ACOUSTIC GUITAR 002: Pattern Picking Basics

Acoustic Guitar 002:
Pattern Picking Basics...

Pattern picking is one of the most important skills that acoustic players need to develop. This lesson combines several pattern picked ideas to allow for everything from simple to complex plucking. 

The goal of the lesson is to learn a number of different ways for adding more picking pattern variety through simplicity of technique...

The examples cover picking patterns and how they relate to both the chord changes and the tonal range of the chord voicings. When applying picked phrases, players will learn how to integrate multiple picking patterns, add more variety to note layout across the neck and how to balance consistent picking patterns along with more complex phrasing.

PART ONE: In example one, we'll make a study of how a simple consecutive picking pattern can operate in more dynamic ways through the use of double-stops. A starter phrase in example 1a, takes a key of "C Major" consistent pattern and then enhances it in example 1b. The second idea applies double-plucked tones upon the downbeats.

Example two explores adding variety with phrases that are delivered across a part in more than one way. In example 2, the picking pattern covers a key of "G Major," (D Mixolydian), harmony. The chord changes evolve across the measures using a four-string pattern layout.

This example is excellent for helping players realize how patterns are often altered in order to compensate for both string sets, as well as, for the lowest chord tones.

PART TWO: The second part of the lesson plan focuses on balance and consistency. In example three, a key of "E Minor" progression balances two different picked phrases. In measures one and three, a phrase that includes a fast 16th-note triplet idea is balanced against two unique melodic phrases in measures two and four. The result is a relatively easy to play phrase that sounds somewhat complicated but yet maintains a connected sensibility across all of the chords. 

In example four, one of the most overlooked ideas for supporting melodic lines in acoustic guitar is demonstrated. The principle involves layering a lower register octave directly related to the melody note from the simple line. 

In example four, one of the most common techniques for applying picked patterns is covered. This technique involves the application of a consistent picking pattern across the entire group of chords used in the harmony. This "G Major", (D Mixolydian) chord progression is covered with a consistent picking pattern that applies an identical interval pattern along each measure.

Songs like "Dust in the Wind," by Kansas and "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac are excellent examples of this concept in use.

ACOUSTIC GUITAR 002: Pattern Picking Basics

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