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How to Play Country Guitar Using Hybrid Picking

Learn how to play country guitar using hybrid picking from musician Boo Reiners in this Howcast video.


Okay, hybrid picking is where we use the flat pick that we're holding with the thumb and the index finger and then we've got the middle finger to add some other melody notes, chord tones, rhythmic syncopation. You could even use the ring fingers as well.

Some people might even throw in the fourth finger, the pinky. It'd probably be good to just start out with the flat pick and your middle finger. You could play just a plain old open position chord. So it's a lot like Travis picking, where you would normally have a thumb pick. But here we're trying to just hang on to that flat pick because we might want to move onto some other approach in the middle of a song so. So that's why I like to use the hybrid style on some gigs that I do, I don't know what the next song is coming up until a second before it starts. Somebody calls out a tune, I'm not sure what technique I'm going to want to use.

So this is a really versatile way to cover a lot of different ground stylistically. You could play some melody with this. You could play some solo lines. Where I'm playing just single notes and I'm just alternating between the flat pick and the middle finger. I could also do some cool rhythm stuff, comping something like this. I could also do something down here.

So there's all kinds of stuff you can do as a just a rhythm player or playing some lead playing some fills. So it gives you a lot of control and I think just mess around with just some basic shapes, basic chords. Hold onto that flat pick, work that middle finger in. Even if it feels clumsy at first, just keep at it. It'll get easier and easier till pretty soon you're making a lot of rhythm.

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