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Whiskey Before Breakfast is a must know tune regardless of what instrument you play. While some pickers play it in standard D position with no capo, I prefer the sound of it in the C position with the capo at the second fret.
Crosspicking is basically the technique of using a flatpick to simulate the fluid sound of finger-picking. It’s most commonly associated with Bluegrass guitar and mandolin players.
The effect is a rolling syncopated sound similar to Scruggs style banjo playing and just like three finger banjo rolls, crosspicking is based on three note phrases played across multiple strings with a four beat pulse.
There are three fundamental patterns or rolls.
The first is alternate picking or down-up-down (DUD) – This is the equivalent to the Square or Double Thumb banjo roll.
The second is down-down-up (DDU) – This is basically a forward roll
And the third is down-up-up (DUU) – Which is like a backward roll
Once you become familiar with these three patterns you’ll start mixing them up in order to fit them into four beat measures. The ultimate goal is to accent melody notes so they stand out among the array of filler notes.
To hear classic examples of crosspicking check out Jesse McReynolds’ mandolin playing with Jim & Jesse, George Shuffler’s guitar playing with the Stanley Brothers or just about anything from Doc Watson, Clarence White or Norman Blake.
The following videos demonstrate the three fundamental patterns and give you some ideas of how to use them along with open string drones, harmonized scales and double-stops.
Salt Creek is a festival favorite and a flatpicking essential. Usually played in the key of A capoed at the 2nd fret (G position). Most pickers have learned this tune directly, or vicariously, from Doc Watson’s famous rendition. In this particular example I play a variation of the B part that is slightly different than the way you usually hear it though the structure remains intact. The ending tag is one of my favorite Tony Rice licks.
My computer recently suffered a catastrophic hard drive failure but fortunately I had a decent backup. While sifting through said backup I discovered some interesting stuff that I forgot even existed. Most of what I found would be of no interest to the average reader so I’ll spare you the details however I did come across a video outtake of me screwing around with Drop D tuning and a very slow improvised version of the tune Over The Waterfall. I never posted this since it wasn’t really intended for educational purposes and most of the opening licks are out of frame but since I haven’t posted in a while I figured I’d put it up.