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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Tunesmith Playing the guitar (134* d) RE: Playing the guitar 18 Sep 18


The “pattern playing” guitar style - which has been mentioned in this thread -( we used to call it clawhammer back in the 1960s) is a useful and attractive style for playing accompaniments and melodies.

This is the style that is/was used on “Streets of London” , “ Dylan’s “ Don’t Think Twice” and even a young Martin Carthy used it on “Lord Franklin”.

This is not really a pure beginners style and I would suggest that players should be able to move smoothly between basic chords before tackling this style.

Now, I would start learning this style by isolating the picking hand.
Now I refer to this style as the “rocking thumb style” because the picking hand thumb alternates between different lower ( bass ) strings.
I would describe the basic rhythm of this style as One Two and Three and Four where 1,2,3,4, fall on the beat. Of course, when players becomes proficient at the style they can then throw in what they like.

I start teaching this style by isolating the steady “ rocking” thumb movement.

1   ---------------------------------------------
2   ---------------------------------------------
3   ---------------------------------------------
4   ---------------0-------------------0-------
5   ---------------------------------------------
6   ------0-----------------0------------------
count    1       2         3          4


Then I would introduce/add the index finger to the third string on the “and” of two.

1 -------------------------------------------------------
2 ------------------------------------------------------
3 ------------------------0-------------------------------
4   ----------------0-----------------------------0-----------
5 ---------------------------------------------------------
6   ------0---------------------------0----------------------
Count    1         2    and         3          4


Finally, I would add the second string on the and after three. ( using - in my case - my second finger picking hand

1 -----------------------------------------------------------------
2 -----------------------------------------------------------------
3 -----------------------0---------------0--------------------------
4 ---------------0---------------------------------0----------------
5 ---------------------------------------------------------------
6   ----0-------------------------0------------------------------------
Count   1       2       and      3       and       4

.
Tapping your foot on the beat ( i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4), and saying the
rhythm of the notes as you are playing should help.
I would strongly recommend that players make
sure that they are rock solid at each stage before moving on.

I hope all the tab lines up!


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