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Flatpicking Guitar Magazine - Essentials, Volume 4: Understanding the Fingerboard and Moving Up-The-Neck


Current Edition

Flatpicking Essentials, Volume 4: Understanding the Fingerboard and Moving Up-The-Neck, as the name implies, teaches you how to become familiar with using the entire fingerboard of the guitar and it gives you many practical exercises and song examples that will help you become very comfortable playing up-the-neck.

With this book and CD you will learn how to explore the whole guitar neck using a very thorough study of three important fingerboard familiarization "road maps," including: chord shapes (chord "centers"), scale patterns (both horizontal and vertical), arpeggios, and song examples. You will also learn how to comfortably move up-the-neck and back down using slides, open strings, scale runs, harmonized scales, floating licks, and more. Over 150 pages in length, this book provides a very thorough study of each topic.

If you've ever sat and watched a professional player's fingers dance up and down the fingerboard with great ease and you thought "I wish I could do that!" This book and 2 CD set are for you!

Table of Contents for Flatpicking Essentials, Volume 4:


Understanding the Fingerboard, Part I: Working with Chord Shapes
The FDAA System
The F-Shape Chord Form
I-IV-V Progressions
Bile the Cabbage Down
Forked Deer (A Section) Version 1
Forked Deer (A Section) Version 2
Forked Deer (A Section) Version 3
Forked Deer (A Section) Version 1
The D-Shape Chord Form
I-IV-V Progressions
Bile the Cabbage Down
Bonaparte's Retreat
Worried Man Blues
The Upper-A Shape Chord Form
I-IV-V Progressions
Bile the Cabbage Down
St. Anne's Reel (B Section)
Red River Valley
The Blues Shuffle
12-Bar Blues
Rock Power Chord Riff
The Lower-A Shape Chord Form
I-IV-V Progressions
Bile the Cabbage Down
Arkansas Traveler
Recognizing Patterns
Overlapping I-IV-V Progression
Chord Progression Practice
I-IV-V Progression Workout
Chord Shapes and Vocal Arrangements
Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Wildwood Flower
Blackberry Blossom
Minor Chord Forms

Understanding the Fingerboard, Part 2: Major Scales
The Major Scale Formula
Finding the Root Note
That Darn B-String
The G Scale Up-the-Neck (Box Patterns)
Box Pattern Exercises
You Are My Sunshine
Whiskey Before Breakfast
Busting Out Of the Box
The One String "Unitar"
Folding Scale on Low E String Unitar
You Are My Sunshine
Whiskey Before Breakfast
The Two String Guitar
Scale Practice
Whiskey Before Breakfast

Moving Around the Fingerboard Part I: Learning More About Shifting
G Major Scale
Shifting Exercises
Billy In The Lowground

Moving Around the Fingerboard Part II: Using Open Strings and "Floating"
Moving Around Using Open Strings
A Folding Scale Using Open Strings
Learning How To "Float"
Floating Through Scales
Temperance Reel
Forked Deer

Moving Around the Fingerboard Part III: Using Harmonized Scales
Harmonized Scale Examples
Whiskey Before Breakfast
Katy Hill (A Section)
Blackberry Blossom (A Section)
Jimmie Rodgers Yodel Lick
Nine Pound Hammer
The Blackberry Blossom Etude
Whiskey Before Breakfast
The Keys of C and D
Forked Deer

Scale Section Summary and Practice Suggestions
Dynamics Exercise
Blackberry Blossom with Fiddle Tune Pulse
Note Duration Exercise
Scale Timing Exercise

Understanding the Fingerboard, Part 3: Working with Arpeggios
Arpeggio Exercise 1
Forked Deer Example
G Arpeggio Exercise 2
G Arpeggio Exercises 3 and 4
G Arpeggio Exercise 5
C and D Arpeggios Exercises
I-IV-V Arpeggio Exercise

Song Examples
Blackberry Blossom
Fisher's Hornpipe
Red Haired Boy
Cherokee Shuffle
Flowers of Edinburgh
Where To Go From Here

Intervals Appendix
Playing Intervals Relative to the Root
Interval Exercises

About the Flatpicking Essentials Series:

The Flatpicking Essentials instructional series is designed to teach you the art of flatpicking the acoustic guitar in a sequential, step-by-step method that will gradually build your flatpicking skill in a way that leaves no "gaps" or "holes." While this method will be extremely beneficial to beginners, this series will also be of great value to those guitar players who have been working to learn how to flatpick for quite some time, yet can't seem to get beyond a certain plateau. If you are having trouble moving beyond memorized solos, adding interest and variety to your rhythm playing, learning how to play up-the-neck, learning how to come up with your own arrangements to songs, learning how to play by ear, or learning how to improvise, then this series is for you!

Too many flatpickers are learning how to play by simply memorizing transcribed fiddle tune solos from tab books and video tapes. In doing that they are learning ineffectively and inefficiently. They are skipping over many vital elements in the learning process and thus they have a weak foundation. In this series my goal is to help you build a strong foundation so that you can easily maintain consistent forward progress in your study of flatpicking.

Each volume of this series presents material that provides the foundation for the next volume. In this first volume "Rhythm, Bass Runs, and Fill Licks" you learn how to develop all of the basic skills you will need in order to become a solid rhythm player. This book is designed to teach you rhythm skills in a way that will thoroughly prepare you for Volume 2, which is titled, "Learning How To Solo: Carter Style and Beyond". Volume 3 will start to build your fiddle tune repertoire by providing you with melody-based versions of the most popular jam session tunes. Volume 4 will teach you how to become familiar with the entire fingerboard and understand how to use it to your advantage in creating interesting solos. Volume 5 will explore the styles and contributions of the flatpicking legends: Doc Watson, Clarence White, Tony Rice, Dan Crary, Norman Blake, and others. Volume 6 will provide you with advance arrangements of songs and tunes (arranged by Tim May). From there, future volumes will explore other genres such as Celtic, Western Swing, and Gypsy Jazz.

As you will learn in the first section of Volume 1, the flatpicking guitar style developed chronologically along a very clear line of sequential technical skills. In order to learn how to flatpick fiddle tunes like Doc Watson, the student needs to build a foundation similar to the foundation Doc built for himself before he started picking lead solos on fiddle tunes. The first two volumes of this course present the techniques and skills that were developed on the acoustic guitar during the 30s, 40s, and 50s "the pre-Doc Watson skills" the skills Doc acquired as part of building his own musical foundation. The remaining volume then continue to follow the chronological development of the style.