Another Playing Style

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Another Playing Style

Postby Art Sims » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:39 pm

I’ve seen recorded interviews of Chet with remarks about players whose styles were different from his. For one, he spoke of Johnny Smith as a guitarist he admired. Smith was a flatpicker, which interests me because while viewing fingerstyle as best I do see where a flatpick can be useful. For example, there’s a video of Chet accompanying Anita Carter on “Makin’ Believe,” and right after his solo section, he plays soft rhythm strokes for several bars. That video shows him doing that with the underside of his hand for that sound. Why would he do that? I think, because it’s not easy to soft stroke chords with a thumbpick. However, a flatpick, loose in the hand, is ideal for that sound.
Like many others, I was a flatpick player prior to understanding much about Chet’s approach, never at the level of Johnny Smith but enough to realize multi-part solos with just a flatpick are difficult, difficult because in common chord forms bass notes and the notes needed for melodies and notes for sounding the chord are generally too far apart for the pick to execute them. You have to learn muting techniques for strings in between, find at least some forms with desired notes closer together, generally keeping the 3rd in there somehow, and figure out ways for open strings to continue sounding while changing fretboard positions. Of course, fingerstyle playing overcomes a great deal of this by enabling the selection of notes on strings that aren’t next to each other. But it seems to me that developing one’s ability both ways is a good thing.
Anyway,the above link is to a recent attempt. Criticisms welcome.
Art Sims
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Re: Another Playing Style

Postby Terry Tolley » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:27 am

Great job Art! You have a great deal of control on the rhythym that it does not drown out the melody. That is NOT an easy task!
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Re: Another Playing Style

Postby Ray Bohlken » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:13 am

Art, I sure enjoy your playing and your arrangements.

I also liked your video of the pick on a hinge - that is so neat. I often see players put the flat pick in their teeth or wrap it up in one of the right hand fingers so they can play a finger style passage in a tune. I can see how that pick would be a big help to a lot of players and give you flexibility in working out an arrangement.

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Re: Another Playing Style

Postby DagerRande » Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:36 am

I always focused more Johnny Smith's choice of harmonies and how he fit things together, rather than whether or not he used a flat-pick. I agree that flat picking has its place, largely because of the tone, however it amazes me how Brent Mason continues to sound like he does while utilizing his fingers rather than a flat pick. He maintains that "Telecaster sound" in spite of it.
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Re: Another Playing Style

Postby Tompicks » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:59 pm

I've always been amazed at the clarity and volume of the playing of Earl Klugh. His touch seems so light and he uses no picks or nails, just the flesh of his thumb and fingers.
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