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How to Play Bluegrass in Fingerstyle Guitar

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


Bluegrass music kind of infuses a lot of different things into it, including some African-American sounds. So you kind of have some blues mixed in with the country feel. One way to do that is to pick out blues notes, as well as using chromatic notes.

So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to show you a classic bluegrass run that involves all that stuff. Here we go.

I'm going to start with, this is based around a G chord, and it is a great way to end a bluegrass solo or to end the end of a section.

Here we go in the key of G. I'm going to start with the G note with my second finger. I'm going to pick that note, then I'm going to pick the A open on the fifth string. I'm going to hammer onto the B flat. That's our blues note right there. I'm going to hammer onto the B natural on the second fret.

Then I'm going to pull that note off so that the A string's open, and then pluck the fourth string open. Hammer on, on the second fret, pull off to the fourth string again. Then finally end up on the G string open. I'll do it slowly.

[playing guitar]

When you do it really fast, it sounds bluegrass. So I'll do a little chord progression.

[playing guitar]

It's a nice little bluegrass fill-in for you there.

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