Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Guitar lesson: Crosspicking Rhythm

We’re going to learn how to incorporate crosspicking into our guitar rhythm with three different exercises. First, we’ll learn a hybrid guitar strum. Then, we’ll learn some crosspicking patterns, and finally combine the two into a robust rhythm technique!

Hey there! I’m beginning to work on the freehand technique for these exercises, which feels like taking giant steps backwards at the moment in order to eliminate anchoring from my rhythm technique. I’m wondering if this is the right path to take? I see many of the pros playing only freehand rhythm and assume it must have some benefit over anchoring but I’m not sure exactly why that is the case. Does it lead to cleaner/faster playing? Will anchoring hold me back at some point when taking steps towards more advanced rhythms?

I have tried (with significant effort) both ways. I never made a breakthrough when going free, but for others it has been a launch-point change.

There are great pickers that reside on either side of the style choice. In a nutshell, I think it is worth it to make a concerted effort and see how it goes. I think there are advantages to both approaches, but if I could go back 30-something years, I would try to avoid anchoring. The big thing is to see what works for you.

Thanks for the input! It seems like having the ability to freehand would allow for quicker movements since the anchor chokes me up when I get moving quickly. Undoing 15 years of bad habits is an exercise in patience, to be sure.

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As you well know Ben there is only one who can play perfect, and neither of us have heard him play yet!

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I hope that at least it helped you.