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  #1  
Old 11-15-2018, 09:02 PM
Starter Starter is offline
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Default any advice on playing bluegrass rhythm fast?

Hi,

I've been working on slowish and medium tempo bluegrass rhythm, and still have a long way to go. So this may be pushing too hard, but I wonder if anyone is aware of good instructional material, or even just good models, for playing fast. I can do it, but I feel like I'm just banging away on the guitar and it really does not sound great. Some players seem to just play the bass notes, and I kind of like the sound of that, but I could use some help.

Thanks,

will
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:27 PM
dougt dougt is offline
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I have the same problem, I signed up for Artist works bluegrass guitar with Bryan Sutton last week. He seems to address the things you mentioned. Excellent teaching so far
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:35 PM
grasser grasser is offline
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Simplify: Bass (root) - strum - Bass (5th) - strum
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:05 AM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
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Yes, don't. It isn't necessarily better played at break-neck speed. Yet, there is the notion that it is.
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:05 AM
olmorton71 olmorton71 is offline
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Check out The Murphy Method.
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Old 11-16-2018, 04:45 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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To me the options would be to either play bass runs or just the "chick" rhythm if the speed is such that you can't fit in a boom and a chick.

If the bass player has the bass lines covered, focus on the "chick" but if the mando/fiddle player has that covered, then just stand there, and add whatever seems helpful, and look cool!

Remember with fast bluegrass stuff, you are usually in banjo and fiddle/mando territory and you are just filling the background between them and the bass.

Work too hard and you can muddy the sound scene.
Listen to a lot of recordings (which was the only way I could learn my bluegrass style back in the '70s)

This is a number I used to play with Hickory Junction - I don't think I took a break on it as I sung lead, but listen to the sound palette on this and see how little the guitar is contributing ...BUT - you'd miss it if it wasn't there :



This came after and just had to share it :



Another band that influenced us when I was with the Druthers Brothers was was the Steel Drivers - see:



In this, the lead vocalist is reduced to a simple chop, (which I didn't do) which kinda treads on the mando player's toes, but it works.



Look at Del McCoury too!
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Old 11-16-2018, 05:13 AM
morfi morfi is offline
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Last edited by morfi; 11-17-2018 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:46 PM
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I like the way Michael Daves approaches bluegrass rhythm guitar work, and would recommend his solo bluegrass album or the duo album he did with Chris Thile as a “model” of how one can approach it. Obviously in the duo they have no bass so he is covering a lot of ground.
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Old 11-16-2018, 05:32 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy1951 View Post
Yes, don't. It isn't necessarily better played at break-neck speed. Yet, there is the notion that it is.
Well you kinda hafta keep up with the rest of the band....
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Old 11-16-2018, 05:41 PM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
Well you kinda hafta keep up with the rest of the band....
That was a bit tongue in check. Still, modern Bluegrass seems to be speed drive. Not like it originally began.
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Old 11-16-2018, 06:02 PM
archerscreek archerscreek is offline
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A few things helped me pick up speed. 1) I pushed myself to play faster with a metronome. Now I can play Deep Elm Blues at 250 BPM, though my forearm is smoking afterwards. 2) For most of the songs, I started playing in the Tony Rice rhythm style, or at least how I hear him play. In 4/4 time, he seems to pick a bass note on beat 1, strum on beat two, then crosspick through beats three and four or play some lead lines then. 3) I watched some video of Tony Rice playing rhythm and was amazed at the efficiency of his movements. He does not wildly flail around like a lot of players, which is how I used to play. Now, I visualize Rice's efficiency and try to replicate it. There's also a youtube video of Bryan Sutton jamming with Billy Strings. Sutton plays rhythm in that clip with excellent efficiency. Enjoy.
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