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Flatpicking Guitar Magazine
Free Lesson - April 2017

Crosspicking Patterns in C
Arranged by Mickey Abraham

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Hello and welcome to Flatpicking Guitar Magazine’s free lesson portion of our monthly newsletter. This month I offer you four exercises that will improve your crosspicking technique and help you visualize little chord shapes in the open position.

Many flatpickers enjoy spending time working on crosspicking as it is a very effective guitar technique. All of these examples involve three strings. I’ve broken the exercises into all the three note string groups without incorporating any string skips. For each exercise make sure your pick is consistently alternating down/up. You will find the your right hand rests in a different place when picking on the fatter strings than when picking on the skinny strings. The goal is to make all four exercises smooth and natural -- this way no matter what strings you want to crosspick you will comfortable.

These exercises follow the melody and form to the famous fiddle tune “Bile ‘em Cabbage Down.” The chords are as follows:

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C F C G7

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C F C G7 C

In addition to the actual technique involved with crosspicking, you should also take notice of the all the mini chord shapes that show up when we isolate these three string groups. You should picture them as chords -- this way you can use them over other songs that have changes with C, F, and G7. These chords make up the famous chord family known as the I, IV, V (in the key of C). Once you get these shapes into your fingers and head try plugging in a new key like G, C, and D7. You will learn so much about the guitar by figuring out these little three string shapes in other popular keys.

Finally, these examples all use the same right hand pattern -- there are literally endless right hand patterns to be applied to these same shapes. Try being creative and make up your own patterns to plug in.I hope you enjoy working on these crosspicking examples and incorporating the new shapes into your playing. As always should you have any questions or comments on the e-lesson just drop me a line at michabraham@comcast.net.