Using Slurs in Fiddle Tunes

Posted by Scott Nygaard

Here’s one thing that can throw off your pick direction in a fiddle tune: slurs, otherwise known as hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides. Play through Examples 7 and 8 and notice that the slur takes place of a pick stroke.

Fiddle Tune Slurs ex7_8
Click to enlarge.

To maintain the right pick direction, you’ll have to follow the missing pick stroke with the correct stroke. If the slur takes the place of a downstroke, as in Example 7, you’ll follow it with an upstroke. And if the slur takes the place of an upstroke, as in Example 8, follow it with a downstroke. One way to ensure you get this right is to actually move your pick above the strings as you play the slur.

Excerpted from Bluegrass Guitar Essentials

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