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Flatpicking Guitar Basics

For guitarists in bluegrass and country as well as many other styles, the flatpick is the essential tool, making possible both powerful rhythms and speedy lead licks. In Flatpicking Guitar Basics, some of the top teachers in the flatpicking business share the fundamental techniques for bringing these sounds to life on your guitar.

Explore the essential sounds of bluegrass and country guitar as played by Maybelle Carter and Jimmie Rodgers, and carried on by contemporary masters like Tony Rice, Norman Blake, and Bryan Sutton. In these ten lessons you will learn the basics of rhythm, from the classic boom-chuck to bass runs and embellishments, as well as how to flatpick melodies and solos.

Chapter 1 - Get a Better Boom-Chuck

Use easy chords and a simple pattern to master the alternating bass-strum rhythm Incorporate bass notes into your strums for a more sophisticated sound. By David Hodge.

Chapter 2 - Bluegrass Rhythm

Learn chord voicings and rhythms for playing bluegrass. By Sue Thompson.

Chapter 3 - Boom-Chuck Strumming Lesson

Learn to play driving bluegrass rhythm guitar. With audio. By Nicole Solis.

Chapter 4 - Embellishing Cowboy Chords

Create countless easy and cool patterns by adding hammer-ons and pull-offs to first-position chords. By David Hodge.

Chapter 5 - The Roots of Country Rhythm Guitar Lesson

Learn how Maybelle Carter, Jimmie Rodgers, Roy Harvey, and Riley Puckett created today's country and folk rhythm guitar style. With video. By Scott Nygaard.

Chapter 6 - Flatpicking 101

Simple techniques to get you flatpicking with fire, conviction, and steady rhythm. By David Hamburger.

Chapter 7 - Harness the Power of Your Pick

Does flatpicking have you flummoxed? Learn to pick with confidence. With music to "String Chimes." By Andy Ellis.

Chapter 8 - Carter-Style Lead

An introduction to Maybelle Carter's simple, versatile style of accompaniment. By Carol McComb.

Chapter 9 - Pick Up Speed

Are your hands slowing you down? Use this lesson to identify your strengths and correct your weaknesses, and you'll set new limits in no time. With music to "New River Train." With audio examples. By Scott Nygaard.

Chapter 10 - Crosspicking

Crosspicking with an alternate-picking pattern can keep your time steady while you embellish single-note melodies. By Steve Kaufman.

Chapter 11 - How to Choose a Flatpick

The shape, thickness, and materials of your pick have a big effect on your tone. By Scott Nygaard.