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Thread: Crosspicking

  1. #26

    Default Re: Crosspicking

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrasser78 View Post
    The real trick is to try McReynolds split string useage when cross picking! Now thats nuts! "when he's playing just using 1 string instead of using both strings to get the same note" KRAZY pickin right there. I seen him in 2005 at the Station Inn with Mac Wiseman and a few other pickers were there My Uncle Gene Johnson "who is a wicked player/tenor singer who for 30 years has been with Diamond Rio" turned to me with a grin and said did ya get all that! Yeh right Something I'll never forget.
    Yeah, that sounds crazy. The split string thing doesn't really seem as practical to me as crosspicking does. I find that I can throw a bit of crosspicking into almost any slow to medium tempo tune and it always draws someone's attention. Inevitably they end up asking me what that was.

  2. #27
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan Ramsey View Post
    Current:
    Man that is so sweet!! Did the spot of finish rub come from the early planting technique?

  3. #28
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    Well Jesse can do the split stringing all over the place and it sounded pretty darn good to me, clear and wicked!

  4. #29

    Default Re: Crosspicking

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrasser78 View Post
    Well Jesse can do the split stringing all over the place and it sounded pretty darn good to me, clear and wicked!
    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that it doesn't sound good. It sounds awesome, especially from someone who's really mastered it. It's just that for me learning crosspicking gives me more tone colors than split string playing does.

  5. #30
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    Hello,

    John Flynn said:
    I learned by not concentrating so much on the the technique itself, but finding tunes I really liked with not-too-hard crosspicking parts in them and trying to re-create that sound. To me, that was more clarifying and motivating, than just sitting there doing DUU, apropos of nothing.
    I approve this a lot!

    I've been struggling without succes with all the duuduududud academic techniques and had the feeling to learn morse code that would bring me to nowhere.
    And a little voice in my head who said: "Months or years to master it?? Are you serious??? You can't wait for so long!!"

    So I tried another approach that looks like what John Flynn mentions above.
    When I hear a crosspicking playing that I like and seem reasonnable for my level, I try to play this way at the same tempo.
    I let my fingers and pick do what they want till I find my playing is approaching what I want to hear.
    At the begining it is very approximative.
    Then I reduce the tempo and analyse what my right hand do.
    I make little adjustments to play it cleaner with a metronome.
    Then faster and faster to the desired tempo.

    This technique won't give me the perfect crosspicking but something approaching a little.
    And it is much more motivating to me because I can use what I learn in my band without waiting for years of practice.
    I admit that it's a lazy way of learning.

    I am not saying that academic DuuDuu techniques are not worth to be learned.
    But while the time we master it, we have to play music.

    Have a good day
    My english is not perfect.
    Nor my french anyway...

  6. #31
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    I have cross picked for several years, I listened to McReynolds and Shuffler, but I was also raised by a banjo picker. I notice that several of you in describing cross picking say DUU 2or3 times then DUDU why? Like a BG banjo picker I break roll only when needed, some times going to a 4 note roll forward backward or in out. But as much as possible just a 3note roll DUU. Do y'all try to work the DUDU into the pattern, if so how can you keep the roll going? I try to mimic a BG banjo, don't see how that can be done if you are hard set in a strict pattern, banjo players ain't. What made Scruggs was his free right hand, yet a constant roll.

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  8. #32
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    DUUDUUDU makes for an even 8 strokes - it works - other than that I dunno

  9. #33

    Default Re: Crosspicking

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandoplumb View Post
    I have cross picked for several years, I listened to McReynolds and Shuffler, but I was also raised by a banjo picker. I notice that several of you in describing cross picking say DUU 2or3 times then DUDU why? Like a BG banjo picker I break roll only when needed, some times going to a 4 note roll forward backward or in out. But as much as possible just a 3note roll DUU. Do y'all try to work the DUDU into the pattern, if so how can you keep the roll going? I try to mimic a BG banjo, don't see how that can be done if you are hard set in a strict pattern, banjo players ain't. What made Scruggs was his free right hand, yet a constant roll.
    I think keeping the roll going as you describe really helps the effect. But sometimes you have to break the roll with a DU to get a melody note in. Which I guess is what you're saying. Listening the Jordan's beautiful playing on I'll Fly Away, it sounds to me that he's doing that and not simply playing DUUDUUDU over and over.

