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Flatpicking Guitar Magazine - Guitar Player's Guide to Developing Speed, Accuracy, and Tone


Current Edition

The Guitar Player's Guide to Developing Speed, Accuracy, and Tone (by Brad Davis and Dan Miller) is a 150 page book, with 157 audio tracks, that will show you how to develop speed, accuracy, volume, tone, note clarity, and fluidity for the acoustic guitar. Most books teach you the notes to songs, this book teaches you how to make each note that you play in those songs sound clear and distinct with rich tone and how you can bring all of those notes together in a smooth and fluid flow at any tempo.

The first section of this book explores all of the details of right and left hand mechanics and technique and helps you analyze your mechanics so that you can play the guitar in the most efficient and effective manner. Then this book presents an extensive series of step-by-step exercises to help you develop all of the "meat and potatoes" pick style guitar techniques, to include: rhythm strums, down stokes, alternate picking, rhythm pick pattern (RPP), picking against the grain, forward and reverse roll crosspicking, forward-reverse crosspicking, harmonized scales, string skipping techniques, floating, playing drone strings, skip string crosspicking, rest strokes, sweep picking, and double-down-up picking.

The material is presented in a series of six "phases," each building on the techniques and exercises that are presented in earlier phases. The step-by-step approach will insure that your pick style acoustic guitar technique is fully developed. If you are looking to improve your speed, accuracy, tone, volume, note clarity, and fluidity, this is the book for you. Players at all levels can benefit greatly from the material presented in this book.

Flatpicking Guitar Magazine editor, and co-author, Dan Miller says, "I am very excited about this book. Brad Davis and I have worked very had to insure that The Guitar Player's Guide to Developing Speed, Accuracy&Tone is a very complete program of study.   I'll tell you, this program works! In the past year and a half I have written and published seven volumes of the Flatpicking Essentials course and I've received a lot of great feedback from the flatpickers who are working with that material (Thanks!). But I'll have to say that I personally learned more in terms of taking my own guitar playing abilities to the next level with this new book than I have with any book I've ever written or worked with in the past. I really believe in this program that Brad Davis has designed.

This program really helped me improve every aspect of my guitar playing. After working with this material I can now play faster and louder and I have better tone and note clarity. I feel my playing is much smoother and more fluid as well. And this book is great because no matter what your current level, you can learn a lot from working with these exercises. Brad Davis has been playing professionally for over 30 years and these are the exercises that he uses to warm up for performances and studio sessions. They will work for any body.

Table of Contents:


Section One: Suggestions for the Right Hand and Left Hand
   Right Hand Mechanics
      Relaxation and Body Position
      Holding the Pick
         Pick Grip
         Pick Extension
         The Pick
         Pick Depth
      Right Hand Position
         Right Hand Position and Tone
         Right Hand Arc
      Right Hand Attack
         Pick Angle
         The Rest Stroke Versus The Swing Stroke
         Pick Depth
         Moving The Pick Through The Strings
         The Strings
         Pick Articulation
         Pushing and Pulling the Pick
   Left Hand Mechanics
      Left Hand Relaxation
      Thumb Position
      Finger Position and Placement
      Economy of Motion
      Consistent Hand Placement
   Coordinating the Rigtht&Left Hands
      Start Slow to Go Fast
      The Magic of 60 Beats Per Minute
      Practicing with Awareness
      Subdividing the Beat
      A Word About Learning From Tab
      Awareness of Your Ability Level

Section Two Phase 1: Strums, Downstrokes and Alternating Strokes
      The Practice Routine
      Phase 1 Skills
      Loosen Up With Rhythm
         Rhythm Practice
      The Downstroke
         Downstroke Practice
      Alternating Pick Direction and Eighth Note Practice
         Alternating Pick Direction
         Alternating Pick Direction Exercises (1 through 6)
         Muted String Exercises
         Phase 1 Muted String Practice Routine

Phase 2: More Alternate Picking, the Rhythm Pick Pattern and Picking Across the Grain
         Alternate Picking Exercises (7 through 17)
            Arkansas Traveler
         The Rhythm Pick Pattern (RPP)
            Lonesome Road Blues
            Nine Pound Hammer
            Moving From Rhythm to Lead
            Home Sweet Home Examples (1 through 4)
            Nine Pound Hammer with Relaxed RPP
            RPP Muted String Exercises (1 to 5)
         Picking Against the Grain
            Against the Grain Picking Exercises (1 through 8)
            Against the Grain Muted String Exercises
         Phase 2 Practice Routine

Phase 3: Crosspicking
      The Forward Roll
         Squaring Up Time
         Crosspicking Exercise 1
         Squaring Up Time Examples (1 through 4)
         Boil the Cabbage Down
         Home Sweet Home
         Beaumont Rag Patterns
      The Reverse Roll
         Reverse Roll Exercise
         Home Sweet Home
      Crosspicking Muted String Exercises    (1 through 5)
      Phase 3 Practice Routine
      Crosspicking Summary
      Harmonized Scales on Adjacent Strings
         Harmonized Scale Exercises (1 through 4)
         Blackberry Blossom Exercise

Phase 4: String Skipping
         Floating Example 1
         Floating Exercises (1 through 3)
         Temperence Reel
         Billy In the Lowground
         Cherokee Shuffle
      Drone Strings
         Drone String Exercises (1 and 2)
         Blackberry Blossom
         Whiskey Before Breakfast
      Harmonized Scales on Non-Adjacent Strings
         Harmonized Scale Exercises   (1 through 9)
      String Skip Crosspicking
         String Skip Crosspicking Exercise 1
         Arkansas Traveler
      String Skip Muted String Exercises (1 through 14)
      Phase 4 Practice Routine
      String Skipping Summary
      Moving Up-The-Neck
         Up The Neck Exercises (1 through 4)
         Blackberry Blossom

Phase 5: The Rest Stroke
      Rest Stroke Exercises (1 through 8)
      G-Runs (1 through 6)
      Lonesome Road Blues
      Rest Stroke Exercises (9 through 14)
      Down-Down-Up Crosspicking
      Rest Stroke Muted String Exercises (1 through 7)
      Phase 5 Practice Routine
      Rest Stroke Summary
      Sweep Picking
         Sweep Picking Muted String Exercises
         Sweep Picking Exercises (1 through 3)
      The Crab Walk Exercise

Phase 6: The Double Down Up Technique (DDU)
      Double Down Up Exercises (1 through 13)
      DDU Exercise 14 Steps
      Double Down Up Exercises (14 through 19)
      Salt Creek Example
      Black Mountain Rag

The Road Ahead