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Blues Guitar Institute

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Dropped D Country Blues Fingerpicking (Part 3)

Lesson ID: TB061

It’s natural as a fingerpicker to let the bassline lead you into the chord changes.  Today, we do let the melody do the talking.

Many great country blues fingerpicking songs like Freight Train or Deep River Blues really feature the melody. In this lesson, we’ll begin to highlight the melody and let it lead us into the chord changes. This idea (called, voice leading) is the trick to nailing Part 3 in our country blues fingerpicking study.

As a quick recap, here’s where we’ve been:

Leading into the A7

There’s a tricky pull-off move from the D note (2nd string, 3rd fret) to the C# note (2nd string, 2nd fret) that will likely take some time to nail. I spend some time in the video going over the specific mechanics that you’ll need to carry the full sound of the two notes. The problem area will be laying down the barre for the A7 chord while pulling off from the 3rd fret, 2nd string.

It will simply take time to perfect. Watch the video to help get a sense of the subtlety of this move.

I’ve said it before and I truly believe that becoming a great guitar player is about doing the little things perfectly.  This is one of those little things.

Another G Major Chord Shape

In Part 2 of this lesson series, we looked at the G Major chord rooted on the 6th string.  For a little variety, this section of the song uses a 5th string root version of the G Major.

This one is important to get down for blues pickers like yourself. I noticed a few Mississippi John Hurt tunes that use this version of the chord.  Watch the video and check out the tab to nail the chord.  It’s actually pretty easy if you know your cowboy chords.  You do know your cowboy chords, right?

One final word…

I played this piece at a pretty swift tempo at the beginning of this lesson.  Don’t get discouraged if you can’t get up to that speed just yet. Instead, get determined!  Seriously, grab a metronome and set it to a slower tempo that you can nail the tune.  Then over the next several practice sessions, increase the tempo.  Gradually progress until you can play it comfortably at a high tempo.

Good luck!

When you are ready, there are two ways I can help you:

Back Porch Blues Course:  A proven system to fingerpicking the blues.  This step-by-step course guides you through building fundamental fingerpicking skills.  Plus, you’ll learn three levels of a delta blues style performance study to put your new skills into action.

Become a myBGI Member: Membership comes with access to Back Porch Blues plus over 70 step-by-step courses.  Get proven results with one of myBGI’s structured Roadmaps.

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