  10. #34
    Registered User Kevin K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    That version of I'll Fly Away is fantastic, really like it.
    "Can I have a little more talent in the monitors please?"

  11. #35
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    Penny Clark (and Ben) does a good job of going over the d-u-u.

    I've enjoyed, and had success lately, with the d-d-u (d-d-u-d-d-u-d-u).

    Chris Cravens

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  13. #36

    Default Re: Crosspicking

    I'm not sure I'm clear on what the definition of cross picking is, and I wonder if it's something I'm already doing and just didn't realize it had a name. Could somebody take a look at this old video of mine and tell me if that looks like it, or if there's a factor I'm misunderstanding? It's at the 4 minute mark if the play button doesn't automatically jump you to it (it should).



    I just think of it as arpeggio picking, assuming it's the same thing. I'm been playing R.E.M. songs almost since I first picked up a guitar (over 30 years ago), and 97.2% of it is arpeggios.

  14. #37
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandoplumb View Post
    I have cross picked for several years, I listened to McReynolds and Shuffler, but I was also raised by a banjo picker. I notice that several of you in describing cross picking say DUU 2or3 times then DUDU why? Like a BG banjo picker I break roll only when needed, some times going to a 4 note roll forward backward or in out. But as much as possible just a 3note roll DUU. Do y'all try to work the DUDU into the pattern, if so how can you keep the roll going? I try to mimic a BG banjo, don't see how that can be done if you are hard set in a strict pattern, banjo players ain't. What made Scruggs was his free right hand, yet a constant roll.
    As a bluegrass banjo player myself (2nd place in Winfield in 1978), I can tell you that you are somewhat mistaken in your description of the banjo roll(s) used in Scruggs-style banjo. You don't just keep repeating groups of three notes, in some type of "constant roll." You do nothing of the kind, in fact! Unless playing a waltz, Scruggs-style banjo rolls are designed in patterns of 8 notes to fit 2/4 and 4/4 time measures. The forward, backward, and reverse banjo rolls (and also the "Dillard roll", a fourth fairly common pattern) all fit into into this category. The forward, backward, and reverse rolls all consist of two groups of three notes being played in succession followed by a group of two notes, for a total of eight. This is exactly like the Jesse McReynolds cross-pick, in fact. On the banjo, these rolls almost always start with the thumb and end on middle or first finger. (In the Dillard roll, there are two groups of four, for a total of eight, and you start with the middle finger, not the thumb). Banjo players think in terms of groups of eight notes, not groups of three, when playing in 2/4 time.

    In Scruggs-style banjo, you have the option of varying the strings used for the roll, but only somewhat: there aren't a whole lot of choices without destroying the roll, and you can also "drop your thumb" into the higher strings for this purpose. You can also vary the type of roll, in order to pick up as many melody notes as possible, but you always have to begin a new roll with a different finger than the one used to finish the previous roll (which is why most start with the thumb and end with the middle or index). You can also stop, pinch, or produce a longer note for a brief time. These constraints are considerable, and they prevent true melody line from being played in many cases. This problem led, of course, to other developments, like the Keith "melodic" style, and the Reno "single-string" style, which are freed from some of these constraints.

    Anyway, the McReynolds cross-pick is actually a much closer version of the backwards roll on the banjo than you seem to suppose. It uses two groups of three followed by one group of two, and sometimes gets 'broken' to pick up melody notes, as necessary.

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  16. #38
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    My dad was one of the best banjo players I've heard and I don't think he thought in 3 note or 8 note, he just played with a free right hand. He may have been doing what you said, and I may be doing what you and others have described but my point is we don't think in those terms. The music is in the roll and keep the roll going and sound musical and not mechanical.I'll probably ruffle some feathers but for an example J D Crowe sounds as if his concentration is in patterns as opposed to Scruggs that playes free handed. Just my opinion.

