How to Play Runs Using Open Strings in Bluegrass

Learn how to play runs using open strings in bluegrass from guitarist Adam Smale in this online fingerstyle guitar lesson from Howcast.


Here's another great little bluegrass run that I'd like to show you. You can come up with your own, but often in bluegrass music they use open strings. So here's a little lick I'd like to show you involving open strings.

I'm going to start with my first finger on the D, on the second string. Going to a C, with my third finger on my third string and then there's my open string right there, the second string open. So I'll review those first three notes.

D on the second, C on the third and then a B, back to the second string open. Then I'm going to play another blues note here the B flat, with my first finger. Then my fourth finger grabs the A natural, on the fourth string at the seventh fret and then the G string open.

Then I'm going to do F with my first finger, E with my fourth finger to the fourth string open, and then I'm going to do some pull offs from C to B. Then the B open to the G, that I can actually use as a G chord as well, too. So let's go through that slowly. A little bit faster and that's a really cool open string bluegrass run that you can work into your playing.

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