Free Flatpicking Bluegrass Guitar Lessons & Tabs for Flatpicking Bluegrass Guitar Players
 

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Welcome to my Flatpicking & Bluegrass Guitar Lessons.  I am going to cover the following topics.

*  Good Practice Habits.
* Basic Bluegrass Guitar Rhythm.
* Nashville Number Charts.
*  "CAGED" Flatpicking for Bluegrass Guitar
*  Bluegrass Guitar Chords

 

 

     
     
  1. Solid Practice Plan
 
    Use a metronome.
This is the only way. Start Slow, Play Fast, using a metronome makes the best use of your time. I use the following Free Online Metronome at Best Metronome.  Click Here for the one I use
 
    Practice Tips
 
* Practice Smartly. Locate problem areas and work them over and over. Its not unusual to practice a phrase 20 or 30 times. You need to build brain and muscle memory into your hands. Repetition is the only way.
* Record yourself and listen.
* Play Slowly and cleanly until you have not only the notes but a solid groove.
* Play fast. Even though it will not sound great at first, don't worry, eventually your brain and hands will get in sync and things will start flowing. If you dont work on it, speed will never happen.  No one ever got fast by playing slow.
* Practice Relaxed. Stiff arms and shoulder will equate to sore arms and muscles and your playing will not flow.
* Sing your notes in your head. Sing/hum the scale tones or solo notes as you play them. Let your inner ear hear it.
* Set a schedule for your practice. Try to practice same time every day but if you cant, find an hour a day at least. Set expectations and goals.
* Use good posture. Wear a strap. If you plan to perform, practice standing up. Big difference between sitting in the chair and standing on the floor.
* Loosen up a bit before you begin. Stretch your arms, fingers and hands. Relax.
* Have Fun!
   


*

 

  2. Bluegrass Guitar Rhythm
 
    Standard Boom Chick Pattern for G C D  
   
For Tabs for this rhythm pattern Click Here
For a Video of this rhythm patter Click Here
   
 
    Standard Boom Chick Pattern for G C D  with some passing tones
For Tabs for this rhythm pattern Click Here
For a Video of this rhythm patter Click Here
     

 

 

     
  3 Nashville Numbering System.
In this system, the scale tones are refered to as numbers instead of the note name.
For instance, Lets look at the G scale

Here are three ways the G Scale can be communicated.

Music Notes G A B C D E F# G
Solfège Syllable
Do  Re Mi Fa  So La Ti Do
Nashville Numbers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
 

Below is the Nashville Number System applied across different keys

KEY 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
C D E F G A B C D
D E F# G A B C# D E
E F# G# A B C# D# E F#
F G A Bb C D E F G
G A B C D E F# G A
A B C# D E F# G# A B
B C# D# E F# G# A# B C#

 

     
     
    CAGED Flatpicking & Bluegrass Guitar
 
    I use the CAGED system for understanding where the notes are and to quickly find your
way around the fret board and create create guitar solos.  
     
     

The "CAGED" system and its related chords.
This system refers to the 5 major chord shapes for  C, A, G, E and D
A  guitar  tuned to standard tuning  can be covered by five major chord shapes, These are the
only major chords that can be played in an open position. F is just an E shape barred at the
1st fret and B is just an A shape barred at the 2nd.

So let’s have a look at the major chords of C, A, G, E and D.
 

CAGED Major Chords

Here’s how to think about the fretboard notes to line up those chords.
First you will see the Major Open Chord shapes we are most familiar with. The square notes are the root notes of
each chord. It’s important that you learn these so  that you don’t need to think about them.  
 

 

   

 

     
    Now look at the caged chords and look across the page and see how it is applied to a major
scale and a Major Pentatonic Scale

   

 

 

   
In this image, I have taken all CAGED
Chords and merged them into one neck
view and added Nashville Numbers
Here is  standard country pattern
1 with roots notes in blue
Here is  standard country pattern
2 with roots notes in blue
 


 


     
     
     
    CAGED Minor Chords
     
   
     
   

 

 

    Now look at the CAGED minor  chords and look across the page and see
how it is applied to a minor scale and a minor pentatonic scale
     
   
     
   

 

     

CAGED Minor Pentatonic Blues Scales
On the left is the standard presentation of the Minor Pentatonic Scale with the "Blues" notes added in
On the right is CAGED minor pentatonic. Root notes are square. Blues notes are blue.

     

 

           
     
    Basic Open Chords
   
     
     
    Additional Chord Structures
     
   


 

     
     
 
 
 
     
     
     
    Below is a chord chart for the 7 most used keys. To create a progression, simply follow a chord progression formula
(I is always the key of the progression). For example, a very popular chord progression formula is I-IV-V, in the key
of C, the chord progression would be C/F/G, in the key of G the progression would be G/C/D.

Another extremely popular chord progression,  is the I/V/vi/IV (one-five-six-four). In C the chords would be
C/G/Am/F and in G it would be G/D/Em/C.

 

I ii iii IV V vi vii
Major Minor Minor Major Major Minor Dim
A B C# D E F# G#
B C# D# E F# G# A#
C D E F G A B
D E F# G A B C#
E F# G# A B C# D#
F G A Bb C D E
G A B C D E F#

 

     
   
     
     
     

 


 

 
 

 

 


 

 



 


 

 


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