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Rhythm In the Cross Hairs

 

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The Tony Rice Style: Modern Bluegrass Master

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Tony Rice's rhythm guitar has deadly precision thanks in part to his cross-picking technique. We'll examine one of his cross-picking patterns in this lesson.

This pattern arpeggiates a C and D major chord with one pick direction for three notes (three strings) until you get to the fourth note at which point you change picking direction.

Why would Rice do this? The sound of the pick moving in one direction and then changing suddenly gives a driving rhythmic accent to the rhythm guitar part in the progression. It puts a kick in the music that wouldn't be there otherwise. Once you've got the pattern, try playing it any other way and it just won't sound the same.

Try this with any and every chord you know and see what this pattern does for you.

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