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Creating Variations in the B Section

A Little Something Extra

There are several different licks available in the B section, we’ll take a look at a couple and talk about the technique involved in playing them. Firstly, let’s look at the cross picking lick for measure 6. This is a straightforward cross-picking lick that imitates a banjo and what’s known as a backwards roll. Cross-picking riffs give a nice change for the listener’s ear when they get used to hearing single-note melodies and regular flat-picking licks. To add extra life to this lick add accents to the notes on the E string. This will create a unique rhythmic syncopation. The accented notes will jump out above the others for a great effect.

Next let’s look at a combination of licks. Bluegrass for measure 1 and Bluesy for measure 4. In the Bluegrass lick we have a couple of 16th note triplets. Normally when a note comes on the downbeat we pick the first note with a down-stroke. However, 16th triplets come so fast we need to adjust our pick direction so we can pick the notes at speed and be ready to land the next best on our normal pick direction. That’s why the triplet starts with an upstroke. The bluesy lick has a triplet as well. However, we play it with a hammer and pull-off. Since we only pick it once we use a down-stroke and have plenty of time to reset the pick for the next down-stroke.

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In order to get your speed up try to keep the range of your pick movement small. Adjust the tempo to whatever is comfortable and attainable. You may not be able to play this lick at the same speed you play the rest of the song. That’s ok. Keep practicing and you’ll get there.

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Try it for free, cancel anytime.