I’ve recorded and uploaded “Sheehan’s Reel” a flatpicking piece I’ve been working on for awhile. Arranged by Jody Stecher. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.
The tune is in drop D. However, I use a drop E capo at the second fret…the Drop E capo has advantages and disadvantages compared with drop D. I will not go into that now. But I use it and my short-cut capo (Esus) to play in the key of F when I play with the praise band at church (hint I use a regular capo at the 1st fret and short-cut capo on the 3rd fret).
This tune is arranged to be played in three places on the neck. First position G position, 7th position D position, then stretching on the high E from the third fret to the 7th. The major problem I have with this tune is the transition from the 7th fret to the third after the playing up the neck. The transition entails cross string picking. I’ve worked on this a lot…found alternatives, but just didn’t sound right. I played it slow and analyzed every move. Then, it finally hit me that it wasn’t my left hand but the right. I had to rest then change from an upstroke to a down stroke to start the sequence. My success increased by at least 60% to 70% by doing this right off the bat.
So, as Steve Kaufman said once…”don’t skip over the hard parts just because they are hard.” You just need to analyze it, do it slow and focus what your left and right hands and fingers are doing to find a solution. Sometimes you just have to play one note at a time, one measure at a time, etc. Sometimes it comes to you out of the blue while working on another tune or watching someone else play and your mind just knows what to do or try. Or you may have to set it aside until you are more experienced or come back to it fresh. I’m sure everyone has their own ideas; these are just a few that I picked up and use.
Keep on pickin’