically-demanding way to play the guitar, and so I break things down into fundamental components for the picking hand, the fretting hand, posture, putting it all together.
We look at ways to build what I call flatpicking flow, which is establishing and maintaining the best sound possible, establishing and maintaining the best groove, settled movement within that groove as much as possible, all that adds up to opportunities for being more musical, being more expressive, the big picture, if you will. That's all flatpicking flow. We look at playing rhythm, it's very important to learn how to play rhythm in this guitar style because a lot of times we're playing with other people.
This is not so much a solo guitar style, bluegrass is about groups, it's about ensembles, playing with other people. And it's about songs, I love breaking things down, these essential components, but I also love putting things back together and working on songs, making songs sound better. So you'll see at the end of this course a selection of tunes that are real common in bluegrass jams and really important for the repertoire. So thank you, hang in there, have fun. (bluegrass guitar riff)
Note: This course was recorded and produced by ArtistWorks. We are honored to host this training in our library.
- Holding the guitar
- Tuning the guitar
- Picking hand and fretting hand techniques
- Combining picking and fretting
- Practicing picking pattern exercises
- Changing chords and rhythm
- Playing traditional bluegrass tunes