Brad Davis: Double Down Up Guitar Technique

Here’s a video by Brad Davis that holds somewhat of the key to modern flatpicking.

It’s called the “double down up guitar technique” which is really a form of sweep picking (I will get to that in a moment).

One positive reason this is such a cool technique is the conservation of energy on the right hand, as the continual up and down is a very strenuous.

The negative is the amount of practicing you have to do just to get the flow of things.

Brad sure makes it look and sound so easy but there’s a few things that he’s leaving out in this and other double down up videos. One is the fact that it is a 3 note pattern which in this example, sounds like triplets. This is confusing since most music (and what he’s playing in the video besides the example) is 4/4…

So to perhaps make this clearer, in a standard 4/4 song with eighth notes, the first note of 8 is a down beat. The 3rd note (which is the up) is the next downbeat. If you are repeating the pattern, the next down beats are the 5th and 7th note.

I found this technique easier to do playing closed position ascending scales than the open bluegrass riffs he was doing.

Please let me know if this info helps.

I’m also going to include another double down up video Brad made later on that’s helpful.

Be on the lookout for some sweep picking videos here at Acoustic Guitar Videos. I believe that this may be where Brad got some of the idea from with the double down up technique thing.

As far as what I said about bluegrass guitar, playing through to the next string is nothing new and something that Lester Flatt was doing back in the 40’s with his Lester Flatt G run. Lester used a thumb pick and didn’t have the dexterity to go down and up with it.. So he just in essence strummed through to get the riff out …. ingenious!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *