David Grier: Flatpicking Encyclopedia

David Grier at the Fretboard Journal – “Beaumont Rag”

Here’s the write-up at YouTube about this video featuring flatpicking guitarist David Grier:

“In early 2013, the always entertaining David Grier stopped by the Fretboard Journal offices to perform a few tunes. Along with some jokes, most of which we couldn’t air, he played this great rendition of “Beaumont Rag.”

Grier has played a variety of guitars over the years. In this clip, he’s playing a dreadnought built by Dake Traphagen in Bellingham, Washington. After performing the tune, he slows down his playing a bit and offers a tip or two for improving your own playing. Hope you enjoy!”

For those of you that don’t know, David Grier is the son of banjo great Lamar Grier (okay, now that I got that out of the way).

For what it’s worth, my first time getting to meet David Grier was during a gig at the Station Inn located in Nashville. It’s a bluegrass place so, everybody and anybody that’s played bluegrass on a pro level has done a gig or two there. Well, I was playing guitar with Vassar Clements, and David was playing with a pickup band that evening. Vassar of course was doing his ‘Hillbilly Jazz’ so, it was quite the contrast of styles.

I immediately noticed David’s smooth playing which at the time, wasn’t so well known. Yes, he’s come a long way but man, he was great back then and only gonna keep getting better. The thing that struck me most about David was the fact that he was a student of his craft, constantly making little changes in his playing and technique. My point being, he is now a walking flatpicking encyclopedia who has probably forgotton more in an afternoon of playing than most pickers learned all their lives.

Now with regard to this video, David is using chord embellishments along with crosspicking to play a very musical version of the Beaumont Rag.. perhaps more melodic and creative than anything I’ve heard. And you will notice that he is walking down the bass notes in many of his crosspicking progressions, but keeping the other two notes the same. This is something that I happen to do a lot of (maybe too much?) and David of course does a great job of it. These single note variations to a standard chord form new chords which also includes augmented and diminished. A great new sound for flatpicking and David is at the forefront of this style.

Not very many views on this video so, you are among the first to be seeing it.

Now if you want to learn more about how to play and move through these chord progressions bluegrass style, please sign up on the right for the Acoustic Guitar Videos Newsletter. Besides getting the best videos of the week delivered to your mailbox every Thursday Morning at 9 Am, I’m going to be making some videos breaking this chord embellishment technique down- it’s really very easy once you know what it is. All of my subscribers get theses video lessons for free.




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