Crosspicking

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Crosspicking is a technique for playing the mandolin or guitar using a plectrum or flatpick in a rolling, syncopated style across three strings. This style is probably best known as one element of the flatpicking style in bluegrass music, and it closely resembles a banjo roll, the main difference being that the banjo roll is fingerpicked rather than flatpicked.

Contents

A typical element of the technique is the use of three pitches played repeatedly within a four-pulse rhythm. This results in a continual shifting of the pitches vis-a-vis the accented pulse. The three pitches are usually played on three adjacent strings—one per string. The pick direction can vary, depending on the required emphasis and the melody.

Crosspicking is a guitar style that uses a flatpick to imitate the sound of fingerpicking. It is used both as a lead style and as accompaniment. Using repeating patterns involving two or three strings, crosspicking is particularly effective at slow to mid-tempos...The basic [patterns are] forward and reverse "roll[s]"...played in the standard alternating picking pattern (dudududu) or in specialized patterns (dduddudd) or (uuduuduu). [1]

Forward "roll" on G (DDU)
Play DDU (help*info)

Play DUD (help*info)

Play DUU (help*info)

Play DU (help*info)

Play uuduuduu (help*info)

Play dduddudd (help*info) Crosspicking DDU forward on G major.png
Forward "roll" on G (DDU)
Loudspeaker.svg Play DDU  
Loudspeaker.svg Play DUD  
Loudspeaker.svg Play DUU  
Loudspeaker.svg Play DU  
Loudspeaker.svg Play uuduuduu  
Loudspeaker.svg Play dduddudd  

Using "D" for down" and "U" for "up" (and slashes to indicate groups of three), mandolin player Jesse McReynolds used a crosspicking roll of

D - U - U / D - U - U / D - U . . .

creating a repeating pattern of notes that expresses the melody. Guitarist George Shuffler used a pick pattern of

D - D - U / D - D - U / D - D . . . .

The traditional banjo roll form is

D - D - U / D - D - U / D - D . . .

this helps to accentuate the "threes" nature of the pattern against the "four" rhythm.

The other way is using strict alternate picking:

D - U - D / U - D - U / D - U. . . .

This may be more comfortable for players who are using alternate picking for most of their playing. In actuality, one (or more) of the three pitches may be varied from one repetition of the pattern to the next, for instance the top note could be toggled up and down one step.

Mandolin

McReynolds was the earliest exponent of the crosspicking bluegrass style on the mandolin. He developed his crosspicking style with his brother in the band Jim & Jesse. McReynolds influenced later mandolin players such as Sam Bush.

Guitar

George Shuffler introduced crosspicking to the acoustic guitar; Shuffler developed the technique as a "fill" for back-up and leads while playing with the Stanley Brothers. Among the most well-known crosspickers are Doc Watson and Clarence White, whose styles influenced other guitarists, including Tony Rice.

Among rock guitarists, King Crimson 's Robert Fripp has made cross-picking a signature technique, [2] [3] which has influenced many other guitarists, particularly in progressive rock. [4] Fripp teaches the technique to his students in Guitar Craft. [5]

See also

Notes

  1. Carr, Joe (2010). Getting into Country Guitar, p.29. Mel Bay. ISBN   9781610651486.
  2. Tamm (2003 , p.  14 Archived May 24, 2013, at the Wayback Machine )
  3. Baldwin, Douglas (November 2007). "Guitar Heroes: How to Play Like 26 Guitar Gods from Atkins to Zappa", edited by Jude Gold and Matt Blackett, Guitar Player , p.111.
  4. Macan (1997 , p. 47): Macan, Edward L. (1997). Rocking the classics: English progressive rock and the counterculture . Oxford and New York: Oxford University. ISBN   0-19-509887-0.
  5. Tamm (2003 , pp.  137 and 141 (Chapter 10) Archived October 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine )

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Plectrum

A plectrum is a small flat tool used to pluck or strum a stringed instrument. For hand-held instruments such as guitars and mandolins, the plectrum is often called a pick and is a separate tool held in the player's hand. In harpsichords, the plectra are attached to the jack mechanism.

