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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
MK Help for Pickers - Give us a tip II (101* d) RE: Help for Pickers - Give us a tip II 13 Oct 00

I was just doing a bit of practising and working up a little arrangement of "Mr. Bojangles" and I stumbled across something interesting in the process. (Maybe to more advanced players than myself it's old hat, but I thought it was a cool technique and something worth pursuing and knowing how to do, so I thought I'd share it as it works really nicely in improvising of 'Jangles chord changes.

It's always been stressed to me that in order to develop the ability to improvise in fingerpicking, it is necessary to be able to play as much of a scale in a given key as you can mangage --while keeping the alternating bass going.

The approach I had been taking was to pick each note indivdually with either the index or middle fingers, but by sheer fluke, I discovered you can avoid picking each note individually by exercising a series of pull-offs and hammer-ons, achieve the same sonic ideas, but with a different, more flowing texture to the sound. So now, in addition to being able to pick all the notes in a given scale, I'm going to start learning how to do it using pulloffs and hammer-ons in all the regular keys I play in. It's a little tough on the left hand and you need well developed callouses to get a good attack, but a technique well worth learning to add to the old "tools arsenal." Like I said, not rocket science or anything, but a little breakthrough for me. (You need those every once in a while when you've think you're coasting on a plateau.)

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