The art and science of the flatpick

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by KenH, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    The art and science of the flatpick

    By Meghan B. Kelly/Staff Writer
    Wed Nov 26, 2008, 06:33 AM EST

    Lexington - Maybe Tom Reilly’s getting old, but bluegrass and alt-country have started to replace his heavy metal and rock standbys, especially when it comes to learning the tunes on guitar.

    A Lexington resident, Reilly, 32, was one of more than 20 people who visited The Music Emporium Sunday for a flatpicking guitar workshop, taught by flatpicking virtuoso Steve Kaufman.

    The technique, where players use a pick to play instead of their fingers, is generally associated with bluegrass music. The pick allows the player to play the notes individually and distinctly, making the song sound more like it is coming from a banjo or fiddle.

    While bluegrass and country music don’t find their core audience in the Northeast, Kaufman said he’s not surprised his instructional class was filled. The Boston Bluegrass Association is much bigger than the one in his hometown of Knoxville, Tenn., he said.

    - rest(including video) at www.wickedlocal.com/lexington/fun/entertainment/x415853452/The-art-and-science-of-the-flatpick
     
  2. Bro. Curtis

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    Excellent !!!!

    A fingerpicked guitar just will not stand up against banjos & fiddles, you need a stiff pick to really make some noise. It's not that you have to havver the strings, but a flatpick evenly distributes every note in the chord.

    I have a guy in town make my flatpicks, out of steerhorn. Some bluegrassers only use tortoise shell, but I find they are really hard to maintain, they need constant buffing, and they cost up to $60 bucks a piece. A steerhorn pick costs $7, lasts me a few months, then I just get another one.
     
  3. KenH

    KenH
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    I have Steve Kaufman's three DVD set on flatpicking and his DVD on rhythm guitar and his DVD that teaches songs for different holidays.
     
  4. corndogggy

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    I don't think it's chords that make bluegrass players get stiff picks. I doubt that Rodrigo and Gabriella has any problems evenly distributing the notes in the chords. The biggest thing is that when you quickly individually pick notes on the bass strings, fingers are going to give you a warm sound of pure bass, while a pick is going to give you a twang with alot more harmonics.
     
    #4 corndogggy, Dec 2, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2008
  5. ray Marshall

    ray Marshall
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    Hey there,
    From one bluegrass lover to another. I have loved the music for more than 45 yrs. and played with some local bands around my area. First I use to listen to Country music back in the 40s on up untill around the middle of the 60s. When I got hooked on Bluegrass, I still liked the old country and Bluegrass both but the country isn't country anymore. I don't even listen to the Grand Ole Opra anymore unless it is around the January to March months while the Bluegrass shines at the Ryman auditorium.
    I had played Bluegrass until the 70s when I quit preforming but played at home in the living room. I use to visit the Ralph Stanley Festival at McClure, Va, Carlton Haney fes. in Nc, Been to festivals at Berryville, Va, Renfro Valley Ky. Wise va festival and others.
    Bluegrass flat pickin is the best thing that happened to Bluegrass music. The new style of Mandolin pickin is great. Jesee McReynolds does that cross-pickin on the Mandolin is very good. Hated that Tony Rice lost his voice by his own doings. but there are so many good Guitar pickers, it's hard to make a favorite. As far as I am concerned Bluegrass is here to stay.
     
  6. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    I doubt that Rodrigo and Gabriella has any problems evenly distributing the notes in the chords.

    Two things, they don't have banjos clanging away behind them, second, in all the videos I saw they have their guitars plugged in. So you are comparing apples and oranges. I would not ever even think of plugging my guitar into an amp, it belongs in front of a single mic, with several other instruments playing along with it. The guitar colors while the bass & mandolin drive, and the banjo rings high. Come time for your instrumental break, you step closer to the mic, and then drop back, without losing time. Try doing that without a pick. A plugged in guitar is no longer an acoustic guitar.

    That's what this thread was about. Rodrigo and Gabriella are good at what they do, but why bring them into this ?
     
  7. ray Marshall

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    Who was the Bald headed flat-top guitatist that use to play with Rhonda Vincent?
    I really enjoyed his smooth picking and harmony parts.
    There use to be a Band that came from ( I think it was Checksolivia)? The whole band members shined with their instruments. The Flat-top Guitatist and the Band played the Checksolivia Anthumn. I think they may have had the name " the Third Generation or Dura---something. I have them on VHS that I taped a few yrs. ago.
     
  8. KenH

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    Are you referring to Audie Blaylock?
     
  9. Bro. Curtis

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    Dan Crary ?
     
  10. corndogggy

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    It all depends on your pickups. Using an external mic does go into an amp just like anything else, but regardless, they actually use an internal mic, it's not a piezo. The mic is just behind the sound hole instead of in front of it.


    All I'm saying is that the even distribution of chords isn't exactly why people use a pick, and they're a great example. Classical/Spanish guitars are plenty loud with fingerstyle and they are played along with plenty of other instruments. I think it's mostly about the tone.
     
  11. ray Marshall

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    Honestly, I don't know and have never heard of him, but if you know please say yes.
     
  12. ray Marshall

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    I don't know if you were answering my post, but it isn't Dan Crary, even though he is also bald.
     
  13. ray Marshall

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    There are accustic mikes that doesn't hurt the sound of a flat-pickin guitar. It sounds as if it isn't even inside the guitar. It is sometimes in the bridge and called a blue dot.
     
  14. KenH

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    Shortly after I got into being a bluegrass music fan I became a Rhonda Vincent fan. I am pretty sure Audie Blaylock is who you are talking about. He has his own band now.

    www.audieblaylock.com
     
  15. ray Marshall

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    Good! Thanks for the info. Appreciate it.
     
  16. corndogggy

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    Haven't heard that one myself. I have an L.R. Baggs M1 active soundhole pickup and it's the closest I've found. It combines a humbucker with a device that picks up the vibrations from the top that ends up working like a microphone. I've had it hooked up to an acoustic amp and had it blasting and literally couldn't tell that the amp was on because it sounded so much like my guitar.

    Biggest disadvantage is that you have to turn up the output then turn down the gain on your PA then be careful of body taps and such because otherwise it will pick up every little sound that you didn't even realize was there.
     
  17. ray Marshall

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    I had never heard of the pickup you mentioned but that sounds great. I may ask around the music stores here and get some info or where on the enternet that I can purchase one. Thanks
     
  18. just-want-peace

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    Boy, talk about a misinterpretation----!

    When I read the title of this thread I tho't Ken was going to try to prove that the FLAT (tooth)PICK was superior to the round toothpick!!!!!

    OK back on topic, sorry for the rabbit trail!
     
  19. corndogggy

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    #19 corndogggy, Dec 8, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2008

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