Scruggs style

Scruggs style is the most common style of playing the banjo in bluegrass music. It is a fingerpicking method, also known as three-finger style. It is named after Earl Scruggs, whose innovative approach and technical mastery of the instrument have influenced generations of bluegrass banjoists ever since he was first recorded in 1946. It contrasts with earlier styles such as minstrel, classic or parlor style, clawhammer/frailing/two-finger style, jazz styles played with a plectrum, and more modern styles such as Keith/melodic/chromatic/arpa style, and single-string/Reno style. The influence of Scruggs is so pervasive that even bluegrass players such as Bill Keith and Don Reno, who are credited with developing these latter styles, typically work out of the Scruggs style much of the time.

Power chord

A power chordPlay  is a colloquial name for a chord in guitar music, especially electric guitar, that consists of the root note and the fifth, as well as possibly octaves of those notes. Power chords are commonly played on amplified guitars, especially on electric guitar with intentionally added distortion or overdrive effects. Power chords are a key element of many styles of rock, especially heavy metal and punk rock.

Clawhammer

Clawhammer, sometimes called frailing, is a distinctive banjo playing style and a common component of American old-time music.

Fingerstyle guitar

Fingerstyle guitar is the technique of playing the guitar or bass guitar by plucking the strings directly with the fingertips, fingernails, or picks attached to fingers, as opposed to flatpicking. The term "fingerstyle" is something of a misnomer, since it is present in several different genres and styles of music—but mostly, because it involves a completely different technique, not just a "style" of playing, especially for the guitarist's picking/plucking hand. The term is often used synonymously with fingerpicking except in classical guitar circles, although fingerpicking can also refer to a specific tradition of folk, blues and country guitar playing in the US. The terms "fingerstyle" and "fingerpicking" also applied to similar string instruments such as the banjo.

Guitar tunings

Guitar tunings assign pitches to the open strings of guitars, including acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and classical guitars. Tunings are described by the particular pitches denoted by notes in Western music. By convention, the notes are ordered from lowest-pitched string to highest-pitched.

New standard tuning Alternative guitar tuning

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Guitar Craft

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Outline of guitars Overview of and topical guide to guitars

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Hybrid picking

Hybrid picking is a guitar-playing technique that involves picking with a pick (plectrum) and one or more fingers alternately or simultaneously. Hybrid picking allows guitar players who use a pick to perform music which would normally require fingerstyle playing. It also facilitates wide string leaps which might otherwise be quite difficult. The technique is not widespread in most genres of guitar playing, but is most often employed in "chicken pickin'"; rockabilly, country, honky-tonk, and bluegrass flatpicking styles who play music which occasionally demands fingerstyle passages.

Hybrid picking involves playing with the pick and the right hand m and/or a fingers...at the same time. The pick is held in the usual way...and the fingers execute free strokes in the typical fingerstyle manner...Hybrid picking allows fingerstyle-like passages to be freely interspersed with flatpicked passages...without any delay.

Flatpicking

Flatpicking is the technique of striking the strings of a guitar with a pick held between the thumb and one or two fingers. It can be contrasted to fingerstyle guitar, which is playing with individual fingers, with or without wearing fingerpicks. While the use of a plectrum is common in many musical traditions, the exact term "flatpicking" is most commonly associated with Appalachian music of the American southeastern highlands, especially bluegrass music, where string bands often feature musicians playing a variety of styles, both fingerpicking and flatpicking. Musicians who use a flat pick in other genres such as rock and jazz are not commonly described as flatpickers or even plectrum guitarists. As the use of a pick in those traditions is commonplace, generally only guitarists who play without a pick are noted by the term "fingerpicking" or "fingerstyle".

Guitar picking

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George Shuffler was an American bluegrass guitar player and an early practitioner of the crosspicking style. During his career Shuffler played with The Bailey Brothers, The Stanley Brothers and Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys. He was a 2007 recipient of the North Carolina Heritage Award and in 2011 was elected to the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

Banjo roll

In bluegrass music, a banjo roll or roll is a pattern played by the banjo that uses a repeating eighth-note arpeggio – a broken chord – that by subdividing the beat 'keeps time'. "Each ["standard"] roll pattern is a right hand fingering pattern, consisting of eight (eighth) notes, which can be played while holding any chord position with the left hand."

James Alan Shelton

James Alan Shelton was an American bluegrass guitarist. Shelton was a solo musician, released 10 albums, and performed with the Clinch Mountain Boys.

Regular tuning

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Bluegrass mandolin

Bluegrass mandolin is a style of mandolin playing most commonly heard in bluegrass bands.

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