The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Thread Tools
Old 08-03-2021, 05:47 PM
Special K Special K is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 6
Default How difficult is crosspicking to learn?

Greetings everyone, this is my first post. Iím probably approaching ďadvanced beginnerĒ playing status.

I recently started learning a couple songs in Dix Bruceís Christmas Favorites for Solo Guitar songbook. Itís basically Carter style playing which I like very much.

Dix has a companion book called Christmas Crosspicking Solos for Guitar, which I havenít purchased yet. I think the book has some instruction on crosspicking and includes songs at different skill levels of crosspicking.

Both songbooks include two audio versions of each song - one played at slow speed and the other at regular speed. The majority of songs overlap in the two songbooks.

It would be great to play a Carter style version from the Christmas Favorites book and also a crosspicking version of the same song from the Crosspicking Solos book.

Itís just that crosspicking seems intimidating. Is it too ambitious to try to learn crosspicking at my stage of development?

Thanks much for your valued input.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2021, 06:30 AM
Cypress Knee Cypress Knee is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: North County San Diego
Posts: 1,616

Crosspicking involves learning picking patterns with your right hand to emulate a fingerpicking pattern. Different players will play the same pattern with different techniques.

I have been trying to learn cross-picking for over fifty years and am still in the "advanced beginner" arena!
Jim Adams
Collings OM
Guild 12 String
Mark V Classical
Martin Dreadnaught
Weber Mandolin
Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2021, 10:09 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 3,168

When I started I thought all good guitar player needed to learn to finger pick. So I learned to pick with a thumbpick and three finger picks in a sort of simple banjo roll sort of thing. Eventually I found it lacked variety and it was hard to switch to full chord strums or lead guitar work. Real finger picker have long solved those issues, but I didn't. I'd switch to a flat pick on songs where I played "lead guitar."

I switched to one thumb pick and one finger pick and could add more variety to my picking patterns and even some rudimentary lead playing that crudely approached what "hybrid pickers" can do. But then I noticed that I never played two strings at one time. Eureka! I could play those patterns with just a flat pick. Having played a lot of lead guitar I already knew where the strings were in relation to flat pick's point. And I cheated, I played arpeggiated patterns, and these patterns fell into the "I don't have to think about it" area. The transition was easy for me, and I play that way today. I didn't even know I was cross picking. It was just a solution I discovered for myself that worked for me.

I would, myself, have difficulty learning and playing a cross picking arrangement where I needed to move about to exact strings in a way I didn't grasp as a pattern. In that way, the heights of what cross picking can achieve are still beyond me. I sense that's your expectation or aim. I find my simple cross picking easy and I'm surprised more folks don't do it however.
Parlando - Where Music and Words Meet
20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6
'00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '07 Parkwood PW510
Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....
Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2021, 11:40 AM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 3,811

Cross picking is very difficult to learn. Requires hours of repetitive practice until you can play the pattern smoothly and evenly without even thinking about it.

Then you move on to the left hand.
Kalamazoo Sport Model
Martin 0-28VS
Martin 0-18KH
Danelectro Dano Pro reissue
Vega lap steel
Maui Music CM concert ukulele
Hollokoi Lajos citera
Tom Yocky dulcimer
Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2021, 12:32 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Kirkland, WA USA
Posts: 1,604

When I was an advanced beginner* crosspicking was beyond me. I had to learn a good deal about fingerpicking first, so that crosspicking would make any sense whatsoever.

Patterns that reverse direction or jump strings are more common in basic fingerpicking than in basic flatpicking.

I'd say it will be fairly difficult if you have a minimal fingerpicking foundation.

(* not sure what YOUR definition of advanced beginner is)

1978 Larrivee L-26 cutaway
1988 Larrivee L-28 cutaway
2006 Larrivee L03-R
2009 Larrivee LV03-R
2016 Irvin SJ cutaway
2020 Irvin SJ cutaway (build thread)
K+K, Dazzo, Schatten/ToneDexter

Notable Journey website
Facebook page

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art. - Leonardo Da Vinci
Reply With Quote

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Thread Tools

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:33 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=