  17. #39
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    Two years and still going at it each day. I don't use the pinky as I found any resting of fingers or hand on the strings or mandolin slows my playing down.
    This is the BEST CROSSPICKING tutorial on YouTube I have come across in my online search by far:

    MUSICMOOSEDOTORG
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmKg2TEr1TY&t=313s

    greg
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  19. #40
    Registered User Rickker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    I have been following this thread with interest. Back in the late 70's I bought a copy of Jack Tottle's "Bluegrass Mandolin", which included a vinyl disc recording of some of the tunes. I was blown away with the crosspicking version of "Home Sweet Home", and proceeded to work at it, and work at it....It was slow going, but after a month of two, I was playing that tune and also "Black Diamond" reasonably well. (By a month or two, I mean playing it every day for at least half an hour. You have to stick with it.) A few years later I purchased a copy of Andy Statman's book and worked through a number of Jesse's arrangements. I learned some of the crosspicking tunes, but gave up on others. You not only have to develop the mechanics of the rolls and positions, but also need to have memorized the pick directions. In those days I was playing with a planted right hand, with my 4th and 3rd fingers of my right hand resting and sliding on the pick guard. This works well with crosspicking, since the right hand is referenced. Then, about 10 years ago, I removed the pick guard and started playing with a free swinging wrist, with the right hand never touching the body of the instrument. This was like learning to play the mandolin all over again! I finally became comfortable playing fiddle tunes this way, but it has been a major challange to crosspick with an unplanted hand. I can do it, but not as well as before. (This may be due to a deterioration of left and right hand dexterity in my advancing years (I'm in my late '70s) as well as the planted vs. unplanted right hand technique.)
    Anyway, in reading the frustrations that others have reported in this thread, I can only say that it take motivation and dogged determination to become a crosspicker. I don't think anybody has mastered this style very quickly, unlike, for example, learning to play fiddle tunes.
    Finally, not sure if anyone will be interested, but I have attached a tef file of my crosspicking version of Wildwood Flower. In the key of C. Instead of just an ongoing stream of 8th notes, I have tried to add some variety with a few quarter notes and even a brushed C chord. Note: I had previously posted a different version of this tune in a different section of the Forum, but there was no response from anyone.
    Anyway, for those starting out, keep at it and good luck!
    ....Rickker
    Attached Files Attached Files

  20. #41
    Registered User Rickker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    Hmmmm......it's been several days and no one has risen to the bait..... Now, don't get me wrong. I was not expecting anyone to come back with, "Gee Rickker, what a nice crosspicking arrangement of Wildwood Flower..." But given the number of crosspicking practioners on the Forum, I did not expect the thread to reach a dead end so quickly. Perhaps many MC members do not use the TablEdit program? I usually have a quick look at the MC just about every day, but rarely reply to a thread. Maybe that is the reason. Anyway, not a big deal either way.

  21. #42
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    Don't take it personally, when you stop to think about it, there can't be an army of us just sitting around waiting to jump right in and tackle every TAB that gets posted, and folk are busy around the holidays anyway. You're doing great, thanks for sharing.

    I was shamed into opening your TEF. Looks like you put plenty of work into it. You show the pick strokes, and there are some numbers in circles (fingerings?) looks like you've tried to do a thorough job of notating your arrangement, kudos. I listened to the MIDI and can hear Wildwood Flower coming through there. May have some time to try this some day, again, thank you for sharing.
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  22. #43
    Registered User Rickker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Don't take it personally, when you stop to think about it, there can't be an army of us just sitting around waiting to jump right in and tackle every TAB that gets posted, and folk are busy around the holidays anyway. You're doing great, thanks for sharing.

    I was shamed into opening your TEF. Looks like you put plenty of work into it. You show the pick strokes, and there are some numbers in circles (fingerings?) looks like you've tried to do a thorough job of notating your arrangement, kudos. I listened to the MIDI and can hear Wildwood Flower coming through there. May have some time to try this some day, again, thank you for sharing.
    "You show the pick strokes, and there are some numbers in circles (fingerings?)" - Yes, the numbers within the circles indicate left hand fingering. What works best for me, anyway. Yes, I did put some time getting the TablEdit file set up. I have found that if you don't use this powerful and useful program regularly, you tend to forget how to do things. Thanks for your comments.

  23. #44
    Registered User Ken Berner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crosspicking

    Quote Originally Posted by trabb View Post
    You got to this before I did, but I don't think it's possible to overestimate how effective this can be if you're playing accompaniment and use this sparingly. Most of my playing is in a church setting, and on a lot of our songs, doing this on one verse out of 3 or 4 really adds something. Any more and it would feel like overkill.
    Like yourself, I play mandolin in church, and have used cross-picking on rare occasions. We are probably wise in not overdoing it, although it was well-received by a few folks who really do listen. I try to play it softly, however.

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