Picking Up Speed

Steve Kaufman

Drills and Tunes For Flatpick Guitarists

70-minute video, includes music and tab on pdf file
  • Code:DLKAUSD21
  • Skill Level:Early Intermediate (3)

It's every bluegrass flatpicker's dream to be able to build up speed while maintaining good tone and timing. Now one of America's hottest players gives you the tools you need to get over the musical speed bumps -- without crashing and burning as you go.

It's all a matter of getting your right- and left-hand mechanics working correctly, and Steve has powerful advice and well-thought-out exercises to help you. Using tunes like Old Joe Clark, Soldier's Joy and Big Mon as drills, Steve works on your hand and pick coordination and shows how to practice for best results. Tips on left-hand fretting positions (keep a light touch, very little skin on the back of the guitar neck), combined with how to hold and move your picking hand (use a wide swing with proper depth of pick; right hand should act as metronome or pendulum) help solve mechanical failures that often slow you down.

You'll learn how to play syncopated runs and crosspicking patterns with ease, as well as a cross-picked version of Wildwood Flower that will amaze your listeners. Steve shows you how triplets and doubletime picking will help build your flatpicking technique and allow you to play blazing bluegrass instrumentals. As Steve puts it, "once you've got the mechanics of your right hand down, it doesn't care what your left hand is doing." Then it's up to you to "oil the machinery" by practicing, burning tunes and licks into muscle memory so you don't have to think about them. Finally, you'll combine all the elements in a show-stopping display of chord runs and picking combinations on the Don Reno classic Little Rock Getaway. This lesson will help all aspiring flatpickers develop their potential and keep up with others in hot jam sessions and performances.


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