Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Guitar lesson: Alternating Thumb Fingerstyle- Lesson #2

https://banjobenclark.com/lessons/alternating-thumb-fingerstyle-lesson-2-guitar-intermediate

Intro the synco! Now that we have ahold of our thumb, let’s usher in some syncopation! It’s all about the back beat, baby!

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Thanks Ben… I am now barred from the library for clapping and counting loudly :face_with_raised_eyebrow::grin:

Hooray for up beats! Funny thing is, playing in between the downbeats is easier for me than a whole bunch of down beats together (maybe I am just weird). Good stuff! People have been asking for something like this quite a bit.

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“Sorry, I couldn’t resist”?

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Fun lesson. Can’t break my habit of alternating index & middle fingers, but I guess there’s no harm in that and makes them a little less busy. Really looking forward to future exercises!

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Doc Watson jokingly said it took him 10 years to perfect the alternating thumb back beat. There are other sequences also. Instead of alternating strings 5-4-6-4 you could also alternate strings 5-6-4-6 or others. In Deep River Blues, Doc alternates strings 6-4-5-4. Try it for variation after you have mastered Ben’s 5-4-6-4.

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Generally speaking (from what I’ve read & understand), the alternating thumb pattern “begins” on the root-note of the chord at the beginning of the measure. For example:

In a C-Chord measure, I think most people would begin the measure on 5-4-6-4
In an F-Chord measure, I think most people would begin the measure perhaps on 6-4-5-4

That said, I’m certain there are many exceptions depending on the application.

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When will lesson #3 finger-style be posted? I have succeeded well enough practicing #2 that I found a do-able tab for “Freight Train” and have been working on that, and also have a tab for Mississippi John Hurt’s “Make Me a Pallet on your Floor” that I plan to work on next after I get “Freight Train” down. One advantage of working with your two lessons as a base is that I have a better sense of when to choose Thumb vs Index + Middle finger to play notes (which isn’t explicitly specified in the tabs I have - maybe they will for whatever tune you put up first for your course?

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One of my favorite fingerstyle guitar pieces. Think I’ve got about 4-versions down now. It’s an addictive song to play to be sure!

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Or…“Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor” - in the style of Mississippi John Hurt would be another nice choice.

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You get done with me, you just as well kick my dog around too.

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Now now now, @OldBill…I’ve got a new fingerstyle lesson coming this week that’ll probably get the cat involved as well.

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